Frequently Asked Questions

Directory

What is Career Services?

Career Services is Carleton University’s centralized office supporting all students and alumni across the different disciplines and levels of study on their career paths.

Through innovative programming and collaborative initiatives, Career Services at Carleton University empowers students and alumni for career success. Our professional staff support career learning and skill development through education, network building and hands-on experience. We bridge and connect industry professionals with the Carleton University community to meet current and future societal needs.

Back to top

What services do you offer?

  • Career Coaches are available on a drop-in basis Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They can assist you with resume and cover letter reviews, introductions to job search strategies, information for accessing the hidden job market, and networking advice. They can also provide resources for interview preparation and are a great starting point to discuss career exploration, major exploration, or further education exploration.
  • Career Consultants are available on a drop-in basis, or in certain cases, by appointment. They can assist you with interview preparation including a mock interview. They can also help you further explore job search strategies, particularly if you are having difficulty in your job search. They are a great follow-up after having a meeting with a Career Coach.
  • Career Counsellors are available by appointment only to explore your interests, values, and preferences and how these may relate to or influence your career options. They can also help you explore in depth degree options in relation to potential career paths. They are available for grad school preparation including exploring program options, and assisting with personal statements and CV reviews.

If you have further questions, or are unable to find what you are looking for, please contact us (613-520-6611) for further assistance or to book an appointment.

Back to top

Who is eligible to access Career Services?

Our services are available to all active students attending Carleton University including full-time, part-time and special students. Alumni of Carleton University are eligible to access Career Services regardless of how many years ago they graduated.

Back to top

I have a job interview coming up. What resources are available to help me prepare?

In our Prepare for an Interview page (under Job Search Support), you can access our interview prep resources which includes practice interview questions, interviewing tips, and resources for interviews via Skype and phone. Additionally, you may book an appointment or visit our drop-in hours to conduct a mock interview with one of our Career Consultants.

As an alumni, all of our services and online resources are available to you. We encourage you to continue to visit our office and website after you have graduated.

Back to top

Will Career Services connect me directly with job opportunities/potential employers or set up an interview for me?

No. Our services are designed to support and guide you through each step of the employment searching process. We aim to provide advice, resources, and strategies for entering into, and being successful in, the job market; however, we do not provide direct contact information for potential employers or connect students directly with employers for interviews.

Information about other job fairs happening in Ottawa is also posted on our Events calendar. Check the Workshops/Events tab on MySuccess for upcoming job fairs, networking nights and workshops to prepare you for networking and job hunting.

Back to top

Where can I find job postings for on-campus jobs?

Some on-campus jobs are posted on mySuccess accessible through Carleton Central. In addition, some departments will post job opportunities only on their website so it is always beneficial to check these sites directly. Check out our On-Campus Jobs page under the “Get Experience” tab for more information.

Back to top

How can I get a job through the Work Study program?

The Work Study program is run by the Awards & Financial Aid office (202 Robertson Hall). If you have questions about the eligibly and application process, please consult Awards. For more information, visit the Awards office website.

Back to top

How can I find volunteer opportunities in the Ottawa community or get involved in activities on campus?

Various volunteer opportunities are regularly posted on Volunteer Ottawa. Additionally, you can access the Ottawa E-Blue Book to explore which organizations that suit your interests, and contact them directly for enquiries about volunteer opportunities.

For on-campus involvement, each program/department has a student society or association of which you can be a part. Every undergraduate student belongs to the Carleton University Student Association (CUSA) which has numerous clubs/societies and service centers that can be joined on a volunteer basis. Check out CUSA Hub for more information.

Get involved and record your activities outside the classroom on your Co-Curricular Record (CCR).

Back to top

What is the difference between a General and an Honours degree? Which one do I need?

Both degrees will provide you with fundamental knowledge and skills which may be applicable to your future career goals; however, if you intend to pursue education at a Master’s level once your undergraduate degree is complete, you will require an honors degree. If you complete a general degree, you can always upgrade to an honors.

A general degree program at Carleton University typically consists of 15 credits and is generally completed in three years of full time study.

An honours degree program typically consists of 20 credits and can be completed in four years of full time study. This extra year of study will provide you with a more in-depth focus on your major and may give you the opportunity to complete a thesis or capstone project.

Back to top

I am thinking about switching my major/program. Can you help?

Career Services can help you understand what your major/program entails in terms of your specific interests and how these may relate to career options after graduation. Career Services may also provide advice on potential career paths. You will need to book an appointment with a career counsellor who will help you explore changing your major.

If you are concerned with the academic requirements for your new major/program, please consult with the Academic Advising Centre located in 302 Tory Building (613-520-7850).

Back to top

What career options are available to someone with my degree?

Your degree offers you many transferable skills and can open up a variety of career opportunities. There are many resources to explore the types of careers that may be accessible to your when you graduate. To begin, you may want to explore Your Degree, Your Future to explore your skills, interests, and preferences further in relation to your major and career options, please contact us to book an appointment with a Career Counsellor.

Back to top

How can Career Counsellors help me?

Career Counsellors are available to assist students in a variety of ways. Common topics that are discussed include:

  • Exploring your talents, interests, and skills
  • Developing a career plan and exploring career options
  • Fine-tuning your job search techniques and developing job search strategies
  • Assistance in aligning your degree with a career
  • Decisions and explorations about graduate studies and professional programs

Back to top

Can you help me with my grad school application?

Absolutely. Career Counsellors are available by appointment to help you in all stages of graduate school applications. They can assist you in exploring your options for further education if you are unsure which program to take. Additionally, they can support you in reviewing your personal statements and CVs.

Back to top

I want to review my resume and/or cover letter. Do I need to book an appointment?

No. Resume and cover letter reviews can be done on walk-in basis. Please drop by the Career Services office (401 Tory) between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday (excluding holidays).

Back to top

Will you proofread/edit my resume and cover letter?

Our resume review services focus primarily on resume content, not grammar. We encourage you to access the help of friends and family in reviewing and editing your resume and cover letter.

Back to top

What should I do if I don’t have any work experience to include on my resume/my work experience is not related to the jobs I am looking for?

If you do not have much, or any, paid work experience to include on your resume, or you feel as though your experience is not relevant to the work you are applying for, you should consider using a skills based resume. Ideally, you will create categories on your resume other than work experience which have provided you with transferable skills applicable to jobs, such as volunteer experience, involvement in extracurricular clubs or activities, and relevant coursework and projects. On your skills based resume, you will create a skills summary documenting the transferable skills you have acquired from your various experiences. You can find the template for skills based resume here.

Back to top

What is the difference between a resume and a CV?

Some people will use the terms CV and resume interchangeably, which can be confusing.

  • A CV (Curriculum Vitae) is a specialized document that generally has more extensive details about your academic experiences and skills. On a CV you may include public presentations, academic writing and research, publications, thesis information, and professional development. CVs are most often used when you have an advanced degree and are seeking employment in academia, including advanced research and post-secondary teaching. They may also be used when applying for graduate school, grants, scholarships, and fellowships. Due to the extensive information included on a CV, the length is not limited and they may often be much longer than a typical resume.
  • A resume is one or two page document tailored to a specific job opening, which summarizes your education, experience, and skills. It is designed to introduce yourself to an employer and highlight your qualifications.

For resume, CV, and cover letter templates and tips, click here.

Back to top

Should I always include a cover letter when submitting job applications?

Ideally, yes. A well written cover letter can help distinguish your application and set it apart from others. Cover letters provide you an opportunity to show your written communication skills while helping potential employees see that your skills and experience meet the qualifications they are looking for. It can also be used to provide additional information such as your flexibility in scheduling or your willingness to relocate for a job opportunity.

Back to top

What should be included in a cover letter?

Your cover letter should be tailored to each job/organization you are applying to. Please review our cover letter template for additional information about formatting and content. You can visit our office during drop-in hours to have your cover letter reviewed or for any further information.

Back to top

I am an international student. Can you assist me in obtaining a work permit?

Career Services is unable to assist or advise you in obtaining a work permit. The International Student Services Office in 128 University Centre may be able to provide more information on this process.

However, if you have any questions about your job search, career path, or education options drop-in to Career Services in 401 Tory or visit our page for International Students.

Back to top

I want to work/study/volunteer abroad.

For information on going abroad to work, please visit our Work Abroad page. There, you will find helpful information and resources on preparing to work outside of Canada, international internships, and volun-tourism.

Additionally, the International Student Services Office (ISSO) may have more information on international study exchange programs that are available through Carleton University.

Back to top

What should I know/do as a parent of a student?

Here are some tips and guidelines for helping your son or daughter prepare for their future over the next four years.

1. Listen to their career concerns and ideas – By listening you can provide them with feedback, support, and information regarding their interests and goals.  Talk to them about your own work experiences including your industry type, employer, roles and responsibilities.  You can offer to bring them to work for a day to shadow you or a colleague on the job to experience different types of workplaces.  While you can share your own values, interests, and goals, be sure to respect your their’s interests, especially if they differ from your own.

2. Help them maintain a strong, positive self-image – It is tough to convince an employer that you are the best person for the job if you don’t believe it yourself.  With this in mind, try to help them identify their strengths, values, skills, personality traits, and enduring interests.  Let him/her know that you admire these specific qualities and help them recognize that these qualities will act as great assets to a future career.

3. Encourage your son or daughter to seek out professionals to speak to – This could include neighbours, friends, and relatives. These face-to-face connections with professional can be vital, as they will provide insight into different industries and occupations.  For more tips on this process check out our tip sheet on Information Interviews.

4. Help out Carleton University students! – If you are an employer, consider contacting Carleton University’s Career Services with job/volunteer opportunities.  Our website CUHire allows you to post job opportunities at any time, at no charge!

Posting a job on CUHire is easy. Just follow these steps:

  • Visit CUHire and complete the registration form. Please allow up to one business day for activation of your account. You will receive an email notice to inform you when your account is active.
  • Once your account is activated, you can log in and post job opportunities at your convenience. Jobs will be approved and released for student viewing within 48 hours of your submission.

5. Encourage your child to…

Obtain marketable skills – In addition to working on a University degree, challenge your student to work on supplemental marketable skills in at least 2-3 of the following areas:

  • Computer skills (programming, word processing, spreadsheets, and the internet)
  • Quantitative skills (accounting, statistics, and economics)
  • Communication skills (written and oral)
  • Marketing skills (sales, publicity, and fundraising)
  • Technical skills (lab skills and scientific research)
  • Foreign language skills (especially French, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian)
  • Leadership skills (supervisory, extracurricular leadership roles, and teamwork)

Take advantage of internships and co-operative education – These programs can give them a sense of the real world of work.  Internships can be paid or unpaid and can vary in length (many occur over the summer).  Often these experiences serve as gateways to future jobs or setting up networking contacts.  To learn more about co-op click here.

Make the most of Career Services at Carleton University – As career educators on campus, Career Services has a team of professional career counsellors and support staff ready to assist, encourage, and counsel Carleton University students and alumni. Try to ensure that your son or daughter is familiar with the wide range of services available through Career Services at Carleton University which include:

Participate in extracurricular activities – Volunteer work and extracurricular activities are extremely important.  These activities, both on and off campus, can be immensely helpful to your student’s growing awareness of their strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes, all of which are critical to the career decision-making process.  These activities are also viewed positively by employers.  Carleton’s co-curricular record (CCR) program allows students to record their extracurricular experiences.  To learn more about the co-curricular record click here.

Try out direct employer contact – Encourage your son or daughter to find companies or organizations that fit with their interests. Your son or daughter would need to research the company through their website and then look to contact them directly stating their interest in working for the company. Given their research, they should be able to determine the best department or role for them within the organization. Direct employer contact, or “cold calling”, can feel like a shot in the dark.  However, it is actually one of the most effective job search strategies students can employ.

Encourage your son or daughter to make time for their career planning – With many demands on time, students too often put off their career planning “until tomorrow”.  Encourage your son or daughter to use Carleton University’s Career Services as early as their first year and to visit often.  Do not despair, however, if your son or daughter graduates without a job.  All career fields have different search deadlines and it takes time to find the right opportunity.  Being a full-time student and a full-time job seeker is a challenging experience.  But remember, Career Services is still available to help alumni with their career planning and development.

Back to top