Frequently Asked Questions
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.
What services do you offer?
- Career Coaches are available to meet with students, Monday-Friday 1:00-4:00PM on a drop-in basis or by appointment. 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.
- Career Consultants 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 and can discuss career exploration, major exploration, or further education exploration. Additionally, they can help with reviewing CVs and going over our personal statement checklist.
- 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. Counsellors are available by referral from Consultants.
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.
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.
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 visit our office 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 inquiries 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).
What is the difference between a 15.0 credit and a 20.0 credit 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 honours degree. If you complete a 15.0 credit degree, you can always upgrade to an honours.
A 10.5 credit 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.
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 can visit to Career Services to explore which major/program may be best for you.
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).
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 you 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.
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
Can you help me with my grad school application?
Absolutely. We can help you in all stages of graduate school applications. We can assist you in exploring your options for further education if you are unsure which program to take. Additionally, we can support you in reviewing your personal statements and CVs.
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 a walk-in basis during our drop-in hours of 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Virtual and in-person appointments are offered as well, but must be booked via mySuccess, or by contacting us.
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.
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 combined skills 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 combined skills resume, you will create a skills summary documenting the transferable skills you have acquired from your various experiences. View our template for the combined skills resume.
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 a 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.
Click here for resume, CV, and cover letter templates and tips.
Should I always include a cover letter when submitting job applications?
Ideally, yes. A well written cover letter can help set your application apart from others. Cover letters provide you with 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.
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 to have your cover letter reviewed by a Career Services staff member.
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, please visit Career Services in 401 Tory or visit our page for International Students.
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.
What should I know/do as a parent of a student?
Here are some tips and guidelines for helping your student 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 student’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 them 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 student 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. Click here to learn more about co-op.
Make the most of Career Services at Carleton University – As career educators on campus, Career Services has a team of professional career support staff ready to assist, encourage, and counsel Carleton University students and alumni. Try to ensure that your student is familiar with the wide range of services available through Career Services at Carleton University which include:
- Job postings
- Career On Campus Pop Ups
- Career Advising Appointments that cover: networking information, resume and cover letter review, mock interviews, interview preparation, and post-graduate education information
- Career Fairs
- Get the Tips You Need!
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. Learn more about the co-curricular record.
Try out direct employer contact – Encourage your student to find companies or organizations that fit with their interests. Your student 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 student to make time for their career planning – With many demands on time, students too often put off their career planning “until tomorrow”. Encourage your student to use Carleton University’s Career Services as early as their first year and to visit often. Do not despair, however, if your student 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.
What is the International Internship Program?
Carleton University undergraduate students are invited to apply to participate in the International Internship Program. Students can gain career-related work experience while simultaneously earning academic credit from Carleton.
How does the course work? When does it start and end?
The course work starts at the same time as your internship. The assigned Professor will work with you to discuss the assignment deadlines for your internship timeline. The assignments must be completed by the indicated dates and deadlines associated with that term. There are no lecture hours for this course.
What is the difference between the 0.5 credit and the 1.0 credit?
The 0.5 credit course requires you to complete a minimum of 150 internship hours throughout the term, whereas the 1.0 credit requires you complete at least 350 internship hours.
What is the course setup? Can I complete my other courses simultaneously? How do I balance the internship with my other courses?
The course is delivered online through Brightspace, and can absolutely be completed alongside your other courses. The course is assignment based and is designed to help you reflect on what you’re learning in the workplace while connecting with your academics. The course really helps you get the most of your internship and dive deeper into your experience.
One of the benefits of virtual internships is that they are flexible and allow for you to complete your internship part-time which helps to promote a balance between your courses and other commitments
How are my internship hours distributed? Who creates my schedule?
If you are completing your internship during the fall or winter terms you will most likely be doing your hours part-time, in order to accommodate your course load. The hours you intern can be anywhere between 10 and 25 hours per week, and can be quite flexible based on your availability and preferences. If you are doing the internship during the summer term, you are able to do the internship full-time or part-time. All of our partners will work with you on an individual basis to ensure you’re finding the hours that suit you best.
I have been accepted by an internship partner, what next?
Congratulations! This is exciting! Please ensure you stay in contact with your Internship Coordinator as they will provide the details of the next steps; including course registration and the mandatory documentation required by Carleton University. This also includes information on applying to the International Internship Bursary.
Do I have to register in the academic credit? Why?
All Carleton students participating in an international internship experience with a Carleton partner are required to register in the academic credit associated with the internship. We want to ensure all Carleton students are supported throughout their internship experience. The academic credit compliments the work you will be doing and facilitates connections between your academics and your work experience.
Should I accept the first internship position that is offered to me?
If you feel comfortable with the partner, the employer, and the kind of work being offered, then we would encourage you to go for it! If you are unsure and would like to discuss this further, please connect with your Internship Coordinator. Our partners want to ensure you are provided with an internship opportunity that aligns with your academics and your career aspirations, so please do not feel that the first option provided is the only option.
What documentation will Carleton University require me to complete to participate in the International Internship Program?
Once you are confirmed with your partner and have paid your partner fee, our Internship Team will be in touch with you to provide you with details on the next steps. This will include completing some mandatory forms for the University, including the International Internship Program Bursary Application. The forms can be accessed via the MySuccess Portal on Carleton Central. The Internship Team will be in touch with you to provide you with the details on accessing the forms.
When will I be notified of whether I am receiving Bursary Funding through Carleton?
Once you have completed all the mandatory forms required by the University, we will submit your International Internship Program Bursary Application to the Awards Office on your behalf. Once the Awards Office has received your Bursary Application, it takes approximately 10-12 business days for processing. If granted, the funds will be applied to our Student Account.
Can I participate in the International Internship Program more than once?
You can absolutely participate in our program more than once! If you’re interested in doing so, contact your Internship Coordinator and they would be pleased to work with you.