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Steps to get hired

Co-op students at Centre for Career Action in the Tatham Centre preparing for interviews
Quick links:
  1. Update résumé and cover letter
  2. Keep skills inventory up-to-date 
  3. Confirm your student file is up-to-date 
  4. Confirm your work term status is correct
  5. Order business cards for employer networking opportunities 
  6. Prepare for interviews
  7. Attend employer information sessions
  8. Communicate with your student advisor or a career advisor
  9. Check email daily


1. Update résumé and cover letter

Keep your résumé and cover letter up-to-date so you’re ready when jobs are posted. Keep your résumé:

  • organized,
  • error-free,
  • current,
  • and honest.

Résumé writing resources

To learn more about the résumé and cover letter components of your job application package in JobMine, please review job application packages.

Helpful tips for writing cover letters

  • Compose letters that reflect your own personality
  • Never copy someone else’s letter
  • Send handwritten letters only when requested by the employer
  • You may not have time to write a cover letter for every job you apply for
  • Write tailored letters for those positions you’re most interested in
  • Don’t address your letters to an individual. Remove the greeting line or replace it with “Dear Recruiter.”
  • For more information about cover letters, please review the cover letter how-to guide.

2. Keep skills inventory up-to-date

Your skills inventory is used by Co-operative Education to match you with potential jobs for which you may be qualified. The inventory is designed to:

  • record your technical and transferable skills,
  • your employment interests,
  • your geographic preferences for employment,
  • as well as any crucial campus commitments you may have (e.g., final exam timetable, date leaving campus).

Log into JobMine to update your skills inventory under your profile and make sure it’s still relevant.

How is the skills inventory used?

The skills inventory is primarily used when you have not found employment by the beginning of continuous round of interviews.

If you’re a potential applicant for a job, Co-operative Education will contact you by e-mail and ask if you’d like to be considered for the position. This application doesn’t count toward your maximum 50 applications.

Your Skills Inventory can be used by any CECA staff assisting with your employment search. The database is used to:

  • identify potential candidates for a position that might not have been posted
  • identify potential qualified candidates for an employer who received few applications
  • determine your final exam timetable to try to avoid scheduling you for an interview at the same time
  • examine ways students are developing their skill sets

3. Confirm your student file is up-to-date

To confirm your file is current, you can access your student file in JobMine or you can request for a hardcopy at the Information Centre in the TC.

The hardcopy contains:

  • work term performance evaluations
  • work report evaluations and employer comments
  • plan modification forms (if applicable)

The online version in JobMine contains:

  • term cards with academic and work term status
  • status-related comments
  • skills inventory
  • application package

Hardcopies of your file will be shredded six months after graduation. If you withdraw from co-op hardcopies are kept for one year. Electronic copies of your file are kept indefinitely.

Contact the Information Centre by email, or call 519-888-4026 to get a copy of your employment history after you graduate.

Double-check unofficial grade report

  • Check that your grades are up-to-date and correct by viewing your unofficial transcript through Quest. Many employers look at your marks in the job application process.

Confirm your co-op student record is correct

  • Your co-op student record is found in JobMine. It displays the name and location of past employers, job titles, performance evaluations, and the number of work reports credited.

Confirm your work term credits are correct

Work term credits appear on your co-op student record as an employer evaluation (e.g., Outstanding, Excellent, etc.) and CR on Quest.

  • If you fail a work term, it appears as Failed on your record and as NCR on Quest.
  • If an evaluation from an employer is not received by Co-operative Education, it appears blank on JobMine, but as NG on Quest.
  • If you successfully completed an eight-month work term, it appears as two distinct employer evaluations on JobMine.

4. Confirm your work term status is correct

Before applying for jobs either through JobMine or on your own, please ensure your work term status is correct.

5. Order business cards for networking

A supply of 45 cards costs $5.00.

Many students take advantage of personalized cards that can be used as “calling” or “business” cards when meeting potential employers either through the co-op interview process, or their own job search.

How to order:

  • Complete and submit the Business Card Order Form.
  • Make your payment in advance, by WatCard only, at the Information Centre, Ground Level, TC. Alternatively, you can email the Information Centre a scanned copy of your WatCard.
  • If you’re off-campus, you can have the cards mailed to you for the tax-included amount of $7.00 ($5.00 for the cards plus $2.00 for shipping). Place your order online, then email the Information Centre. Please include your full name, address, and attach a scanned copy of your WatCard.
  • Only pre-paid orders will be processed for printing.

Be honest:

If you’re found guilty of misrepresenting yourself on your business cards, you may be subject to penalties as outlined in UWaterloo Policy 71.

Business card Order and Pick-Up Dates:

Order and pay by or before 3:00 p.m. (Tatham Centre, Information Centre) Pick up after 1:00 p.m. (Tatham Centre, Information Centre)      
January 14, 2016 January 21, 2016
February 4, 2016 February 11, 2016
February 25, 2016 March 3, 2016
March 17, 2016 March 24, 2016

6. Prepare for interviews

Review the marketing yourself module> interview skills of the Career Development eManual to help prepare you for interviews.

7. Attend employer information sessions

Employers use information sessions to promote their organization and potential co-op positions to you.

Scan the employer information sessions calendar to learn about information sessions and to find out when employers will be making presentations.

8. Communicate with your student advisor or a career advisor

If you have already had a first work term, any time prior to and during the hiring process, as well as on your co-op work term and after you return to campus, your student advisor is your main point of contact.

If you haven’t had a first work term yet, a career advisor will be your main point of contact.

Please view the student and career advisors webpage, for more information on what they do.

9. Check email daily

Our main method of contacting you is via email.

You must check your Waterloo-assigned email account regularly. Co-operative Education may try to reach you during your job search.