Where Do I Start Getting Experience?

There are many ways you can increase your employability. Employers are looking for a combination of the skills, experience, and attributes you gain through formal and informal education, paid and unpaid work, as well as the activities you pursue in your leisure time.


Start here 

Organize your search
Schedule time to dedicate yourself to the search and create a record-keeping system to track the opportunities you have explored, your network of contacts, etc.

Be open to different opportunities
Explore a variety of options and let yourself be open to different experiences. 

Prepare targeted work search tools
Use work search tools that are tailored specifically to the opportunity; your efforts will be far more successful than a one-size-fits-all approach. Use our resources on resumescover lettersonline profilesnetworking, and more to get started.

Start thinking about potential references
Many opportunities will request a list of references, most often when applying for jobs and international opportunities. You will need three to five people who can communicate to the organization about your related skills. Use references that know you in a professional context (e.g. employers, supervisors, professors, etc.) over family and friends who only know you personally. Review our guidebook on reference letters for more information.

Give your references advance notice and keep them updated about who might be contacting them.

Perfect your interview skills
Interviews can arise on short notice so spend some familiarizing yourself with the interview process and practice answering interview questions.

Put personal supports in place
Adding a search for new opportunities to your already busy schedule can be challenging. Think about the supports you need to help you succeed. Our career advisors and career coaches can help you clarify your search goals, diversify your search methods and tools, and prepare for pursuing an opportunity. 

Types of opportunities

Employment
Search our job postings for a variety of opportunities including full and part-time work, internships, summer jobs and temporary employment. We also hire Career Peer Educators.

Experiential Learning Inventory
Explore our inventory of experiential learning opportunities that will help you build your skills, learn about yourself, and make connections in the community.

Internships and Work Experience programs
Apply your academic knowledge to an opportunity in your field.

Funding opportunities
Take advantage of funding opportunities to pursue professional development activities.

Undergraduate research 
Put your ideas and your curiosity to work in high-impact, hands-on research experiences

International experience
Go abroad to work, volunteer, or study and build intercultural skills that will enhance your employability in the global labour market.

  • Find international opportunities

    Visit Go Abroad at the U of A International Centre

    Check our job postings

    Explore the formal agreements Canada has with over 20 countries for work abroad

    Learn about how to look for work abroad and types of positions and opportunities on Transitions Abroad, Verge Magazine, or The International Educator

    Research well-known exchange programs like JET, EPIK, AISEC, WWOOF and SWAP

    Consult the Government of Canada's publications on going abroad

  • Questions to ask before working abroad
    1. Am I comfortable with the duties and responsibilities required by the employer?
    2. What is my salary, and will it include benefits? Will I be making enough money to comfortably support myself?
    3. Do I receive health coverage from my employer? What arrangements should I make to ensure adequate health care and coverage?
    4. What is the standard of living in the host country compared to Canada?
    5. What will living and working conditions be like?
    6. What are the business and social customs in my host country? Will I be comfortable with them?
    7. What kind of documentation do I need to work in my host country (i.e. work visas or permits)?
    8. How will I communicate with my family and friends?
    9. What kind of support system will I have in my host country?
    10. Are there any political or security concerns for me to consider?
    11. What impact will a different country have on my lifestyle ( clothing, food, and leisure time)?
    12. What are my travel expenses? What is a realistic travel budget?

Leadership activities
Leadership skills are an essential skill in a broad range of industries and occupations.

Volunteering
Choose your level of commitment as you explore new areas of interest.