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After the success of last year’s Take Our Kids to Work Day initiative, WalterFedy once again welcomed grade nine students into our office for a day of mentorship, relationship building, and career exploration.

 

Now in its 25th year, the Canada-wide initiative invites grade nine students  to step out of class and into the working world. Under the care of a relative, friend, or volunteer host, the students have an opportunity to examine potential career courses and stimulate conversations about their job interests in a safe and engaging way. 

 

Led by Human Resources Generalist, Natalya Smith, WalterFedy’s program was designed to demonstrate life in an integrated architecture and engineering firm, and to provide the students with valuable networking, resume building, and interview advice.

 

“We wanted to go beyond providing students with career exposure—we wanted to give them an experience. Hands-on learning is an important part of deciding a future career,” said Natalya. “Our goal was to showcase the various career options available and prevent students from feeling siloed in a "typical" career path. We also wanted them to understand if they didn't know what they wanted to do just yet, that was okay too.“

 

In total, nine students from seven schools in the Region participated in our programming. It is estimated over 200,000 students participate each year.

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Combing through job boards, searching for valuable connections in your existing network, and fine tuning your social profiles can make hunting for a new job feel like a grind. But after hours of slugging away, you’re bound to see a role so perfect you can already picture yourself at your new desk drinking coffee with a collection of grade-A industry pros. When the thrill of the discovery settles, and the daydream fog lifts, reality sets in. To nab an interview, you’re going to need a standout resume.

 

Natalya Smith is a Human Resources Generalist at WalterFedy and spearheads the bulk of our recruitment efforts. Every week she reviews hundreds of resumes, looking for the next great addition to our team. What makes an application stand out from the stacks? Natalya offered us some insight into five things you can do to help bring your CV to the top of the pile. 

 

  1. Pay close attention to the organization and editing of your resume 
    Resumes that stand out are clearly organized with consistent spacing and text styles. Overcrowded text can be challenging to read, while too much white space can leave your application looking sparse. When a page is clearly organized, it’s easier to spot the keywords relevant to the position (make sure you add them!). Before you submit anything to a hiring manager, be sure to give your document a thorough edit for typos and clarity; for some hiring managers, glaring mistakes may take you out of the running. 

  2. Show us why your experience is relevant 
    We want to see you have the skills and experience needed to excel in this role. Tailor your resume to complement the expectations of the position. We can tell when you’ve put in the effort to draw parallels and it goes a long way. If you are trying to break into the field, show us experience that is relatable and take the time to explain why.  

  3. Education and training are important 
    Whether you are a new grad or an experienced applicant, we are interested to learn about your academic qualifications and personal commitment to continuous improvement. Don’t be afraid to point to a couple of courses that are relevant or distinguish you as a strong leader. This section is particularly useful for applicants coming right out of school who may not have industry experience.

  4. Call out any special skills
    No, we don’t mean your aptitude in Microsoft Word—these days that’s a given. Show us that you are familiar with the special applications, tools, technologies, and emerging platforms that are sought after in your role. Sometimes we look for these skills first.   

  5. Take some time to write a cover letter 
    Do you ever wonder if people actually read your cover letter? Natalya does. A cover letter is your opportunity to tell your story. It doesn’t have to be long, but it should be tailored to the position. We should know within the first few sentences what you are applying for and why you will be a great fit. While a cover letter is not mandatory, it is one additional way to show us you are truly interested in the position. 

 

Bonus tip: We love to see a commitment to our core values 

Quality, Integrity, Client Focus, Community Building, and Environmental Sustainability are important values at WalterFedy and demonstrating how you live out these values will go a long way. For example, because we care about giving back to our community, we would be happy to hear about your volunteer experience. While this is not a deal breaker, it certainly shows us that you share one of the values we hold dear.   

 

If there is one key takeaway, it is this: if the opportunity feels right, take a little extra time. Not only will it help elevate your application, it also goes a long way with hiring managers, who can spot when you have invested your time and care.  

If you are interested in a career at WalterFedy, check out our current opportunities at walterfedy.com/careers/.  

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