Starting the On-Line Job Search
Start looking for jobs early in your program. Doing so allows you to identify desired and specific skills that you can pick up along the way. It also gives a picture of what employers are looking for, who is hiring, and where the jobs are located.
1) LinkedIn and e-Portfolios
When you begin searching for work, start by creating an on-line profile through LinkedIn. This is effectively your on-line resume. Supplement this by creating an e-portfolio as well. LinkedIn is also a job search site, but it is one in which both potential employees and employers are actively searching. It is the primary way that employers find skilled, university-educated employees.
2) Know Your Keywords
Knowing which search terms to use is as important as knowing which sites to go to. Typing in 'geography' or 'geographer' may generate some useful results, but more likely than not, you'll find these too limiting.
Consider some of the following search terms:
- Skill-specific terms: "GIS", "sampling", "data analysis", "planning", or "sustainability", "writing"
- Experience-level terms: "entry-level", "recent graduate", "university graduate"
- Interest and discipline terms: "environment", "environmental", "social science", "physical geography", "urban studies", "housing"
- Certification or job-type terms: "agronomist", "technician", "practitioner"
3) Begin Your Search
Aggregators. These sites pull together job postings from multiple other sites, and they can save time in an initial job search.
Sites Posting Government Jobs
Jobs for Students (Co-op, Internships) and Recent Alumni
Area-Based Job Portals
Professional/ Industry Job Portals
Green Jobs and Non-Profits
Disclaimer: UFV is not responsible for the content of these sites.
The Geographer's Job Market
The employment landscape across the lower mainland, the rest of BC, and across Canada is highly variable. The more flexible you are in where you are willing to work, the better your job search will go. The Lower Mainland is a hyper-competitive labour market. Consider that within the lower mainland there are multiple universities and colleges graduating thousands of future professionals as well.
Many rural BC communities and other parts of Canada are in need of skilled professionals as well, and there is less competition among applicants for many positions. These areas of the province and of Canada offer tremendous opportunities and are typically much less expensive areas in which to live. Wages for similar jobs may reflect variations in local costs of living and employment competitiveness. Don't be surprised if starting ranges in some areas are lower than they are regionally.
Be willing to travel in order to get the experience you need. Once you have this, then you can come back to the lower mainland with greater qualifications than, you guessed it, the newest crop of graduates from area universities and colleges.