How to Survive A Gap Year: Finding a Job You Like Part 1

So a big part of my gap year was finding jobs and working, so I figured I should have a guide on jobs. This is part one of three or four. Enjoy!

Your Resume and Cover Letter

These are the first things your future employer will see, so it’s important they look their best.

My tips for resumes and cover letters:

  1. Tailor each resume and cover letter to the position, but have a general copy you can give out to things like job fairs.
  2. Pick a design that reflects who you are but it still professional. Search Google Drive for some nice templates to use or to get inspiration from.
  3. Include everything, from awards, languages, computer skills, and volunteering experience. If you’ve done it, it counts.
  4. Have someone look over your resume and cover letter. A second person is always useful for criticism and to double check things like grammar and spelling.
  5.  Check you resume for keywords that match some of the ones in the description of the position you’re applying for, the more they match, the better. There are also websites out there that will do it for you like Jobscan.
  6. Pretend you’re selling yourself to your future employer, and highlight all your strengths!
  7. Remember to keep updating your resume, especially to check to see if anything needs to be added or is out of date.
  8. Look at other people’s or sample resumes for pointers on your own.
  9. Always have a copy or two of your resume on you while you’re job hunting to hand out to anybody that has a possible job for you!

Finding Employers and Job Opportunities

This is simply a list of potential places to look for a job, and to find a potential employer:

  1. Word of Mouth: ask your family or friends if they know of anyone or anywhere hiring.
  2. Websites of companies or malls, often they have a career section or job section.
  3. Websites like CalgaryJobShop, which have all the local job listings for an area.
  4. Government websites, provincial or federal.
  5. Go to job fairs, especially ones geared towards your field of interest or age group.
  6. Walk around a mall, or a place with lots of businesses and hand out your resumes!
  7. Kijiji or Craigslist, but be careful with these sites as there are a lot more questionable jobs on these sites.

In general, just put out the word that you’re looking for a job to as many places as possible, and usually you’ll have a few answers back! Personally, I always try to apply to two jobs a day while job hunting.


I'm a recent graduate currently living in Calgary, Alberta. You can usually find me with a cup of coffee in one hand while reading a pile of books or planning my next big project. I'm curious about many things - including history, photography, and travelling. You can find me writing away at

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