Serving Freight, Customs and Logistics Professionals in North America  
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Resources for all Students and Recent Graduates of Industry Education Programs       Tel:   (416) 865-0695 toll-free 1 (866) 996-9984

The following information provides Tips on Self-Marketing and outlines the various directories, associations, publications and other resources available for review in making direct approaches to potential employers. See also Organizing Your Job Search and for articles links.

Progressive employers view talented graduates as a valuable resource for future growth. They often have co-op placement programs and from these temporary placements, they determine which candidates to keep in mind for future hiring.

Career Paths In The Industry - Typical paths of  career progress from entry-level to management within Freight Forwarding, Customs Brokerage and Corporate Logistics.

See: Education Programs Page

Changing the Student's Perspective:
The business world and the student world are two different realities. As a student, you acquire knowledge, in the business world you learn how best to apply it for productive results. Changing how you see yourself is important to market yourself effectively. You are your own ambassador. You want to think in entrepreneurial terms: How can I create buyer interest in my skills and knowledge? This means dressing differently, speaking differently and keeping foremost in mind that you are marketing the person that you are - your personality strengths, your enthusiasm, your values, your willingness to be a team-player.

Personal Presentation:
You can never go wrong dressing in standard business attire. Avoid very casual clothes, stay with the basic blues, greys and browns for suits. For females, the classic look is the skirt and blazer combination. You want the interviewer to be interested in you, not distracted by unusual ties or colour combinations. Naturally, good personal hygiene and grooming are expected. Avoid flashy jewelry and, unless you are certain that the company has a liberal acceptance of modern, personal styles, keep your hair one color and remove face jewelry, piercings, etc.

Do Your Research and Prepare Your Questions:
The biggest advantage you can have going into an entry-level position interview is to have conducted prior research on the company. Knowing the
company's recent growth or new projects/products launched means you can ask intelligent questions which will impress the employer. The best
area of a company's website to access this information is in the Press Releases or What's New section of their site. Even one simple question about
the company's plans or current successes asked can distinguish you from the competition. Asking good questions is covered in the following articles:
Questions To Ask Employers and Assessing Potential Employers and Why Should We Hire You? and  Being Interviewed - A Primer.

How Do I Get Hired With Minimal Experience To Offer?
The biggest assets you can bring to an job interview when you have little or no practical experience are your communications skills, your listening
skills, your flexibility and your enthusiasm. The ability to communicate effectively, maintaining good eye-contact and asking questions concisely
and in a focused manner, listening actively instead of passively, thinking ahead to what you are going to say next, and the personality and attitudes
that you project to the interviewer are as important  - if not more so - than a good academic resume. At the entry-level, you are hired more on your
ability to communicate effectively and the willingness to learn and accept instruction with enthusiasm than any other intangible factors.

Keeping The Job That You Get:
Getting a job is an accomplishment, keeping the job you get requires different skills. Within the corporate world it is vital to interact positively with people, be a team-player, have a teachable attitude and concentrate on building working relationships both inside and outside of your employer. Technical competence is important but gaining the cooperation of other people leads to mutually rewarding achievements. Leadership is learned and it begins with knowing your strengths and weaknesses and how to apply these from a foundation of strong personal values and principles.

Organize Your Job Search Resources:

Step-by-Step Self-Marketing Plan 

Gather your Resources:  See for links to many articles on job search that accompany the following.

Review the publications and on-line resources which follow these Tips and create a list of emails and URLs/web addresses of sites you want to review.

Some of these sites should include:

- Review Association Websites
in a specific industry sector as these often contain the names of industry member companies

- When you are reviewing an Association website, look for the Member's Directory as this will list company names

- Internet Recruiter Directory websites - this page in our Job Search Guide is a good place to start to identify recruiters
  active in your industry

- McGill University has an excellent .pdf that provides updated links to research Industry Sectors in Canada

- The Canadian government has a Job Bank portal which lists Jobs across Canada

- Other resources could include Chambers of Commerce, Industry Trade Journals and Publications which are often
  found in the Links area of an Association's website

- Salary averages in hundreds of different positions and companies - an excellent site for research,7_IM976.htm

Do Research on the Internet:

To obtain  names and contact information visit the websites of companies and click on their 'Contacts'  or 'Locations'
or 'About Us' or 'Offices' pages. Some companies still list names and emails of hiring managers in one of these sections
of their site.

Concentrate on those Companies who can utilize your Experience:

If your chosen trade area is in the Far East for example, approach those companies which are active in Asian trade-lanes - forwarders, steamship companies, importers/exporters, trading companies.

Ensure that your Resume is error-free:

If English is your second language, have it reviewed by someone who is fluent in English to ensure that the text is clear and there are no mistakes in spelling, grammar or sentence construction. The same applies to any cover letter which you might wish to include.
Brief, concise and focused are the keywords in an e-resume; avoid lengthy descriptions and stick to bullet points that are easily
read and have been polished to eliminate unnecessary words. You don't need to tell the reader your life story.

Use a business-like email address that includes your name for ready identification in an Inbox:

Also, since you have an email address, be sure to note this in your resume and make the link active for people to follow up with you.
Avoid using an unusual/funny/silly/strange or otherwise un-businesslike tag for your email address. The person who has an email
tag like  isn't going to get many replies! If necessary, create a separate email account just for job search and
make certain that it identifies you by name. This makes it easier to find you in a list of hundreds of emails received.

Send your Resume to the logical Hiring Authority:

If your interest is sales & marketing, send your resume to the Sales Manager or Director of Sales. If your background is export operations, send it to the Export Manager, and so on. For the best result, send your resume to the person who would logically be involved in making a hiring decision for your experience level.
It is always a good idea to send your resume to a named Human Resources Manager in the company as there may be other hiring situations developing which a department manager may not be aware of in other areas or divisions of a company. This is also likely to be the first department of a company that will see you in the pre-selection process.

Research and verify the Spelling of the Hiring Authority's name:

It is more effective to send your resume to an actual person. We strongly recommend that you take the time to research the right name and position title of the intended recipient of your resume be it a department manager or an authority in HR. Google search terms example: controller+toronto will bring up results
that include those search terms in the results. Search terms that include company/location/title will tend to identify the person who is in  that company, that city and that job. Another method is to use the universal '@' sign to identify potential contacts in a company, and add the location: ' Mississauga'. Experiment - search terms when used properly are powerful tools to identify information.

Use a site like LinkedIn to quickly search for contacts in a given company or at a certain position level.  This is our company profile
to access:
. Use the Company search engine and refine your terms. For more information on using this type of social media, see the
article we have written to introduce the LinkedIn resources: Tips For Using LinkedIn Features & Resources or

Create a generic email message in your Drafts folder:

A carefully composed standard message that can be easily modified and tailored to different positions is very useful to have
to copy/paste. Insert telephone contacts and how you can be reached at the top of the message.

Make your Email message count - say why you are writing:

Busy executives dislike having to guess why someone is writing because the sender left the message blank and just attached a resume.
If you have gone to the trouble of sending someone an email, you need to ensure that you include:

- An attachment in one of the following standard formats: .doc - .txt - .rtf - .pdf. Avoid .wps or .wpd or unusual file formats
- A Subject line that says why you are writing - do not leave this area blank, it is a waster opportunity to connect
- An attachment/resume file name that clearly identifies who you are: save it in your own name - don't put resume.doc because it makes you
  hard to identify from dozens of icons on the desktop of a busy manager
- Your telephone numbers at the top of the text of your email message - home and cel - make it easy to identify how to reach you
- A pasted .txt copy of your resume below the text of your email message - even if you include an attachment; you save the reader time and effort
- Standard fonts in your resume - times new roman, courier, arial, tahoma are all easy to read - avoid strange colours
- Keep it professional - avoid cute icons, emoticons and message footer flash or static banners that distract from your message

Make your Email message brief and focused:

Busy executives dislike having to scroll through a long email message to get to the core of the message. State your objective clearly and briefly in a few sentences - edit and re-edit this. Make sure the Subject line clearly expresses your objective. Tell the reader that you are available at their convenience or a message can be left at a given telephone number.

Useful Links for Research:  - This is a portal we have created, a unique resource of links to the Industry's job-boards and hundreds of companies in the Transportation sector. Other useful links: Freight-Customs Links Page.


  Job Search Guide     Candidate Selection      Being Interviewed         New: Graduates & Students

eBook formats are available now on Lulu, Kobo, and Amazon for Job Search Guide and Being Interviewed.
The Insider's Guide To Job Search will be published by Friesen Press in Summer, 2013.
Email us for details: for other formats

You can review the Table of Contents of each eBook on our Linkedin Company Page,
along with an introductory YouTube video.

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