The Dos And Don’ts Of The Summer Job Search


Every year, hundreds of high school, college and university students across the country choose Starbucks as their place of seasonal employment.

But like any summer job, a position at Starbucks is only a result of a well-planned job hunt.

Kirsti Stubbs, a Recruiter at Starbucks Coffee Canada, connects with many students looking for summer employment.

“Learning from the ground up will provide valuable insight into the business, customers and products and give you foundational knowledge that will help you to be promoted once you graduate.” —Kirsti Stubbs, Recruiter, Starbucks Coffee Canada

Here, she shares some strategic advice to help job-seeking students land not just a summer job, but a position that will set them on their way towards reaching their future career goals.

Do your research!

Come prepared to your interview with knowledge about the company and questions for your interviewer. Make an effort to get to know their culture by checking out the website or speaking with an employee. At Starbucks, I recommend people visit one of our stores to find out about the product and business.

Do think about long-term career goals!

Are you interested in pursuing a marketing role in the hospitality or retail industry following graduation? Think about taking on a job in one of our stores during the summer. In many businesses, learning from the ground up will provide valuable insight into the business, customers and products and give you foundational knowledge that will help you to be promoted once you graduate.

Many times students are not yet sure what area they want after graduation. Many students who started working at Starbucks continued with us after graduation and now have senior retail leadership roles that involve marketing, HR, finance and customer service—and they don’t even sit at a desk all day!

If companies you would love to work for do not have opportunities right now, still keep in touch with someone you met in the job-hunt process. Send emails from time to time, invite them for a coffee, or send them articles you know are related to the industry or role they are in. Keeping in contact keeps you top of mind, and when you do it in a meaningful way you are proving both the value you can add and your professionalism.

Do use your network!

Networking isn’t just for full-time employment. Tell everyone you know you are looking for a summer job – you never know who might be able to help you out. One of the most effective ways to “get your foot in the door” is to know someone who works at the company you want to work for—better still if they can provide you with a great recommendation! Talk to all of the people in your social network and let them know what type of role you are looking for. If something comes to their attention you will be on the top of their mind!

Due to the recent effects of the economy not all employers are spending money to post jobs on job boards, so look at company websites and find employers on social media sites. Don’t forget to use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to assist in your job search; these tools expand your network reach and are available to you for free.

Do dress appropriately and be prepared

Make sure you dress appropriately, are ready to complete an application, and are prepared for an on-the-spot interview. A good rule is to dress so that your interviewer can picture you in the job you will be doing! No matter where you are applying though, jeans, dirty running shoes or wrinkled shirts are a big no-no in interviews. Bring your resumé and the information you need to complete an application, along with a pen and pad of paper for notes.

Don’t leave your search to the last minute!

Get your resumé out to the companies you want to target now! The larger organizations will be actively looking for their seasonal and co-op summer students months ahead of the actual start date. Start applying online, leveraging your networks, and scheduling meet and greets now!

Don’t keep your search too narrow

Remember, often the most unexpected roles provide the greatest learning experiences. Be open to many industries and types of roles when pursuing a summer job. Even if the position does not align directly with your “dream job” following graduation, you will likely have the opportunity to learn valuable skills from individuals who have senior experience, build your network, and perhaps work cross-functionally with other teams.

Also, think about the jobs that you can work at beyond the summer months. For example, at Starbucks many students decide to work part-time during school to earn extra money and gain further experience in customer service that will help them no matter what field they pursue after graduation.

Don’t underestimate the value of a great resumé

Find someone you know who is a great writer or works in the human resources industry to proofread your resumé and provide constructive feedback. Your resumé is the face of your application; it should read well and look great!

Most university and colleges offer free resumé review services at the career centre. Make sure your resumé highlights the key aspects of your past experience and education in a logical way, is easy to read, and has consistent formatting.

Don’t be late for your interview!

This one may seem like a no-brainer but keep in mind: if you can’t get to your interview in time, what does that say about your ability to show up for work on time on a regular basis?

Don’t use an inappropriate email address for resume purposes

If your email address is not something you would like your parents or teachers to see, then your perspective employer doesn’t need to see it either! Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail all offer free, easy-to-set-up email accounts; take advantage of this to set up an account specifically for job-seeking that also presents a professional email address.


Click here to visit Starbucks Coffee Canada's company profile on TalentEggClick here to visit Starbucks Coffee Canada’s company profile on TalentEgg to view available career opportunities and learn more about The Starbucks Experience.


Visit TalentEgg’s Retail Career Guide for eggs-clusive student and entry level retail jobs, plus useful articles and videos that will help you hatch your career in the retail industry.


Photo credit: College & Dovercourt Starbucks by Ian Muttoo

About the author

Cassandra Jowett is TalentEgg's Content Manager. She joined the team as a student intern in the summer of 2008, and since then her heart has never really left the Egg Carton. Cassandra is a recent graduate of the Ryerson University School of Journalism, where she earned a Bachelor of Journalism with a focus in writing and editing for newspapers. She has also written and edited for The Globe and Mail, The National Post, t.o.night newspaper and other publications.