As the school year comes to a close, it’s time for students to start thinking about their summer job search.
Seasonal positions provide students with an exciting opportunity to try something new and develop professional skills. Plus you can experience working in a particular industry and decide whether it is right for you.
However, it can be challenging to find a good position – the competition is stiff and you may be unsure of where to begin your search. The good news is if you do your research, start early, and perfect your application materials, you’ll have a strong chance of finding rewarding summer work.
Take a look at our top job-hunting tips to find egg-citing seasonal employment!
Start Early and Ask Around
You’ve probably heard the old proverb “the early bird gets the worm”, and the saying certainly holds true when it comes to finding a summer job. Many students don’t realize that employers often start recruiting for summer positions as early as March and April. It’s challenging to focus on finding a job when you’re still in school, but strategizing your summer work search early on makes a huge difference.
While you shouldn’t neglect your assignments, prioritize your job hunt as if it is an end-of-term project that’s worth 50% of your grade – investing in your employment prospects is just as worthy a use of your time. There are several benefits to starting your search early; for one, the sooner you begin, the more job opportunities you’ll find. Furthermore, you’ll have more time to utilize resources like your career centre, networking events, info sessions, and prepare stand-out application materials. You already have a deadline of when you need to find a job, so give yourself the gift of time and start working on your employment strategy today, rather than applying in a mad dash at the last minute.
You can start looking for a summer job right in your own backyard! Begin by simply asking your friends, family, classmates, and former bosses if they know of any openings at their workplaces – this is the most efficient way to start your search because it requires minimal time and effort. Your friends and family may have an exciting opportunity for you, and if not, they’ll at least know that you’re looking and can suggest your name if any opportunities come up. Additionally, if you know a professor or someone working in your intended field, reach out to them. If your main goal for the summer is to learn about your industry, ask the people you admire if they might take on assistants or interns. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity to come along: create your own!
Visit Your Career Centre
Visiting the career centre at your school is an essential step in your summer job search for a few reasons. Firstly, your educational institution likely has an online job board with summer employment postings that are targeted at students. In fact, many universities and co-op programs have career advisors who manage these sites and assist students with finding internship and work opportunities. Depending on how your career centre is run, it may be beneficial to get in touch with your representative and let them know you’re looking.
Secondly, these centres provide valuable resources to prepare you for your search. They may hold seminars about polishing your resume, practicing interview skills, and writing a standout cover letter, to name a few. And your career advisors will likely know where students have successfully found jobs in the past, and they may have some helpful tips on where to apply.
In addition to these resources, your career centre may host networking or recruiting events, employment fairs, or Q&A nights with professionals from different industries. Make it a top priority to attend, because you may have the chance to meet potential employers or recruiters face-to-face. You can ask them about open positions, and they’ll be more likely to remember your application if you’ve already met.
Polish Your Application Materials and Stay Organized
As every student knows, the job market is very competitive, which means that you’ll want to submit an outstanding resume and cover letter that will set you apart from the crowd. Before you apply for summer jobs, take a critical look at your application materials. Ensure that your resume and cover letter are formatted clearly with a professional-looking font. Most importantly, qualify your experiences by describing the transferable skills you developed in these roles, and note how your experiences are applicable to your intended industry.
Job applications have gone online, so assess your online presence along with your resume and cover letter. For instance, creating a polished Linkedin profile is a necessity. This is one of the first places a potential employer will look you up, so make sure that you have an appropriate profile photo, a detailed list of your skills and experiences, and a strong professional biography. Furthermore, you may want to create an online portfolio of your work and publications to attach to your applications. Being able to link your personal website on a job application can show potential employers that you take the initiative to create opportunities for yourself, which is an attractive attribute in a new hire.
Lastly, it can be challenging to keep track of all the positions you’ve applied for and their status. Stay organized by creating a document or spreadsheet to track jobs you’ve applied for, deadlines for submissions, contact information, and links to online applications. A master list of your job search will remind you when you might hear back from companies or when is an appropriate date to send a follow-up e-mail.
Utilize Online Databases
If you’ve ever been job hunting, you probably have a list of go-to career sites. Web employment resources are incredibly helpful, and can help you find lots of quality jobs at once. However, the wide variety of different sites can be overwhelming when you’re on a tight timeline. Rather than trying to use them all, it’s better to choose a few high quality sites that offer relevant content to your skillset. Check your university job board, the Government of Canada Youth Employment page, and of course, TalentEgg! Since these sites focus on student jobs, you will find more roles that you’re qualified for, which will streamline your search. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to follow the companies you’d like to work with on social media, as their platforms are often the first place they’ll post upcoming job opportunities.
Expand your search nationwide
To find even more employment options, consider expanding your search nationwide. It may seem a little daunting to spend a summer away, but being willing to temporarily relocate can give you some amazing development opportunities and an adventure! Many summer positions at resorts, national parks, and summer camps balance leadership and fun. Park districts, amusement parks, music festivals, and sales teams are often hiring seasonal employees.
If you’re concerned about the financial requirements of relocating for the summer, consider the fact that there are employers that will provide assistance with accommodations. At the end of the day, a seasonal position where you could develop valuable professional skills may be worth the effort. On top of that, you can build contacts across the country, should you ever wish to apply for a job in another area.
Just by reading this article, you’ve already started your summer job search. Just dedicate a little time each day to your job hunt and implement these steps into your strategy. Before you know it, you’ll be en route to your summer dream job!