Some tips to keep in mind when hunting for that perfect summer job
It’s that time of year.
The days are longer, the birds are chirping, and for college students, the all-important hunt for that summer job becomes just a bit more urgent. While you may think it’s getting too late or that you’re behind in your search, all is not lost.
According to Dan Kennedy, George Brown College (GBC) career services manager, there’s no bad time to conduct a job search. In fact, Kennedy explained, it’s much less about the timeline than the methods used when looking.
“I see a lot of students say, ‘Well, I’m going to go to Indeed, I’m going to put in summer jobs’ and that’s kind of as far as they go,” he said. “When you do that, you’ll get all the summer jobs, but you’re also missing out on potentially a lot of other opportunities.”
Recent Statistics Canada reports show the prospects of securing employment for the summer may be improving in Ontario. From May through to August of 2017, the average unemployment among full-time students aged 20-24 was 13 per cent, down two per cent from the same period in 2016.
Some of this can be attributed to the federal government’s $113 million boost to the Canada Summer Jobs program through to 2018. This year, the government announced an extension of the funding for the program until 2023.
For students, finding that particular job and then actually getting it are two different challenges. Networking helps in both aspects. Some reports estimate anywhere between 60 and 80 per cent of all summer jobs are on the hidden market, meaning they’re never advertised.
Turning to those around you, whether it’s friends or even past co-workers, is always a solid plan.
“Keeping those connections warm, reaching out if you know someone who worked for the field that you might like, just to reach out and say “Hi” and see what’s going on,” said Aimee Calma, president of the College Student Alliance.
If reaching out feels a little awkward, Calma said it’s important to reframe how you see you networking.
“You do have this huge network quite literally in your hands most of the time, and I think being able to use that will really benefit you when you’re looking for the job that you want through the summer or as a grad,” she said.
Perhaps the most important avenues a student can turn to is right on their campus. GBC’s career services offers many resources and tools to help in the job hunt.
“We are a huge resource and currently, I would say that, especially at this time of year, we’re a little under-utilized,” Kennedy said.
If you have applied to a few places and haven’t heard anything back, there is no need to panic. In some cases, employers may reach out to potential candidates in mid-March or later.
Qiyue (Isabella) Sun, a business administration finance student, recalls a similar timeline with her last summer job.
“It was almost in the middle of March when I did the interview, the short interview first, and then we did a group interview the next week,” she said. “After two weeks I received confirmation that I got in.”
Top five job search tips for students
- Visit the GBC career centre to discuss your summer job goals and strategies.
- Ensure your resume is up to date and free of errors.
- Review your online portfolio or tools such as LinkedIn.
- Identify and bookmark any job search platform you plan to use.
- Reach out to your network (family, friends, past co-workers) to let them know you are searching.
Courtesy of GBC career services