Saturday, January 24, 2015

Get Worked Up!

Can you believe that we are already into our third full week of the new year? The way that these past few weeks have been progressing, summer is surely just around the corner. You know what that means... time to start that summer job hunt!

Although it's tempting to put off the job search in hopes of spending 4 months laying in bed, binge watching every episode of your favourite TV series (the one you had to put off during the year in order to get those extra hours of study time in), you know just as well as I do how important it is as a student to spend those summer hours meaningfully.

OK, so now you've mustered up the motivation to leave your bed to go to work over the summer. The next step is the trickiest step, and it is the step where most people get stuck and often become discouraged: start applying to positions. This is where I come in.

Here are 5 of my best tips to getting a summer job:

Start Early

As a student, our lives can become hectic, piled with assignments and exams. You may be thinking "I'll start applying for a summer job as soon as I've caught up done with all my major deadlines for the semester". However, the reality is that most companies want to have their summer employees working as early as May or June. If you're waiting until April when finals are over to apply, you're likely too late. Although some companies do continue to hire into the summer, generally the more lucrative job positions are filled well before then. For the most options, looking into jobs you're interested in as early as the preceding Fall.

Use Your Network

When I'm looking for a job, I start by telling all of my family, friends, peers, and colleagues that I'm actively on the hunt for a job, and I give them as many details as I can about position I'm looking for (e.g. full-time vs. part-time, industry, pay expectation). Although this may seem like meaningless small-talk, each person you talk to becomes an extension of your job search. They will more than likely share the knowledge that they have about the job market with you, as well as keep an eye out for future openings that fit the description you've given them. Additionally, many jobs are unadvertised and you may only be able to learn of them through word-of-mouth.


LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking website that allows job and career candidates to set up a profile and connect with potential future employers. It allows you to create a network with colleagues and peers, view professional opportunities, and strengthen existing connections. For tips on how to create an effective LinkedIn profile, be sure to check out 7 Effective LinkedIn Strategies.

Get Yourself Critiqued

No one is perfect on their first try. Having your resume, CV, and/or cover letter critiqued is a great way to improve your application. What you may feel is clear, may be vague to someone who doesn't know your background; a critique could help you catch ambiguity. Similarly, a mock interview could help develop good interview techniques and may even help you catch nervous quirks that you weren't aware. If you are interested in having your application critiqued, or going through a mock interview while you're on campus, come by the Academic Advising & Career Centre (AA&CC), AC213, to book an appointment with a Career Counsellor.

Job Fairs

Job fairs allow you to tap into multiple companies at once. They usually happen in and around the early months of the year and are great resources to get information on whose hiring. While some companies only offer information on how and when to apply, others will take your resume on the spot so it may be beneficial to dress in business casual attire.

Happy Hunting,
Rajani Sellathurai

P.S. We're hiring! If you're interested in becoming a Get Started Coach with us this summer, please be sure to check the AA&CC website for instructions on how to apply! Applications are due Feb 23rd, 2015.

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