Looking out the window today it is hard to imagine if summer will ever come. Snow, ice and cold temperatures grip the country. Luckily for us, the famous groundhog Wiarton Willie emerged from his burrow last week and failed to see his shadow (the lesser-known Winnipeg Willow also failed to see its shadow.) According to folklore, this suggests spring is right around the corner. Yippee! It can’t come soon enough.

With the anticipation of warmer weather comes a hard truth – the summer job search is upon us (a collective sigh can be heard.) As the days inch closer to the end of the school year, tens of thousands of students will embark on what’s known as a rite of passage for most – summer employment. Some will wait until the last possible moment to try and secure work in the summer, but if you want to significantly increase your chances of landing a great job, start now.

Here are five great reasons to begin searching for summer employment now:

    Deadlines Are Fast Approaching – Many government, industry and employer summer job programs have early deadlines. Some may have even already passed. Start researching options that are right for you. Visit federal, provincial and municipal government websites and see what summer programs exist. Some industries begin earlier than others. As well, many summer job camps hire staff early in the year to ensure they get the best people. Don’t delay, start your research now.

    Beat The Competition – Many employers take a “first come, first serve” approach to hiring for the summer. Once their hiring needs are met, they are done for the year. Contact employers early and let them know you are eager to work for them. Visit a company’s website before you submit your resume to see any current jobs that may exist and the best method for applying.

    You’ll Look More Ambitious – Employers like job candidates who know how to plan and prepare. Approaching firms early in the year shows you are ambitious and eager to work for them. Make sure your resume is up-to-date, accurate and free of any errors. Do research on an employer before you submit your resume and communicate to them your willingness to learn and work hard. Employers like these traits in a potential summer candidate.

    A Successful Job Search Takes Time – Everybody who has searched for work knows it is not easy and takes time. There are no quick options in finding employment, thus many avenues must be explored. Give yourself ample time. Those who leave the summer job search until May or June may be left scrambling. Create a plan now to tackle the job search and you’ll be better prepared to deal with the unexpected that may arise.

    Career Centre Will Be Less Busy – Many students are only thinking about upcoming assignments and course work, not their summer job search. Use this to your advantage. Visit your school’s career or guidance centre while it is less busy and speak with a career counsellor. These carer experts are invaluable in providing job guidance, resume tips, along with specific job postings. You’ll have a better chance of meeting a counsellor one-on-one right now, than in the busy months.

Starting your summer job search now is just plain smart. Lay the foundation early to develop a good job strategy that will lead to success – research government summer job programs, build your network, contact employers and visit your school’s career centre. You’ll be well on your way to a successful summer job. Good luck!


Kevin Makra is the President of Sentor Media Inc., and founder of DirectoryOfCareers.ca. He can be reached at kmakra@sentormedia.com.