The summer job search is on! Getting a summer job is a rite of passage for many youth in Canada. Early work experience is valuable to prepare you for future employment. For most students, their first experience working will be in the summer.

Why should you find a job this summer?

  • to earn spending money;
  • to assist in financing your education;
  • to gain valuable workplace skills and attitudes;
  • to get hands-on experience in different work settings;
  • to help narrow down career choices for the future;
  • to build a network of contacts for future employment; and
  • to add to your resume for future job searches.

Unfortunately, having little or no formal work experience under your belt can result in a very challenging search. How do you land a job if your work history is limited? Luckily for you there are many other skills you can offer a potential employer. You are hard-working, eager to learn, and have lots of enthusiasm! That has to account for something, right? Well it does. Many employers look for these traits when hiring summer students.

Not sure where to look for a summer job?

Finding a summer job will take some research on your part. Here are some ideas of jobs or places where you could work in the summer with little or no formal work experience:

    Attractions – amusement parks, water slides, outdoor music and performance venues, local tourist attractions

    Business – sales rep., marketing rep., telemarketer, blog writer

    General Labour – construction worker, warehouse worker, gardener/landscaper, pool maintenance, cleaner, painter

    Hospitality – hotel worker, restaurant worker, tour guide, casino worker, valet parking, ice cream and food vendor, reservations clerk

    Office – administrative assistant, receptionist, clerk, data entry

    Helping – childcare, babysitter, dog walker, elderly assistant and home visitor, hospital and nursing home helper, veterinary assistant, charity organization canvasser

    Retail – grocery clerk, sales associate, cashier, coffee barista

    Recreation – camp counsellor, special event worker, pool attendant, swimming instructor, lifeguard, gymnastics teacher, golf course and driving range helper

    Other – tutoring, volunteering

These are just some of the great summer jobs you may wish to consider. I’m sure you can think of many more! If you’ve done one of these jobs in the past, why not think of doing something new this year. It will give you a whole new set of valuable skills and experiences.

Don’t forget to use social media in your summer job search. Sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ provide a great starting point. Why not look at a company’s Facebook page? Some companies post videos on YouTube. Search for employer information on Google, or check out an industry blog.

Remember that looking for a summer job takes time and effort. Start your job search early and don’t be shy about letting everyone you know that you are looking. Be specific about the kinds of jobs you’d like to do and don’t give up! Your hard work will pay off! Good luck!


Kevin Makra is the President of Sentor Media Inc., and founder of He can be reached at