If you are like tens of thousands of other college and university students you have just wrapped up your exams and are looking forward to the summer break. But wait! Remember that task you were supposed to do back in February and March to get ready for summer? It was to help you make money to pay back some of your debt and afford you that short vacation you’ve been waiting for. Right! You were supposed to look for a summer job.
Far be it for me to say ‘’I told you so!” but as they say “if the shoe fits!” I know, I know, you were busy with school and didn’t have time to think about a summer job. It’s all in the past. Let’s turn this stressful situation into a positive experience and work together to kick-start your summer job search. With some perseverance, dedication and hard work you can still find a great job.

[View summer jobs on Workopolis]

Here are ten great summer job search tips:

    Develop a Smart Plan – You have a bit of catching up to do, but there’s still time. Get organized! Write down daily tasks that must be accomplished. For example, in the morning visit online job boards, go on Linked In and connect with others, and check out local employer websites to find posted jobs. In the afternoon, pound the pavement in your neighbourhood. Spend a reasonable amount of time on your job search each day.

    Approach Local Businesses – Don’t just sit at your computer searching for a job online. Get out in your neighbourhood! Look for help wanted signs in windows, or just interesting places you’d like to work. Try to speak to a manager and ask them if they are hiring. Even if they say no, smile and hand them your resume. Employers that can see the person associated with the resume is a huge plus in your favour. Don’t forget to dress professionally.

    Treat Application Forms Like Resumes – If you are asked to complete a job application form, treat it as important as your resume. Make sure your handwriting is legible and complete all the sections of the form. Make sure dates and job titles your write on the form are accurate and consistent with those listed on your resume.

    Talk to Others – Talk to family, friends, job counsellors, acquaintances, or pretty much anyone that will listen to you. There is no shame in letting people know you are searching for summer work. Make it sound like an opportunity, rather than a struggle. Some of your friends may already have found jobs and can put in a good word for you to their bosses. The more people who know you are searching, the better.

    Be Confident – When looking for a job, remember, the product is YOU! Employers want to hire people that are well-rounded and eager for a challenge. They like people who are professional and courteous. They like people who work well with others. Let your personality and confidence shine through. Give them every reason to hire you!

    Use Social Media – The most professional website for job seekers is LinkedIn. If you don’t have a profile on LinkedIn, maybe now is the time to set one up. Also ensure your Facebook page is free from any content that may be questionable. When you Google your name, what comes up? Undoubtedly, employers will search for you online. What will they find?

    Tap the Hidden Job Market – Think about those businesses that do well in the summer. Amusement parks, campgrounds, community pools, stadiums and arenas, restaurants and cafes (especially those with patios!), golf courses, tennis courts, and beaches are just a few of the places where summer jobs exist. Think of as many places as you can and submit your resume to them.

    Start Your Own Business – There is no better way to gain valuable skills and experience than by working for yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated. Offer services such as dog-walking, house painting, car washing, grass-cutting, baby-sitting, or spring cleaning services to others in your neighbourhood.

    Visit an Employment Centre – While many others will be seeking the assistance of a job counsellor this time of year, it doesn’t hurt to meet with an expert. Show them your resume, discuss your options and ask questions. You’ll be surprised what you can learn from a professional reviewing your resume. Go online to search for an employment centre near you.

    Don’t Get Discouraged – You may find that many deadlines have already passed for summer job programs and the submission of employment applications. Don’t get discouraged. Keep focused on the task at hand. Your best strategy is to seek out those employers that need to hire last-minute. Firms are always looking for good people.

Looking for a summer job is never easy. Time may not be on your side, but you have many strategies at hand that can catapult your summer job search efforts. Be determined, work hard and stay the course. Any job search that combines all of these successful traits is sure to succeed. Good luck!


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