It’s that time of year again — if you’ve ever looked for a summer job before, you know what we’re talking about. Some start searching as early as October of the year before, and others start after the school year ends. Preference aside, winter and early spring are actually optimal times to start the hunt. Here are some tips that will hopefully steer you in the right direction for your summer job search:
- Decide what you want to do
This may seem obvious, but you will be much happier if you work at a job you love doing. Not everyone is able to get a summer position in their chosen field, but focusing on a certain kind of job will help narrow your search. Do you want practical experience to supplement your studies? Is money your top priority? Are you interested more in an internship or a job?
If you can help it, make sure the job you are looking for suits your personality. Do you get restless sitting at a desk all day? If so, you might consider a job outdoors. Want to hone your writing skills? Try looking up internships for magazines, newspapers, or publishing companies. If you shape your search around your interests, it is likely you will be happy at your summer job.
- Look outside your comfort zone
The previous point being said, you never know what hidden passion may lie in you for, say, teaching, if you don’t get to experience it firsthand. Obviously, if you know you hate something, don’t try working in that field. But if you’ve always had a passing interest in human biology or wanted to learn more about computers, take the opportunity to look for summer jobs in these fields that do not require much experience.
- Take advantage of your school’s resources
Now that you’ve decided what kind of job you want, be sure to use all that your school offers you. Inquire at your department’s office about upcoming job fairs. Look into your school’s online hubs for job postings. An example of this is the University of Toronto’s Career Learning Network, where updates are posted frequently regarding events like resume workshops. Jobs are posted for positions both within and outside the school. Many students overlook what their school can offer them, so be sure to take proper advantage of what part of your tuition pays for.
- Search online centres and company websites for job postings
Websites like TalentEgg can be very useful when looking for summer jobs. Employers post their guidelines and requirements for the positions they are looking to fill, and you are free to apply to any of them online. If you have a specific company in mind, they almost always have a “Careers” or “Internships” section in which you may find postings for summer positions. Nothing online? Pick up the phone and ask if they’re hiring – it can’t hurt.
- Use your own personal connections
Again, this may seem obvious, but try asking around for summer work. One of your professors may need some extra help. Your parents’ friend may need a tutor for their child. There might be something for you right under your nose. If you think you will get something out of the experience of assisting your professor or tutoring your family friend’s kid, then go for it. You may even discover you want to continue working in a lab or teaching math.
There are of course a large number of ways one can find work, but this should be a good starting point for you. Have any personal experiences you want to share? Start the conversation on Facebook.