Looking for a summer job is never easy. Although most of us are happy that the stress and workload of school are past, the frustration and overwhelming aspects of a job search are not pleasant either. It can be difficult to find the right job, or even any job, at this point. Here are three tips to help you succeed in your search for a summer job.
- Ask your network
You might be surprised by how many job listings, and how much information, you can find just by asking your friends and family. Did you know that “60% of jobs are found through networking, not online”? (Elmers, 2021) It is very common for employers to rely on employee referrals instead of posting jobs online: it saves them money on advertising. (Doyle, 2020) Jobvite’s 2019 Job Seeker Nation Survey reports that “even though most applicants apply for jobs on a job board or employer career site, 35% found job postings on social media, 50% of respondents heard about jobs from friends, and 37% say they also learned about jobs from professional networks.” (Doyle, 2020) So before spending endless hours completing online job applications, ask around to discover what opportunities are available in your network.
- Prioritize skill development
Throughout this process, it’s important to be honest with yourself. It’s better to look for jobs that can help you develop your skills rather than those that simply earn you a paycheck. Many opportunities, such as government jobs, will help you develop marketable skills and may even lead to a contract renewal for the following summer, saving you the trouble of going through the whole job search process again. (University of Waterloo, 2020) Social skills have become very important assets to employers. “In 2018, 42% of all workers, or 65 million, held jobs in which social skills are most important. In contrast, only 19% of workers were employed in occupations in which social skills are least important.” (Kochhar, 2020) Before searching for any jobs, consider looking for those that will help you develop more skills.
- Update your resume
Given all the new strategies that companies use to check resumes, it may not be a bad idea to regularly update your resume to make it more appealing. I am sure that you know about the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) strategy, where resumes are filtered according to specific keywords. Unfortunately, “most resumes don’t get past the applicant tracking system (ATS) […] because 75% of resumes are rejected before they reach the hiring manager.” (Elmers 2021) Before embarking on a job search, consider updating your resume with specific keywords, which you can often base on the requirements and responsibilities listed in the job description. And yes, this means updating your resume to tailor it to each new job you apply for.
We hope these tips help you throughout your job search. Remember to reach out to your networks before looking online, seek out jobs that help you develop skills rather than just earn a paycheck, and update and tailor your resume to each job you apply for.
You can also visit the Career Corner to speak to career counsellors who can assist you in your job search and in marketing your skills.