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Seven Tips for Successfully Landing a Summer Job

Finding a great summer job can sometimes feel like a never-ending nightmare of endlessly scrolling through irrelevant online job listings, but it doesn’t have to be. Considering these seven simple tips and tricks will put you well on your way to skillfully finding your ideal job this summer, as well as getting that much-needed work experience while earning some cash!


1.      Brainstorm several types of jobs you could see yourself in.

Before you even commence looking at job postings on Indeed or passing out resumes to nearby businesses on a sunny Saturday afternoon, it is helpful to consider what type of job you hope to get this summer. Would you like to be server at a local restaurant, a camp counselor, or work in an office? Maybe you had a more outdoors-based job in mind? Taking five minutes to generate a list of keywords associated with your dream summer job, potential job titles or even possible businesses that you would like to work for can help you narrow your search and prevent you from becoming too overwhelmed. This list can also develop into a great collection of search terms that you can use while looking at job-hunting websites.


2. The Internet is any job hunter’s best friend.

Job websites are definitely useful when it is time to start your important summer job search. Periodically checking the University of Guelph’s Co-Operative Education and Career Services website is a fantastic way to learn about upcoming job fairs, job-hunting tips or other special events. Recruit Guelph, associated with the Co-Operative Education and Career Services, is a particularly helpful website for all students and alumni of the University of Guelph. Each job posting normally indicates the job title, the company it is associated with, if the job is full-time, part-time or a summer position, where the job is, and the application deadline. Other job search websites such as Young Canada Works require applicants to quickly create personalized accounts before they start searching. Also, there is always the Ontario Association of Art Galleries job line for artsy Gryphons. This organization’s website provides valuable links for current students seeking summer, part-time, full-time or contract employment in the arts, culture and heritage sector.

3. But sometimes asking people works too!

Consulting your human best friends can also help you get hired. The businesses and organizations they work for may be seeking summer students. It can additionally be beneficial to ask businesses that you know and admire if they are hiring summer students. Local businesses love to hire people who already adore their products and organization. And you never know, if they need someone talented like you to cover other employees’ summer holiday time.


4. Draft your cover letter to demonstrate your awesomeness.

Great resumes are important, but don’t underestimate the power of the often misunderstood cover letter. Your cover letter is your opportunity to show your prospective employer that you are the best candidate for the job and that selecting anyone else for the position would be a mistake. Writing a cover letter is also your chance to show your prospective employer how your talents and experience match with the job in question. When I have written my job cover letters, I found that carefully reading the job posting and then attempting to link my work experiences with key elements of the job posting was a good way to concretely illustrate how I could benefit the organization.


5. Proofread like a pro.

Proofreading is a tedious but necessary step to getting your dream summer job. At best, spelling mistakes, awkward phrasing, and grammatical errors may make your application difficult to understand. And at worst, these flaws may make you appear unprofessional and give the impression that you don’t truly care about the position. 


6. Check your email and phone frequently for interview requests.

After you have sent your stellar applications out, it is a good idea to check your email and phone messages regularly. Quickly responding to interview requests is an excellent way to show that you are serious about the job!


7. And finally…

If you get one or even several interview requests, congratulations! But if you have waited a few weeks and still not heard anything, don’t be afraid to send a quick follow-up email or phone message to ask if any decisions have been made in the hiring process and to reaffirm how much you’d love to work at the organization. Do not give up if you aren’t getting immediate interview requests. My mother once said that looking for a job was a job in itself, and I never really understood what she meant until I turned fifteen and started to look for my own first job. Good luck!

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