By Melany Hallam
Monday, June 01, 2015
More than any other kind of employment, summer jobs are most often found through people you know. Think of it from the employer’s point of view for a minute. Why go through advertising a position, wading through resumes and interviewing applicants to find a person who is only going to be with your company for a few months? I sure wouldn’t want to do it.
As a university student, I found work through my dad. For three summers I worked in the smelter and the refinery at a nickel mine in northern Manitoba and made great money. I never had a student loan and I never had to resort to ramen noodles five times a week like some of my friends.
But you know what? I made a big mistake. When it came time to apply for real jobs after graduation, I found that working as a labourer in a mine wasn’t something I could put on my resume when looking for work as a journalist. Yes, I had the education but work experience, contacts, and a portfolio is what really gets you hired in that industry.
So how does this help your summer job search right now in Powell River? If all you do is keep your eyes and ears open for any kind of job related to your interests or your field of study, it may pay off big for you down the road. Why not give it a shot?
Here are five things you can do to find something that may help you with your long-term plans:
- Talk to everyone you know. And then ask them to talk to everyone they know. Otherwise known as networking, it really can get you where you want to go. Here’s an inspiring story from a young job seeker who found his dream job by going for coffee with 110 people (not all at the same time!)
- Quality not quantity. Sometimes it’s better to spend a lot of time on just a few applications to jobs that you really want. Stand out from the crowd by making sure you address your application to the right person, include keywords mentioned in the job description and tailor your resume to the job requirements. Career Link has many more resume and cover letter tips in our free workshops; see the schedule here.
- Clean up your image. Like any job search, seasonal or full-time, employers will look you up online. If there’s anything embarrassing or damaging out there, it’s better if you find it first and clean it up. You could start by looking yourself up here.
- Get creative when looking for jobs online. Don’t confine yourself to the usual job search sites.
- If there’s a company you’d like to work for, try following its Twitter feed. Jobs might come up here first, especially short-term ones. Take a look at @ScotiabankJobs or @RogersCareers, for example. Here’s some advice on how to find last-minute summer jobs on Twitter.
- Here’s a list of Canada’s top 100 employers for young people.
- Here’s a long list of ideas for “Cool, Unusual, Unique, and Seasonal Jobs” from this Washington state-based employment website.
- Try looking outside Powell River. There are also lots of traditional summer jobs in BC, such as fruit picking in theOkanagan, tree planting in Northern BC, and working as adeckhand in the fishing industry. If nothing else, some of these jobs might give you a better idea of what you don’t want to do as a career! Here are some websites to try: