January 11, 2011

Why you should start your summer job search today

We're now the second week of 2011 and you know what that means ... it's time to begin your summer job search!

I know, it's hard to believe. We're still in the throes of winter and here I am saying that you need to start your summer job search today.

In fact, I've always advised my friends, family, and clients to start their summer job search early and, as it turns out, I'm not alone in advising that students start their summer job search early.

But why start now?

Well, there's a number of reasons why you should start your summer job search sooner rather than later.

First of all, the new year often is when businesses and organizations look at and forecast their operational needs. Now can be a great way to try and network yourself a summer job for 2011. Perhaps you've got a great idea that can help a small business you know - or maybe your experience would be an asset for an organization looking to tackle a specific project. Now's a great time to touch base with HR managers to find out if they'll be looking to take on any summer staff.

And don't worry, even with summer a few months away, you'll find that many HR managers are already forecasting their personnel needs for all of 2011.

Who knows, you could be an integral part of those plans!

Second, now is the time to cash in on special government programs. For example, the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) has already started recruiting students for summer jobs with the Government of Canada. And provincial governments across Canada, from Ontario and British Columbia to New Brunswick have already begun their recruitment process.

And recently, the Government of Canada announced that it will invest $10 million into the Canada Summer Jobs program which should generate 3,500 more jobs for students across Canada.

Thirdly, and perhaps most grim, with the economy still sputtering to a recovery, it's likely that it will take longer to find employment - that's just the cold, hard reality for those looking for summer jobs. In particular, high-paying, high-profile experience type jobs are incredibly competitive and you need to start early to find and apply for them.

Plus, starting early lets you develop and hone your skills in how to find a summer job. You've got time to try out new things as you develop a top-notch resume and cover letter.

Lastly, and this goes without saying, starting early means you have the most selection. Don't believe me?

Well consider the Government of Ontario's Summer Experience Program, which offers students across Ontario summer jobs with the Ontario government. They post their first round of jobs on February 21 - a few months before most students finish school.

That's not to say that all summer jobs are currently advertised. But considering the highly competitive nature of finding a summer job, starting early means you'll have the most selection when it comes to applying for those types of summer jobs.

So my recommendation - take some time this week to start looking.

After all, as the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm.

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