It's March and you know what that means ... summer job search season has officially kicked into high gear.
But not to worry - if you haven't started looking for a job, it's not too late. Here are a few tips to kick start your summer job search.
1. Spend time to update your resume and cover letter.
Make sure you've got a top-notch resume and cover letter. For help in this area, read more about how to write a resume or how to write a cover letter. And once you've got the basics down, download the free summer job resume templates and cover letter templates that I developed after working as a youth employment counsellor in Toronto.
2. Check out the upcoming event boards at your local community centre as March, April, and May are prime months for summer job fairs.
For example, on Monday, March 11, 2012 from 2:30pm to 5pm at the Scarborough Civic Centre, Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation are hosting their 6th Annual Youth Job Fair. The job fair is open to youth aged 15-24 and a variety of employers will be in attendance. Arrive early so that you can maximize your opportunity to network with a variety of employers.
3. Visit the websites of businesses and organizations you would like to work with over the summer.
So you want to work at Wonderland? Check out the Canada's Wonderland jobs website.
Or are you looking for a job with the CNE? Then visit the CNE Jobs website for more information - although take note that most CNE jobs are released in mid-April.
How about working with the Ontario Provincial Government? Check out the Ontario Government Summer Jobs website for a complete list of summer jobs along with information on eligibility.
4. Start making a list of retail summer jobs you'd like.
If you're aiming for a retail summer job working at your favourite store or restaurant, start compiling a list of where you'd like to work. Typically, I find that retail summer jobs are released in April after the end of the first fiscal quarter as hiring managers turn their attention to their summer staffing needs.
5. No matter the odds - or the feedback you've gotten so far - keep trying!
I won't sugarcoat the truth - finding a summer job can be hard work. You might not be successful right away but keep trying. There's lots of competition for summer jobs but keep a positive attitude. And if your strategy hasn't been working, don't be afraid to change it up. Sometimes refreshing the look of your resume or trying a new application strategy (e.g. hand-delivering your application to a store manager) can make all the difference.