Even though it's the end of February, it's -30 degrees out, and summer seems like an eternity away, now is the best time to start looking for a summer job.
Well, two reasons. One, some companies have already started hiring - theme parks and large government agencies/departments are known for recruiting early because of the number of people they hire every year. And two, getting a head start on searching for a job will give you more time to develop and hone your job search strategy before the bulk of job postings come out in April/May.
If you're going to be looking for a summer job in 2015, start by downloading the 2015 Summer Job Application Tracking Sheet. It's important that you stay organized when researching and applying for various summer job opportunities and the tracking sheet will keep all relevant information in one easy-to-use spreadsheet.
At this stage, use the tracking sheet to keep track of companies and organizations that you are interested in working for over the summer. But don't just list Company A or Organization B because you like their products or vision or your best friend works there. Instead, visit their website and their careers website, scour job boards, and search through Google to see if it's likely they will be hiring. If it looks like they might be hiring (or already are actively recruiting), add them to the sheet along with details of the roles you would like to apply for. If it looks like they may not be hiring or you aren't certain, you can still add them to the list but add a note and a reminder to follow-up in a few weeks.
After a few hours, you should have quite a substantial list of companies and organizations that you would like to pursue. But don't worry about the length of the list. Instead, focus on collecting as much information as you can on each organization so that once they start hiring, you've already done your research and can spend your time crafting a perfect cover letter and resume.
The tracking sheet is available as a free download via Google Drive. To download the form, click File, and then Download As. You can download the file in Excel, OpenOffice, CSV, or PDF format and feel free to amend it for your own use.