Ways to find meaningful employment
Summer is approaching fast, and the annual scramble to find summertime employment will soon be upon Augustana students.
Experience is a valuable asset in the real world; it is important to use the limited time that you have as a student to gain as much experience and as many skills as possible before you graduate and enter the real world. Summer employment is one way to gain these valuable experiences.
Here are ten tips to make your summer job search as productive and painless as possible:
Tailor your resume and cover letter to the job for which you are applying.
Every position requires different skills and types of experience. Tailoring your resume for each position will increase your chances of getting an interview and getting hired. Highlight experiences that relate to the work.
Start your search early.
A lot of companies already have job postings for summer positions and some have already started the hiring process. (If you have not started your job search by February, then close this article and start searching.)
Make use of the U of A’s job board.
Employers who advertise here are looking for current university students and recent grads. It is a valuable resource if you are looking for a job that will give you experience in your field. Find it here: https://www.ualberta.ca/career-centre/job-postings.
Every job posting has them and if they are not present in your resume it will likely not get read. Many companies use automated recruiting software that filters out resumes that do not have these words.
Clean up your social media.
Employers should not be able to see your drunk pictures, social media tirades, or all the memes you’re tagged in.
Take advantage of the hidden job market.
Most jobs are not advertised on job boards, they are given to acquaintances and people who the employer knows. Go to networking events, ask professors, and talk to family friends to see if they are aware of any jobs in which you would be a good fit.
Be open minded.
The economy has not recovered completely and being flexible can lead to a fulfilling and well-paying summer job. Even if it is not directly related to your field, the skills that you gain will make you more employable in the future.
Get your references in order.
Make a list of all the references you can count on and make sure they are okay with giving you a reference when you apply for a job. Remember different jobs require different references, for example, an NGO may not care how good of a waiter you were but a sales job might.
Don’t be afraid to move.
It is very tempting to only look for a job in one’s hometown, but that limits the amount of jobs that are available and the types of industries one could work in. Don’t be afraid to go to a new city or town if it means making more money or gaining valuable experience in a field that you’re interested in entering.
Have clear goals and stick to them.
Do you want to gain experience in your field of study or simply make money? Do you prefer working outdoors or indoors? Does your preferred graduate or after-degree program require job experience? If so, do you want to try to get some experience this summer? These are questions you should answer honestly and make a plans around them.