Dear Working Wise:
I read a newspaper article last week that said the job market for summer students is going to be tough again this year. What can my son do to increase his chances of landing a good job this summer and save for university? Signed, Concerned Mom
Dear Concerned Mom:
It’s hard to predict what will happen this summer, but last summer was tougher for students than in past years.
The good news is that Alberta has the third-lowest unemployment rate in the country—there is still a lot of opportunity out there.
What this means is that your son just may have to work a little harder and try a few new techniques. Here are some tips to help your son land a good summer job.
Students should start looking for a summer job in the spring—not after the May long weekend.
Write a resume
More and more employers, even fast-food restaurants, expect resumes. If you’re not sure how to write a resume, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) web site at http://alis.alberta.ca/ and check out their tip sheets and sample resumes. Show your future boss that you mean business by ensuring your resume is free of errors and looks professional. Ask a parent or someone else you trust to review your resume and make suggestions. You can also use the free e-Resume Review Service on the ALIS website.
Target your resume and cover letter
Write a new cover letter for each job you apply for—stressing your most relevant skills and experience right up front.
Use your network of friends and family to get the message out that you are looking for work. Most jobs are not advertised—networking is a great way to tap into that hidden job market.
Target your search
Check all the usual places for job postings like the job bank http://www.jobbank.gc.ca, online job boards, your school’s job board, My Job Finder magazine, and the classifieds in your local newspaper. You can try targeting businesses that get busier in the summer. You might also want to target industries that interest you. A summer job is a great way to explore a career before you invest years of post-secondary training. The experience and people connections you develop may also make it easier to break into your chosen career after you graduate.
Attend job fairs
Did you know that there are job fairs happening all year long around the province? Check out upcoming job fairs near you at http://employment.alberta.ca/jobfairs.
Use government services
The federal and provincial governments offer free career services, including help with resumes, job interviews, and job searches. Put these free services to work for you.
Labour Market Information Centres
Visit: http://employment.alberta.ca/lmic to find the centre nearest you.
Visit: http://employment.alberta.ca/lmic to find the service nearest you.
Service Canada Centres for Youth
Open May – August every year
Visit http://www.youth.gc.ca/eng/topics/jobs/sccy.shtml to find the centre nearest you.
Prepare for the job interview
Once you’ve got a job interview, put your best foot forward. Check out the job-interview tip sheets on the ALIS web site at http://alis.alberta.ca/.
Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. This column is provided for general information.
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