Do your research
Come prepared to your interview with knowledge about the company and questions for your interviewer. Make an effort to get to know their culture by checking out the website or speaking with an employee.

Do think about long-term career goals
Are you interested in pursuing a marketing role in the hospitality or retail industry following graduation? In many businesses, learning from the ground up will provide valuable insight into the business, customers and products and give you foundational knowledge that will help you be promoted once you graduate. If companies you would love to work for do not have opportunities right now, keep in touch with someone you met in the job-hunt process.

Use your network
Networking isn’t just for full-time employment. Tell everyone you know you are looking for a summer job — you never know who might be able to help you out. One of the most effective ways to get your foot in the door is to know someone who works at the company you want to work for — better still if they can provide you with a great recommendation. Talk to all of the people in your social network and let them know what type of role you are looking for.

Dress appropriately and be prepared
Make sure you dress appropriately, are ready to complete an application, and are prepared for an on-the-spot interview. A good rule is to dress so your interviewer can picture you in the job. No matter where you are applying, jeans, dirty running shoes or wrinkled shirts are a big no-no in interviews. Bring your resumé and the information you need to complete an application.

Don’t leave your search to the last minute
Get your resumé out to the companies you want to target now. The larger organizations will be actively looking for their seasonal and co-op summer students months ahead of the actual start date. Start applying online, leveraging your networks and scheduling meet and greets now.

Don’t keep your search too narrow
Remember, often the most unexpected roles provide the greatest learning experiences. Be open to many industries and types of roles when pursuing a summer job. Even if the position does not align directly with your “dream job,” you will likely have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and build your network.


Kirsti Stubbs is a recruiter at Starbucks Coffee Canada and connects with many students looking for summeremployment. IS Canada’s online career resource for students and recent grads.

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