Start the search in September. Seriously. - Metro US

Start the search in September. Seriously.

Most college and university students start their summer job search in February. But actually, job searching much earlier —in September — can lead to summer employment.

In the beginning of September 2010, I began looking for work-study positions at my university. The Federal Work-Study Program allows students like me to gain some extra cash while still putting school as their first priority.

The program restricts students to a maximum of 12 working hours per week and usually runs from September to early March.

After sending my resumé and cover letter to a few work-study positions, I was invited for an interview and was granted the position of Research Assistant at the Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (HPME).

I truly enjoyed my time and my work with the professor and her team, but found myself searching for a summer job as April 2011 came around.

To my surprise, my professor offered to hire me from May to August, as a summer student with her team.

And even more amazing than that, I was accepted as a graduate student in that same department! Searching for jobs early on in September really paid off.

Based on my experience, I would recommend career centres continue actively promoting and advertising the Federal Work-Study Program so that students can be informed of these types of opportunities.

The Federal Work-Study Program has worked wonders for my career and I sincerely hope that it will do the same for others as well.

I also hope that my fellow students learn how important it is to start your job search early, in September when companies are hiring students who are going to graduate that year.

Students often start their job search in February or even later on in the year but I hope I can encourage students to start their job searches as early as possible.

Key take-aways from Tommy’s experience:

  • Don’t leave job-searching to the last minute. If you want a job after graduation, then start applying when employers are hiring: in September.
  • Networking is vital to landing any job — if employers can put a face to a name, you’ll stand out from the numerous resumés they receive every day.

Where Tommy is now

I am currently a graduate student at the Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (HPME), the same department where I held a work-study position.

TalentEgg.ca, Canada’s online career resource for students and recent grads, wants to hear your Student Voice. Share it at TalentEgg.ca.

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