Getting the jump on your summer job can mean a big difference in both your earnings and your work experience, as top jobs tend to be scooped up early. However, you’re probably not thinking about a summer job while bundling up for the winter chill – but maybe you should.
Here’s why you should start your job search over the holidays:
1. Right time
Companies often start looking at their summer staffing needs at the start of the year. Application deadlines for some positions come up even as early as January. You don’t want to miss an early deadline for a prime job.
2. Right place
You’ll likely be together with family and friends, which represents a prime opportunity to network and find out about summer employment opportunities in their networks.
3. Right atmosphere
Your family and friends will likely be in a festive mood with all the good company, great food, and maybe a little nog. What better time to strike up a conversation with uncle Ernie by the punch bowl about summer job opportunities.
Face-to-face networking is more important than ever. A just-released federal government report found that young people with the most success at landing a job, do so through the people they know. In the age of electronic applications, digital resumes and electronic scanning of candidates, any opportunity for face-to face networking should be pounced on like that last piece of Nanaimo bar resting on the dessert tray.
So what should your strategy be for holiday networking? Here are few important questions to ask when talking to possible family and friend job connections:
- Is your employer hiring? If so, what type of opportunities do they have for students?
- Do you know someone within the company that I should contact?
- Do you know of any other student job opportunities within your network?
- Can I email you a copy of my resume?
- Can I use you as a reference?
- When can I follow up?
The holidays are also a great time to update your resume, including your education, student leadership roles, and skills gained during the first term. Additionally, create a LinkedIn profile, or if you already have one, make sure it’s current.
Your holiday job search can pay off big. And besides, what better feeling than to walk into your final exams knowing you have already secured your summer employment?