School's Out, Time to find a Summer Job!
So, school is over, time to relax right? Well, not exactly now is really the time to find a summer job so you can pay for school and/or reduce your debt. A lot of students actually start looking for summer employment as early as the winter and some have already figured out where they will be working this summer. If you haven't found a job yet, not to worry there is still some time! I know it doesn't feel like summer is just around the corner with the weather we've been having (it snowed just about an hour north of Ontario, the day after Easter Monday) but not to worry my fellow Torontonians it is just around the corner.
The government does provide some excellent resources for student summer jobs. Most times the government actually provides funding to employers as an incentive to hire students. The federal government has a Youth Employment Strategy (YES), the three goals of this initiative are: skill linking, career focus and summer work experience. Just remember like I said before, some of these programs have already hired students so look at the dates carefully, also make sure to look at the qualifications, there may be age or school enrolment restrictions:
Young Canada Works (YCW)
This program was created in 1996 to help young Canadians with on the job experience. The YCW sponsors employment programs for bilingual employment and heritage organizations (non-profit organization in Canada with a heritage mandate, such as a museum, archives, library, or an organization managing a heritage site).
These are summer positions for students who want to work for the provincial government for Ontario Public Service, its related agencies and community groups. This is for employment in a wide of industries including; office administration, geology, laboratory, research and much more.
This is free job search and self marketing support which is available through Employment Ontario Summer Job Services agencies. Check out this list of Employment Ontario Agencies in Toronto which offer Summer Job Service.
This is for students between the ages of 15-29 who are aspiring entrepreneurs (small business owners). These students have the opportunity to receive startup money for their company, training as well as money for when they return back to school.
Aside from government resources there are a lot of other places to find summer employment as well. If you are still in high school you can ask your guidance counsellor for some more resources. If you are in university or college your school most likely have an employment centre which is full of great resources which you are only able to use while you are in school. Your school probably also has some good blogs about summer jobs, take a look at your institution's website.
Remember that summer employment is very competitive, the majority of students will be looking for summer employment unless they have fabulous summer vacation plans. Make sure that your resume stands out from the other students, you should really try to highlight the skills which are relevant to your job. E.g., if you are looking for a tree planting job (which is a great summer job opportunity for Canadians) and you have landscaping or lawn mowing experience, you would talk about that more than you would your retail experience. You can also check out this resume blog I wrote for more resume tips.
Last but not least, of course the library also has books to help you. We have a book in the North York Central Library's Business Department called The Canadian Summer Job Directory (notei, it is a reference item so you can't borrow it):
This book is organized by province, and it gives regional programs and opportunities. For each company it provides contact information, description of the organization, types of positions, job information and how to apply. Here are a few of the Ontario suggestions from this book:
- African Lion Safari
- Canada's Wonderland
- Canadian National Exhibition
- Air Canada Centre
- Algonquin Provincial Park
- Onondoga Camp
- and many more opportunities
Good luck and have a great summer!