With the summer just around the corner (we think – we just got snow in Southern Ontario) it’s time to start thinking about what kinds of work we’re going to be doing until the fall.
Job hunting can be stressful, so here we have five tips – and a few email templates! – to make this process as smooth as possible.
Reach out to your campus career centre for a coaching session or for advice.
Career centres don’t just do resume workshops or offer guest speakers, it is also their job to be keyed into the local industries to understand how they can position their students in the best possible light to enter the workforce. Even if you want to get experience in a super-niche field, they may know someone related to the industry they can connect you with for advice. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
If you don’t know what kind of work you’re looking for, or feel like you don’t have experience, that’s perfectly okay too. Talking to a coach about your studies can help give you a sense of what kinds of jobs you’d be a good fit for and connect you with people who can help.
At the end of the day, this is a service your tuition dollars are paying for – take advantage of it.
Reach out to your professors and TAs
Your teachers, profs, and TAs are a great resource to help you identify what types of work your studies prepare you for. What’s more, because they specialize in a specific industry, they will likely have some really cool insight 👓 that you won’t find from a more general source.
We suggest an email ✉️ – try something like this: (replace the text in all caps with your specific situation)
Dear Prof. JANE DOE,
I hope this email finds you safe and healthy. I am a student in your SUPERAWESOME COURSE and have really enjoyed it so far. I thought the lecture on THIS RIDICULOUSNESS was really interesting – EXPLAIN WHY.
I’m reaching out to you because I’m starting to think about summer jobs and I was wondering if you had any advice for a student who wants to gain experience in THIS INDUSTRY? I don’t have a lot of experience in this area, but previously I’ve MOWED MY PARENTS’ LAWN.
Any advice for a student just starting out? Thank you so much for reading this email – I’ll see you in class!
Reach out to local workplaces or professionals for advice
This week, we’re going to talk about reaching out to actual professionals in your field to ask their tips for getting started in the career you’re interested in.
Note, you’re not asking for a job here – you’re asking for advice on what skills and experience they look for in entry-level employees, what will be expected of you when you get there, and where this career can take you. It’s all about building a network that you can lean on to find jobs in the future.
When you land that interview here are some questions you can ask:
1️⃣ What kinds of entry level positions are there in your field?
2️⃣ What experience do you look for in an applicant for an entry-level job?
3️⃣ Do you have any recommendations for where I can get that kind of experience?
4️⃣ What kinds of skills do you expect for entry-level employees?
5️⃣ I’m really interested in *this kind of work/task/subject* – is this something your field deals with regularly?
6️⃣ Is there anyone else you can connect me with so I can learn more?
The next day, make sure you send a thank-you note to them, and bring up one thing you learned during your conversation. This is also a great time to prompt them to introduce you to another contact.
🚧 As always, when connecting with people you don’t know that well be smart about who you connect with and NEVER give out personal information like your home address, daily schedule, phone number, etc. (We recommend connecting over Zoom or Google hangouts so you can keep your personal info private.) If they start crossing lines, block them on all channels immediately – no connection is ever worth sacrificing your safety.🚧
Check out the Government of Canada website
Finding a job during a pandemic is not easy. The Government of Canada job bank currently has more than 80,000 job postings for both government and non-government work.
Visit https://www.jobbank.gc.ca to see what’s available.
Students who are returning to full time studies are also eligible to apply to the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP), where you can get a job working for the federal government in various fields like science, IT, finance, the trades, and more.
If you’re graduating this spring and want to start a career in public service, check out the Government of Canada’s various career opportunities.
Apply for grants 🏦
Imagine if you could walk into your dream job and tell them that if they hired you, they wouldn’t even have to pay you because you’ve already secured the money elsewhere. How good would your chances be of getting your foot in the door then?
There are plenty of wage-subsidy programs that can help sway a potential employer to hire a student. For more information on these programs and the various fields they apply to, check out the Government of Canada wage subsidy program.
Also search for student employment subsidy grants in your home province or state for additional opportunities.