How to get the summer job you deserve

Lifestyle Sports | Lifestyle
Photo by Darian Lee

With summer a few rainfalls away, the stress of job hunting is in full swing. Students are on the search for co-ops to fulfill their degree requirements and full-time summer employment to make enough money to support themselves under the staggering weight of tuition, living expenses, and more. To help the process along, here are some helpful tips and tricks to give you confidence in your skills and help you effectively present your qualifications. Harness your future with intentional job searches and apply for positions with your future goals in mind.

My first tip is to explore all of the resources online where you can acquire skills at your own pace. For example, YouTube has millions of videos that show you how to code, edit videos, or start your own business. Another great resource similar to YouTube is Skillshare, which also educates its viewers through videos. There are thousands of tutorials on writing, cooking, and editing right at your fingertips. 

Following that, my second tip is to showcase these skills and experiences effectively through strong cover letters and resumes to make up for a lack of paid experience. Luckily, UVic provides guidance on their Co-op Program and Career Services page.

From a young age, I was driven with motivation to write. I dedicated hours upon hours, submitted to contest after contest and was determined to get my name out there on some sort of printed paper. Which I did, but it required nothing short of copious amounts of time. It didn’t stop with the publications or prizes for my short stories. I continued to seek out volunteer positions in the writing field and built up my resume to something that would not slip to the bottom of an employer’s resume pile. Now that I am approaching the end of my first year of studying English and writing and summer is sprinting at me from around the corner, I decided to believe in my writing skills and apply for a position that has always interested me: social media editing. The interview for it wrapped up on a positive note but now all I can do is lean back, cross my fingers, and trust the effort I have put into strengthening my skills.

None of this would have been possible without clarity about the type of work I’m interested in. The first step towards getting your dream summer job or career is to know what type of job you want. Or at least, narrow down the field. Analyze what you have done related to that position and if the list is short, never fear! Some skills are harder to develop on your own time than others. 

However, clarity means nothing without confidence. You might know what you want to do with your life career-wise, but are hesitant to apply for the actual job. Is it because you feel underqualified, too young, or something else? Another tip is to never assume that a job is out of your league. If you do not have the education or paid experience, promote your skills and previous work with portfolios or samples. I have a portfolio folder to which I am constantly adding my writing to showcase, which helps to make up for a lack of education and professional experience. 

Sometimes, a job really is out of your league because you do not have 10+ years of management experience. Don’t be discouraged! There are many undiscovered student and entry-level positions that will be a great fit for you. Hop onto or WorkBC and apply for them! Take a chance because remember that the only thing holding you back from getting your dream job this summer is you.