Job Search 101
BC Youth Week is a provincial celebration of youth held annually during the first week of May. It is a week of fun filled interaction and a celebration intended to build a strong connection between youth and their communities. Because of this, we decided to focus our May 2021 Tip of the Month on our young people and student job seekers.
Summer is almost here and with summer comes the opportunity to secure a job, whether year-round or a seasonal position. There are many part-time and full-time jobs available in the Oceanside area and the sooner you start applying, the bigger the selection you will have.
Looking for work can be challenging when the sun is out and the beach is calling. Here are some points to consider when starting your job search:
1) What kind of work do you want?
Look around at your favourite places and activities! Do you love mini-golf or go-carts? See if they have any openings! Do you have a friend that works at a really cool place? Ask if they’re hiring! Is being near the beach important to you? There are lots of businesses on the waterfront!
Summer employment is also a great way to “try on” different careers while you’re in school. Do you want to work in health care? Perhaps a facility in your town is hiring. Are you looking at an exciting career in hospitality and tourism? There may be positions available at that resort!
Decide what you want to do, where you want to work, and start contacting people!
2) Get your references ready
Put together a list of three references. These can be former employers, but if you’ve never worked before, or have limited experience, you can use volunteer references, coaches, teachers, neighbours, former coworkers and acquaintances. Ensure you ask your references for permission first and be sure to get a phone number and an email address for your list.
While we’re here, check out your social media with a discerning eye. What would a potential employer see if they were to look you up? Do you seem trustworthy and professional? Would you want to hire you to represent your business? How are your privacy settings? If you think no one is going to look, you’re probably wrong.
3) Write a Resume and Cover Letter
For most jobs, you will need a resume and cover letter to submit to the employer. There are many resources online but this one of our favourite sources.
MS Word has templates and a quick google search will reveal many more great examples. Pro Tip: If you can, have someone proofread your documents before you start handing them out to employers.
4) Get Help with a Summer Job Search
The careercentre.org is a great place to start looking for work. Most employers in the Oceanside area post jobs here.
If you’re a student, check with your school Career Education office and ask how they can assist you.
5) Check out Summer Youth Employment Programs
Many organizations have summer programs that run between June and August. They are typically city, provincial, or non-profit agencies. Participants are matched with entry-level summer jobs where you may be provided with educational or career advice. Finding these positions may require a little digging, but, this is another instance where an online search is your friend.The City of Parksville and Chambers of Commerce are good examples of this in our community.
6) Network, network, network!
Networking really does work! It is an excellent way to tap into the hidden job market and it’s not all that difficult. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for work. Talk to family, friends, friends’ parents, teachers, coaches, anyone and everyone – and ask if they can help you or if they have any leads.
Networking is the best way to find a job and most people are glad to provide job leads and advice.
7) Search Online for Summer Jobs
Use the search bar on your favourite websites for keywords, or if you want to, cast the net wide – just use your area/region/city.
8) Apply Online
Read application instructions carefully. You don’t want to be screened out because you submitted an application online without attaching your resume or showing up at the wrong time. Depending on the organization, you may need a resume and possibly a cover letter or there may just be an online application. Every employer has different criteria, be sure you know theirs.
9) Apply In-Person
Although a little more difficult during the pandemic, applying in-person allows you to make a personal connection and gives your potential employer a chance to chat with you. Some jobs require a resume, some require an application. Everyone could be different.
Be sure to be neat and well groomed and appear “ready to work.” You may be interviewed on the spot!
Good luck and happy hunting!