Searching for a summer job can be a challenge while you're studying. Sometimes, you can be looking in a different geographic location than where you live, and you may need specific strategies for job search. The timing of your job search is critical. To make this process easier, follow these steps to plan and execute your summer job search.
1. Define Your Goals
Your summer job can help you accomplish a number of goals: make money, develop skills and gain valuable experience to name a few. As you start your summer job search, think about your goals; what is most important to you right now? You can use this Job Search Goals Worksheet to help you stay on track.
2. Research Jobs and the Qualifications of Your Long- Term Career Goal
If one of your goals is to develop skills that will help you in your longer-term career goals, think about where to find jobs that fit your goals. For example, to find jobs related to certain careers, use the occupational information in our Career Resource Library or the Career Cruising website (through the Resources Tab on the CLNx) to read about the pathways that people take to reach their career goals and the types of organizations where they gained experience.
3. Develop your Targets – Organizations, People, Industries and Places
If you have specific organizations in mind, you can:
- Review the positions they have previously advertised for University of Toronto students through the Organizational Profile tool (through the Recruitment Tab on CLNx).
- Go to their websites to see if they have a summer postings section.
- Read their careers section to identify specific departments that interest you.
- Check your contacts to see if they know anyone in the organization.
- Initiate contact with the organization.
You can also research opportunities by joining professional associations that may advertise jobs and feature career information.
4. Target People Who Can Help You Through Networking
Up to 80% of jobs never get advertised; you find them through talking to people and gathering information and job leads. Identify specific people in your personal and professional networks. Then start contacting them to tell them the types of jobs you’re looking for and the kinds of skills you can offer. Please see this list of sample networking questions.
To network effectively, it's essential to be prepared! Plan in advance, know the organization and attend as many networking functions as you can. For further information and more tips, visit the Career Centre and pick up our Networking Strategies Tip Sheet.
- Target geographically. Want to work in a specific geographic area?
- Walk/drive/bus around the area and list organizations that you can approach.
- Plan a campaign to call or walk in with your resume. Follow-up is the key here. Get the name of the hiring manager and call or email them to follow up.
- Use the Ontario Chamber of Commerce directory to identify potential organizations.
- Walk-in campaign. For some sectors, such as retail and hospitality, walk-in is an appropriate method. Bring copies of your resume with you. Follow up.
Competition is highest with this method; others can see the opportunities and apply for them, so you could be competing with many candidates. However, it is still worth using as someone is going to get the job!
Review the job postings on CLNx regularly.
Check-in with your academic department and professors to see if they are aware of any opportunities.
Locate government summer programs - See our Tip Sheet on Summer Employment Programs
Use government-sponsored summer student employment centres such as the Ontario Summer Student Jobs website.
Tips for applying to advertised jobs
Tailor your resumes and cover letters. Check out the Career Centre’s Resume and Cover Letter Resources.
Don’t wait until the posted deadline to apply, since many employers review applications as soon as they are submitted.
Need More Help?
You can set up an appointment with an Employment Strategist in the Career Centre by calling us at 905-828-5451.
Please note that this information is subject to change. Refer to original sources for the most up-to-date information.
Updated June 6, 2023