By Mina Todosijevic

It’s that time of year again. And by that, of course, I mean job-hunting time. While summer break may seem far away (hidden somewhere behind that mountain of finals and exams), it is less than six weeks away! Sending out your resume now rather than later could be the difference between a job in your field or yet another summer at the local fast-food chain.

Where to look

I’m always the person completely bewildered after a friend lands a great summer job or internship. Having scoured Monster, Indeed and other job listings, I rarely see anything in my field or related to my interests. Through the years, I’ve discovered there are two essential parts to getting a good summer job: looking in the right places and looking early.

  • The Career Learning Network is an excellent resource for looking for a job, both part-time during school and full-time after graduation. While the summer work-study program at U of T is only available if you’re taking summer classes, the job board also features both on- and off-campus jobs not affiliated with the work-study program. For those of you who have recently graduated, a note that you’re able to take advantage of the resources the centre offers for a full two years after graduation!
  • While the Job Bank is not specifically tailored to summer jobs, it does feature many jobs targeted towards students.
  • While this is one of the most overused pieces of advice, networking is incredibly important. Try to ask your parents, your parents’ friends or even your own friends if they’ve heard of an opening which you would be qualified for.

Research positions and internships

  • Internships are designed to give students on-the-job experience in their fields of study, with some monetary compensation. Internships tend to be fairly widely advertised. The key with internships is to search for them and apply early, as their deadlines tend come sooner than any other program.
  • Research assistant positions are slightly more difficult to scope out. While some of these may be advertised under the work-study program, many are not advertised at all. Instead, you’re expected to approach the faculty member you’re interested in working with on your own.

“Alternative” summer jobs ideas

  • I spent last summer working as an au pair in Spain. An au pair is essentially a young person who lives with a family abroad, doing childcare in exchange for room and board. It is a great way to mix some travelling into your summer plans.
  • Try your hand at being an extra on film sets. Blog TO has a great article on how to get started.
  • Offering at-home tutoring services is a great way to use your education. While it involves some extra planning and effort (you will need to make lesson plans), it is a rewarding and mentally-stimulating job.

What’s your go-to summer job? Let us know on Facebook!