The great summer job hunt

The summer months are approaching and the time to look for jobs is now (Cara Smith/AQ)
The summer months are approaching and the time to look for jobs is now (Cara Smith/AQ)

If you’re hoping to work in New Brunswick this summer, now is the time to start looking.

“A lot of employers start to look at hiring needs for the summer as early as February,” Carrie Monteith-Levesque, STU employment and student life coordinator said.

Last June only 63.2 per cent of Canadian students between 20 and 24 who were returning to school in the fall had jobs.

The Canada Summer Jobs program hired 36,000 students last summer, a sharp decrease from the 47,000 hired in 2006.

Applications for this program are being accepted from Feb.1 to Feb. 28.

“The majority of jobs aren’t even advertised. So you don’t want to limit your job search to just advertised positions.

It’s really about going out, networking, talking to employers, identifying the ones you might be interested in working for, and then approaching them and asking if they’re going to be hiring a summer student,” Monteith-Levesque said.

She suggests websites like www.jobbank.gc.ca and www.NBjobs.ca.

Monteith-Levesque says the Student Employment Experience Development (SEED) Program has seen cutbacks. This program provides summer jobs for New Brunswick students by paying for part of the employer’s wages. Employers sign up for the program and students are matched up to employers based on their field of study.

She suggests focusing on your resume and cover letter to better the chances of being hired.

“Be prepared by having a really strong resume and cover letter and targeting the resume and cover letter to each job they apply to. So that means knowing who you’re applying to, either by responding to a job ad or by doing your research,” she said.

Monteith-Levesque said students should keep your resume under two pages, and it doesn’t need to be fancy. Rather than highlighting something in your resume, stick to bolding or stick to underlining but don’t use a lot of different formatting. It’s going to be easier for employers to follow a resume that’s nice and clean.

Marie-Josée Groulx, communications director for post-secondary education, training and labour in New Brunswick, says students can apply at www.gnb.ca/training.

“As far as what the budget is or how many jobs will be created, it’s too early to say. The budget for 2013-2014 only comes out at the end of March,” Groulx said.

Youth unemployment in Canada hit 14.1 per cent this December and has been around 14 per cent for the past two years, according to Statistics Canada. This is double the national unemployment rate of 7.1 per cent.

Monteith-Levesque said provinces are cutting back on the funding of many programs and that does bode well for students.

“A lot of employment opportunities are completely dependent on wage-subsidy programs and the government’s had to cut back on some of those.”

There will be two summer employment workshops at STU this week talking about how to determine who hires, internships opportunities, and other resources. They will be on Feb. 6 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in GMH room 205 and on Feb. 7 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in GMH room 301.

Later this semester, there will also be workshops on resume writing, cover letter writing, and interview preparation.

There will also be a Summer Employment and Graduating Students Career Fair in the Atrium of the Students’ Union Building on Feb. 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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