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Photo by Justin Quaintance

You must put in the work for summer jobs

By Jesse Stilwell, February 28 2017 —

Your summer job search should be in full swing by now. If it isn’t, don’t blame the struggling economy when you don’t find something interesting and lucrative. According to Statistics Canada, the Canadian economy added 48,000 jobs in January alone. While they aren’t all in Alberta, that growth means we can’t blame all our problems on a slow energy sector. There are jobs and students deserve to fill them. But prepare to work hard for them.

Even though this economic downturn feels like it has been going on forever, it does not mean we have an excuse to lose our motivation to search for jobs.

Take the time to spruce up your resumé and brush up your interview skills so you stand out from your competitors. If you don’t work twice as hard in these tough times, someone else will. You can’t blame the economy if you end up working a boring job while someone just like you got an interesting summer internship with more effort or networking.

There are many interesting volunteer and extracurricular opportunities at the University of Calgary that can pad your resumé  while you look for employment.  There is nothing wrong with adding some extra volunteer hours or taking an extra course to learn different skills if it means you’ll have a competitive edge when an employer skims through your application. If you start your job search early, you’ll have enough time to put something unique on your resumé as you continue  your search.

Career Services at the U of C is also a great resource. Getting an expert to read over your resumé, cover letters or any other documents you need for an application can be really helpful and something that other candidates who aren’t on campus might not have access to. As post-secondary students, we should be using the resources  available to set us apart.

It’s okay to feel discouraged if you are applying for jobs and don’t hear back from any of them. But it isn’t the end of the world and you will eventually find something that appeals to you. Every interview and application is a learning opportunity that you can use to better your skills and help you feel more comfortable with the pressure of the hiring process. Don’t let the struggling economy give you a poor attitude that will show in your interviews.

Being a university student means you have access to a job market that is exclusive to you and your peers. You might never have access to this type of market again. Don’t let tough times take away from your motivation. Instead, use the uphill battle to push you out of your comfort zone and better your skills to make you a more appealing candidate for any opportunities you come across. You can find an interesting job for the summer but only if you are willing to work hard for it.

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