Got the Experience to Find a Job this Summer?
Toronto , April 17, 2007 – Finding that perfect candidate to fill a summer job position has become increasingly difficult for employers in part to a misunderstanding between businesses and students over what qualifies as work experience. According to a new workopolisCampus.com survey released today, over half (55 per cent) of college and university students report they have avoided applying for jobs due to their perceived lack of appropriate work experience.
“Finding the right job can be challenging for anyone, student or not,” said Patrick Sullivan, President of Workopolis. “The results of this study show that students and recent grads looking for summer jobs have additional pressures - recognizing what qualifies as work experience and understanding what they can bring to the table for a summer job opportunity.”
Prospective employers indicated paid work experience was only part of the equation. In fact, volunteer work experience, previous summer internships and positions at school are also considered to be part of the overall work experience package.
“Ultimately, employers are looking for the same qualities in summer job candidates as they do any new hire – a willingness to learn, the ability to be a good team player and a great attitude,” said Sullivan. “These are all qualifications students can perfect at school and present to potential employers.”
Why Employers are Hiring Summer Students
One in five employers (20 per cent) indicated that they are hiring students this summer because they consider this to be an investment in the future generation. Respondents also indicated that student hires are part of their overall recruiting strategy. Internships enable a company to build a pipeline of bright students for entry-level positions – a real advantage in competitive industries.
“Summer hiring is in everyone’s best interest. Students bring new skills and energy to the team and also free up regular employees to focus on other tasks,” said Sullivan. “And for career focused students the benefits are clear - summer jobs can be a stepping-stone to their future vocation.”
In fact, the majority of Canadian employers (62 per cent) stated they would consider hiring a student on a full time basis after a summer placement. Additionally, three quarters (76 per cent) indicated that related summer work experience was very or somewhat important when considering a candidate for full time entry level positions.
Students Say: Show me the Money
Not surprisingly, good pay was the number one criteria for what a candidate what was looking for in a summer job (86 per cent). However, another three-quarters (76 per cent) recognized the opportunity that a summer job may present, indicating that they were specifically looking for a summer job related to their current field of study.
Money was also the number reason respondents gave for why they were looking for a summer job in the first place (82 per cent). A small section of respondents (4 per cent) admitted that their parents were making them look for a summer job.
Where do I Start?
For many first time job seekers, the job search process can be overwhelming and intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. The summer job search process should begin by understanding which positions are a good fit. workopolisCampus.com recommends that students visit their campus career centres for an assessment to help understand their strengths and weaknesses, as well as jobs that are likely to be a good match for their skill-set and career ambitions.
“Once students have done their homework and prepared for the search, it’s time to go to where the jobs are,” added Sullivan. “workopolisCampus.com currently hosts more than 10,000 jobs, specifically targeted for student job seekers.”
Job Search Tips for Students:
To help students find the right job this summer, workopolisCampus offers the following advice:
- Students should have a broad understanding of the current job market including knowledge of specific industries and sectors . For example, if you’ve got your mind set on a job in the technology industry, be sure it’s performing well and not being labeled a down sector.
- Make the most of networking opportunities – both on and off campus. Many students are involved in a number of extra-curricular activities such as sports and volunteerism. Not only do these look great on your resume, but the contacts you meet can often be great sources for job leads.
- Be aggressive and thorough in your job search. Take the time to develop a detailed target list, set your ambitions high and make every opportunity count.
- Research the company you’re interested in and make your experience relevant to what they do.
Resume Tips for Students
Student job seekers are often intimidated with the challenge of putting together a resume. workopolisCampus recommends these tips to keep in mind:
- It’s important to remember to include volunteer experience both on and off campus, as well as key courses that might give employers insights into a specific position or career path.
- List your key accomplishments, not a description of a previous position you’ve held. Everyone knows what a cashier does - instead, think to key responsibilities and skills that you’ve learned on the job. If you were a head cashier, be sure to mention the number of team members managed.
- Customize your resume and cover letter for each job opportunity, including relevant skills, accomplishments, training and education.
- There’s never an excuse for typos on a resume. Get someone to review it for you!
Workopolis is Canada's largest and most popular Internet recruiting and job search solutions provider with over 3 million unique visitors monthly in Canada and twice as many job postings as the nearest competitor.
Workopolis provides a fully bilingual suite of award-winning applications, products and services to both large and small Canadian companies:
- workopolis.com™, Canada's biggest job site—with the most jobs, visitors and employers of any Canadian job site
- workopolisCampus.com, Canada's biggest job site for students and recent graduates
- CorporateWorks™, Canada's most implemented recruitment management solution using the tools that power workopolis.com to power corporate career sites
Workopolis is a partnership of Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. and Gesca Ltd., the newspaper publishing subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada. Workopolis has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Guelph, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
Workopolis is the exclusive Official Supplier of Online Recruitment Services for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
About the poll: More than 1,200 Canadian students and over 1,000 employers responded to the surveys posted on the workopolis.com site between February 23 and March 30, 2007.
For further information:
Amy Davidson or Andrea Willemse
416-969-2830 / 616-969-2767