It’s funny how we all keep hearing that reoccurring statement; Mom, Dad I just can’t find a summer job! Whether it’s our older brothers or sisters returning from home from a long year at university or our adolescent kids thinking their going to have a care free zero responsibility summer, the hard truth is that it’s not at easy as it once was. Does this mean you sit on the couch watching Drew Carey on the Price is Right sipping lemonade all summer? Of course not! It means getting back to the drawing board and finding a new approach. Here are a few tips to help you reflect.

1. Youth Employment Centre

Here in Ottawa, there are some untapped recruitment services that specialize in youth employment; one being the youth employment centre in Bell’s Corner. They’re not only just a hub for potential job positions but offer services such as helping build a strong cover letter/resume and search tips to help aid the process.

2. Key words are a key to success

It seems that everything these days is managed online including the hiring process. One important thing that I myself needed to learn and I assume our younger generation needs to understand is the importance of key words when applying. Recruiters and those involved in the process often receive more resumes then they can manage. With the process being behind a computer, there is a lack of an opportunity to make an impression with the individual who’s viewing your resume and subsequently ending with you being overlooked. Adding key words from the job description into your resume (where applicable) could be the difference of your resume being tossed aside versus being considered.

3. Quality over quantity

For our younger generation seeking summer employment this can be a mind boggler. How many parents have heard their children mutter the sentence, ‘I applied to like 20 jobs on kijiji.ca and didn’t get anything back!’ That is the band-aid solution to a bigger problem. It’s real easy to send out 20 resumes when you copy paste then click send. What’s more effective and essentially a better solution is cutting back the quantity and spending more time on the quality. This could be tailoring your resume for the position you are seeking or applying for. It could also mean preparing a cover letter or even following up with a phone call.

4. Looking outside the box

There is smorgasbord of different recruitment sites out there but many of them aren’t in our repertoire. It’s too often we end up on monster.com or kijiji.ca looking for student positions in between the positions we aren’t experienced enough for. That being said there are a couple of websites that can help zero in on the right jobs here in Ottawa.

Young Canada Works – Government run campaign to help find summer jobs and internships. Find out how to apply at www.pch.gc.ca

Charityvillage.ca – A site dedicated to non-profit organizations offering both news and job postings ranging from internships to full-time gigs.

Service Canada – Service Canada has a whole section dedicated to youth/student positions. Just head over to their website: jobbank.gc.ca

Indeed.ca – I’ve personally had success recruiting from their online resume database.

5. Keep your private life private

I know there have been a few eye roles from children who’ve been addressed by their parents concerning their activity on social media sites, but please for your sake, watch what you put on your facebook.com page and your twitter.com feed. The internet is an unforgiving place. No one wants to lose out on an opportunity over a silly comment or photo.