Finding Summer Jobs and Internships

Getting a summer job isn’t just about making the money you need for school. Ideally, you want to find a job that also builds your career-related experience and develops your transferable and soft skills. Here are some tips to help make finding that job easier.

(NOTE: A number of these ideas were gleaned from a past article from the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Career Action web page (now offline), as well as the Macleans.ca article 10 Summer Job Search Tips for Students by Josh Dehaas.)

Review a variety of online job posting sites for posted summer or internship positions. See this page for a listing of useful sites. Don't forget to check the UBC CS student job postings page! Also, check the "Going Global" resource found within UBC CareersOnline - it has internship as well as regular job search features.

Focus on completing good quality applications. Put your time towards crafting customized cover letters and resumes for jobs you really want, rather than applying for every job in sight using the same generic resume and cover letter. Tailored, well-written resumes and cover letters get a much better response from employers. A good cover letter and resume will incorporate keywords from the job ad in them.

See additional tips on effective cover letter and resume writing here.

Search Twitter for possible job postings. Tips on using Twitter for job search, and what search terms to use are available here.

Don’t limit yourself to local positions. Increase your chances of being hired by responding to jobs located elsewhere in Canada, the US or overseas. Depending on where you apply, there may be much less competition for interesting jobs.

Contact employment agencies. These agencies often recruit summer workers on behalf of their clients.

Clean up any potentially embarrassing things about you on social media. You don't want a prospective employer seeing inappropriate Facebook pictures, posts or tweets about you. Increase your privacy settings. (To see what an employer would see, search your name on pipl.com).

Incorporate some of these ideas when writing to employers requesting an internship.

If you’re starting your job search late, don’t panic!  These postings give some good ideas on how to find work at the last minute.

From the GlassDoor blog.

From the Metro.us newspaper site.

Other Ideas

If finding a CS-related summer job or internship doesn’t work out for you, see here for other ways to build your CS experience. Also, try these tips and approaches:

Find a non-technical summer position at a company that interests you. It will give you a feel for the corporate culture, and also increases your chances of interacting with people in the technical areas you’re interested in.

Look at any job or volunteer position you do as an opportunity to improve your soft skills. Employers have repeatedly told us that they want employees with these skills and approaches:

  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills (both verbal and written)
  • Presentation skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Being productive under pressure
  • Being willing to learn
  • Being willing to take on unpleasant tasks and turn them into something good.

Many non-technical jobs will build these skills! (e.g. customer service, retail, hospitality positions in high-volume places, research assistant or office positions).

Consider starting your own summer business.There are lots of resources at UBC to help prospective entrepreneurs. Futurpreneur Canada also has lots of help and free tools available for young entrepreneurs.

Additional Resources

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