Student Success Centre

Part-time, School Year & Summer Jobs

One tangible way to start your career is through part-time, school year, or summer work. Such work builds your resume and lets you test the waters in your new field.  They can provide steady income, a chance to network, and invaluable experience while you continue to look for full-time employment in the future. They can also give you exposure to fields you might not get to explore otherwise.

All Experience Is Good Experience

Don’t turn down a job because it doesn’t have the fancy title that you expected. Everyone has to start somewhere and every position you have on your resume makes a difference. No matter what the position, there are always skills to take away that will boost your employability. Never shy away from temporary or part-time employment. If you’re good enough, it just might turn into a full-time arrangement in the future.

How to Find a Summer Job

Finding a successful summer job includes using the following strategies. Remember that it is important to start early – The Time Is Now!

When should I begin preparing?:  October – December
When should I begin applying?:  January – March
What if I haven’t started?: Don’t panic… some employers are still finalizing their summer hiring needs

Before you begin, know what you are looking for and be able to communicate this.

Spend 80% of your job search time:

1. Accessing your existing network

  • Reach out to roommates, professors, parents, neighbours, and past employers
  • Help people help you.  Let them know the specific type of opportunity and skill development you’re looking for.

2. Developing a new network

3. Using Social Media

  • Connect with employers on social media to discover employment opportunities.
  • Create your professional profile with LinkedIn.
  • Ensure your Facebook account promotes your professional goals OR create a separate professional page.

4.  Preparing To Sell Yourself

  • Know your skills - what do you have to offer an employer?
  • Compose your cover letter – introduce yourself and impress the employer.
  • Write your resume – if you were hiring would you want to meet this person?
  • Compile your reference list – communicate with those on your list and inform them of the position.
  • Prepare for interviews – talk over potential interview questions in a mock interview with a Career Counsellor, or even with a friend.
  • Create your portfolio – prepare relevant documents the employer may want to look over including extra copies of your resume, transcript, degree, previous work evaluations, interesting assignments completed, etc.
  • Follow-up- - write a thank you letter after an interview or meeting with a potential employer. If you have not heard from the employer within 2-3 weeks telephone the office or send an email to follow up.  This is an opportunity to ensure they have received your application and to ask about the status of the selection process.

Spend 20% of your time:

1. Investigating Government summer job programs

2. Accessing Job Search Sites

See our list of Job Search Sites

3. Researching summer internship opportunities

Some examples include:

Marketing & Advertising

  • Trojan: Various Summer Roles
  • Kraft Canada: Sales Internship
  • McClaren McCann: Various Internships


  • Software Development Intern
  • Ontario Power Generation: Various Summer Roles
  • IBM: Various Summer Internships


  • Higher Education Council of Ontario: Research Intern
  • Performance Plants Inc: Research Assistants
  • Ellis Don Corporation: Quality Assurance, R&D Intern

Data Analysts

  • Towers Watson: Seasonal Compensation Analyst
  • Fidelity Investments Canada: Sales Analyst
  • Barrick Gold Corporation: Treasury Analyst

Global Powerhouses

  • General Electric: Various summer internships
  • Bain & Company: Associate Consultant Intern Program
  • Procter & Gamble: Engineering Interns 

“Relax, There are more than five banks, four accounting firms and six retailers in Canada”
-    Peter Chow, Western Alumni 2013