Over half of Canadian students avoid applying for summer jobs because
they don't think they have the appropriate work experience
TORONTO, April 17 /CNW/ - 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
"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
"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
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
"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
"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
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
- 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
- workopolis.com(TM), 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
- CorporateWorks(TM), Canada's most implemented recruitment management
solution using the tools that power workopolis.com to power corporate
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
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:
For further information: Amy Davidson or Andrea Willemse, Environics
Communications, (416) 969-2830, (616) 969-2767