December 19, 2018
The instant they set foot in college or university, many students are already thinking about ways to stand out from their peers on the job market. They know a diploma or degree alone is not always enough; that they’ll need the little extra employers look for: experience. Unfortunately, many students simply don’t know where to find employers ready to offer them an internship or a student job.
This shows the importance of knowing about the tools available to students at the start of post-secondary education. Even if an internship is more common during senior year, students can still gain some early experience to be ready once they graduate. So, here are some pointers to share with your daughter or son!
The most efficient way to make contacts to get an internship or a student job is certainly networking. And opportunities are everywhere! Several college or university student associations offer networking activities right on campus. These can take the form of career mixers, company-led conferences or job fairs where students can meet key players in their field. Simply keep an eye out for events announced on campus!
Another important source of networking is professional orders and associations. Many orders offer students a discount fee for events and training, and some even offer mentoring programs to help emerging professionals integrate the field. As for associations, they offer a less formal channel to exchange with professionals and make contacts. And even if these people are not necessarily looking to hire new employees, this is an opportunity for your child to break ground, make a first contact (and even a lasting impression) once they start looking for an internship!
Many colleges and universities have their own employment agency that will post job and internship openings in different fields, and even volunteer work opportunities―hey, what they lack for in wages they make up for in extra experience to add to a resume.
What’s great about these agencies is that employers using them expect to receive applications from students or new graduates. They don’t necessarily intend to hire an experienced applicant, and are rather open-minded when it comes to offering young people their experience on the job market. This is definitely a perk for a graduate who has only had student jobs!
Unfortunately, few people know about the government programs designed to help them find a job or an internship. Most of the time, each government branch will only publish its job openings on its specific website, meaning these won’t appear anywhere else.
Emploi Québec’s Online Placement website is a good example. If your daughter or son is interested in getting an internship in Québec’s public service, they first have to register to create an account and publish a candidacy on the website. Note that this step is crucial because without a candidacy, they won’t appear in the pool of candidates used by government bodies and, consequently, will never receive a job offer. But the website is not solely used by public service organizations; various companies also publish on this platform. In New Brunswick, the provincial government created the website NBjobs to facilitate job search both for students and people currently on the job market.
Finally, the federal government has also created a program that allows students to gain experience in federal public service: the Federal Student Work Experience Program. Like the Emploi Québec website, students can publish their candidacy in the Ongoing Student Recruitment Inventory and wait for an employer to contact them, or they can apply for a specific job opening. Once again, the job offers published on this site are not necessarily available elsewhere, so encourage your child to take a look!
Of course, a lot of the tools presented in this article are also offered for workers who already graduated. However, the advantage for students is that, by using these tools to find an internship or job, they know hiring employers are ready to adjust to their student situation. This aspect is crucial if you don’t want your child’s job to prejudice their education.
On that note, have a good search!