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If you’re like most students right now, your summer work plans may have been hindered by the current pandemic. With many students worried about their opportunities to land jobs this summer, it’s important to enhance your chances of finding work. 

While there is now the Canada Emergency Student Benefit and other funding for students becoming available, there are also still companies hiring right now and others even growing to meet COVID-related demand.

Network

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet, now is the time to create one. Networking will be key in helping you find a position this summer. We recommend taking the time to think about the type of role you are looking like first. Then, find an industry or organization you’re interested in working within, to find people you can connect with. Ideally, look at organizations with open roles right now. Outside of job search sites like Indeed, you can find out which Canadian companies are hiring, by checking out this LinkedIn list

When trying to network with people in the field, role, or organization you are interested in, do as much homework as possible. Go on the organization’s social media and website to learn the ins and outs of what they do, as well as their values, and think of ways you can try to engage in a conversation that will help make your application stand out.

A great way to network is to reach out to friends and family to see if they can connect you with anyone in the field or organization you are interested in. Once you’ve narrowed down who to connect with – whether through your existing network or via an email or LinkedIn message – it’s time to reach out to them!

Since you likely can’t meet face to face, request a quick 15-minute phone call or a video call instead, and ensure to plan ahead so you can ask thoughtful questions about their plans or priorities, or even comment on the job posting you saw and are interested in learning more about. While they may not be able to help you land a job, they might be able to recommend you for other opportunities that come up.

Be Open to Different Opportunities

If you’re set on a specific role or title, now may be the time to try looking for different roles to give yourself some options. Instead of spending hours scouring through Indeed using the same one or two job titles – like Marketing Intern – try other similar job titles like Social Media Intern or Content Coordinator to increase the opportunities available.

Not sure exactly what role to look for? Try not specifying a job title, and instead try only using search terms such as “internship, contract, part-time, temporary, student jobs, summer jobs, virtual work, remote work” to see what comes up. Doing this will likely bring up some great entry-level jobs and roles you find interesting.

If you really need a paying job this summer, it may be worth removing pressure on yourself to find the perfect role, and instead, find one that’s good enough, for now, to help you ride out this storm. Plus, you’ll likely still learn skills you can use towards future roles!

Learn learn learn

While you are applying for roles, look at the job descriptions in great detail to see if there is an opportunity to learn. If you’re looking for a marketing role and notice many job descriptions require copywriting experience, now may be the time to start blogging to show your experience or take an online course to expand your skillset further. Youtube and LinkedIn Learning are great resources for learning. Whether you’re interested in sales or design, there are tons of resources available online (and for free!) for you to learn from. 

Manage your expectations

Outside of this pandemic, rejection when applying for jobs is completely normal. Our current situation is no different. There may be a lot of rejection, but it’s not about you. While it may be difficult to find a role, don’t take it personally, as it’s a result of the economic situation we’re in. 

Many times we can be our harshest critics so when you’re feeling worried or vulnerable, seek out support from your loved ones. They might even share a helpful tip or offer to provide support in moving your search along.

The bottom line:

Don’t lose hope! While it may be tough to find a role, there is support available. Try to focus on casting a wider net for your job search, networking, getting your resume reviewed by a professional, and practicing virtual interviews with a friend. Now is the time to build connections.

Also, as we know, millions of high school and college students will be graduating this month and likely be unable to have a graduation or hear a commencement speech. Given the current situation, Youtube and Facebook have come to the rescue.

Facebook will be hosting an online graduation on May 15th, with commencement addresses from Oprah Winfrey, Awkwafina, Jennifer Garner, Lil Nas X, and Simone Biles, and there’ll be a performance by Miley Cyrus. Youtube will also be hosting an online graduation for seniors on June 6th. Their impressive lineup of commencement speakers includes President Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, K-pop sensation BTS, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Malala Yousafzai, and Lady Gaga – plus other “special appearances.” If you need some inspiration in your life before then, check out this list of insightful speeches.

Stay positive Paytm’ers – you got this!

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