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Working Wise - Summer Jobs

Dear Working Wise,

I need a good summer job to help save money for college this fall. Is anyone hiring? Do you have any tips for finding a good job?
Signed, Strapped Student

May 11, 2016

Dear Strapped,

Hiring in Alberta has slowed down due to the current economic challenges. But hiring is picking up for seasonal summer jobs like landscaping or in the construction and food services industries.

Here are some tips to help you find a good summer job.

Start by asking questions

The MyWorkQuest website contains plenty of questions and answers that will help you start thinking about youth and student jobs. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, you can also submit your question to the site.

Write a resumé

Many employers, even fast-food restaurants, expect resumés. If you are not sure how to write a resumé, visit the ALIS website and check out articles on sample resumés. Be sure your resumé is free of errors and looks professional. Ask a parent or someone else you trust to review your resumé and make suggestions. You can also use the free e-Resumé Review Service offered by the Career Information Hotline or attend a free resumé workshop through your local Alberta Works Centre.

Target your resumé and cover letter

Write a new cover letter for each job you apply for and use it to highlight your most relevant skills and experience right up front.


Let your network of family and friends know that you are looking for work. Many jobs are not advertised—networking is a great way to tap into that hidden job market.

Target your search

Check all the usual places for job postings like the ALIS website, the job bank, online job boards (Kijiji, Indeed), your school’s job board, the My Job Finder magazine, and the Help Wanted ads in your newspaper. You can try targeting businesses that get busier in the summer.

You might also want to target industries that interest you. A summer job is a great way to try out a career before you invest years of post-secondary training. The experience and contacts you develop may also make it easier to break into your chosen career after you graduate.

Attend job fairs

Did you know that there are job fairs happening all year long around the province? Check out upcoming job fairs near you.

Like your local Facebook jobs page

Get job opportunities and news of upcoming job fairs sent straight to your Facebook news feed by liking your local Alberta Works Facebook jobs page

Visit your local Alberta Works Centre

Alberta Works Centres are one-stop job-search centres staffed by professional Career & Employment Consultants. Your consultant may be able to connect you with other youth employment services that are available in your community. Visit the Alberta Works Centre nearest you.

Prepare for the job interview

For more job search tips, including how to prepare for job interviews, check out the articles on ALIS.

Good luck!

Photo Credit: © iStockphoto/skynesher

Working Wise is a syndicated newspaper column prepared by the Government of Alberta to answer work-related questions from Albertans. Do you have a work-related question? You can send it to Charles Strachey (, a manager with Alberta Community and Social Services.

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