When perusing job listings, be aware of the minimum requirements. While some requirements, like number of years of work experience, may be negotiable, others are not. Some jobs may require access to a car, for example. In Canada, some positions require that applicants be bilingual, that being proficient in both written and spoken English and French. Take note of words like 'required' and 'must' versus 'preferable' and 'benefit'. If being bilingual, for example, is preferred by the employer, it does not necessarily exclude a candidate if they are not bilingual. Make yourself aware of the non-negotiable requirements before you apply to a job so not to waste time applying for something you are not qualified for. However, if you meet a good majority of the qualifications, it is often beneficial to apply anyway. Use your judgement and find a balance between being optimistic and realistic.
While there are many job openings available in the summer months, some application deadlines are as early as 3-4 months prior to spring/summer employment. Check early (around January/February) so you do not miss out on any opportunities.
Applications may require you to submit things like:
- Covers letter
- Letters of reference
- Reference contact information
- Academic transcript
- Police screening check
Late applications are often disqualified from the selection process. Starting your application early will ensure that you have sufficient time to collect all the necessary pieces and submit them by the deadline. Make sure to find out the correct place to submit the application. If you submit online, ensure that the files are universally accessible to users on different operating systems so to avoid files that do not open. If the application is to be sent by mail, find out if being postmarked by a certain date will suffice, or if the application must be received by the employer by the deadline.