Get a Part-time Job This School Year
The colourful collage of maple leaves and the cooler days signal that fall is here; and with this season, a brand new school year. Along with assignments, school activities, social life and exams, now is a great time to also start thinking about all the benefits of a part-time job: the autonomy of spending your own money and the perks you get in many tourism jobs. Plus, with a part-time job, you will develop valuable skills that future employers are looking for, and develop connections and references that you will need later on in your career.
So how do you snag that really great tourism job?
- Make a list of the things you love doing and you’re good at: skiing, interacting with people, cooking, sharing your culture, fixing things. What sorts of part-time jobs would allow you to do what you love most and get paid for it? BC’s tourism industry offers so many opportunities to be doing the sort of work you’d do for fun anyway. Check out these career descriptions for inspiration.
- Check out who’s hiring on the go2HR job board. There are hundreds of part-time job openings every month in BC’s tourism industry and employers are looking for students just like you to work in restaurants, hotels, sporting arenas, ski resorts and as adventure guides. Also check out your school’s career guidance office, jobs on campus, local newspapers, job sites (Hcareers, craigslist, Kijiji, Indeed, Raisin Jobs, EightSix Network, WorkBC, etc.) and social media for job postings, and tap into your network of friends and family.
- After you’ve figured out what kind of job appeals to you, make a list of the companies that meet your goals. Maybe you want to make money immediately, put your hobbies to work for you, learn a specific skill for your long-term career goals, or build a professional network that you’ll be able to tap into when you leave high school.
Research the companies you’ve shortlisted to ensure that they are a good fit with your goals and to learn more about them in preparation for an interview. Check out their websites for mission and value statements, social media platforms to get a feel for their corporate culture, read reviews and ask your network.
Present yourself as a valuable asset to the company you’re considering. What sort of skill sets are they looking for? What skills do you have that meet that need? Consider completing some tourism & hospitality industry entry-level certifications (Serving It Right, FOODSAFE, emerit or SuperHost) to increase your chances of getting the job you want.
Become a volunteer. Volunteering helps you meet people in the tourism industry and build experience, which is especially important for job seekers who are just starting out in the workforce. Some employers hire volunteers to help during the busy season, and many event organizers offer volunteer opportunities. Visit goVolunteer.ca to learn about such opportunities.
- Create a professional-looking skill-based resume. Even if you have no prior work experience, highlight your skills and show supporting examples. For example, “Demonstrates leadership in complex tasks” might be supported by evidence such as “Chaired the organizing committee for our Grade 10 charity sports meet that raised $3,000 to help feed the homeless”. Check out these resume examples.
- Make a personal connection to the company you want to work for. Apart from preparing a professional resume and doing your research on the company, deliver your resume in person. Ask to speak to the person who’s hiring and have a chat with them. You may get an interview on the spot so dress appropriately. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t speak to someone face-to-face. At least the person at reception will remember your face, name and politeness.
- Prepare a list of good personal and professional references.
Know what you want, do your research and present yourself well both on paper and in person.