Find a Summer Job!
Now is the time to start looking for that summer job. The earlier you start, the more likely it is that you will find a job that you like and one that is a good match for your skills. A recent study showed that 70 percent of all summer jobs are usually filled by the end of May because employers want to have their hires in place by the time summer begins. So let’s do this!
1) First things first: create a resume
Even if you do not have any formal job experience, you can still impress employers with a professional-looking resume. You can list unpaid internships, extracurricular activities, volunteer stints, and classwork related to the prospective job. If you are unsure what your resume should look like, you can visit the career office on your college campus, meet with a Life Skills Coach, or ask a supportive adult.
2) Have your list of references ready to go
Prepare a list of three references ready to give to interviewers. Teachers, professors or academic advisors, volunteer leaders, and coaches, can provide a personal reference. Babysitting and volunteer references are fine if you are looking for your first formal job. Make sure to ask your reference giver ahead of time, if you can use them as a reference.
3) Practice and prepare for your job interview
Career counselors say that interviewers make up their mind about hiring in the first 30 seconds of meeting a candidate. Therefore, to make a good first impression, summer job seekers should practice doing mock job interviews with life skills coaches, family, friends, and teachers, to get feedback. Also, because nothing is more important than making a good first impression, applicants should show up at an interview dressed in a professional manner. This means a suit, or pants (not jeans) and a button-down shirt, a dress, or skirt and blouse.
On the day of your interview, arrive early, bring your resume, turn off your cell phone, have a strong handshake, and make direct eye contact when meeting the employer. Also, be confident and enthusiastic about the position. Then after the interview, be sure to send a thank-you note in the regular mail or by e-mail.
4) Show that you are flexible by being available to work
Research shows that employers ranked “being available for all shifts” as the most important thing they are looking for in new employees. Employers expect employees to work evenings and weekends. Applicants who state that they are willing to work hard-to-fill shifts have a better chance at getting hired.
5) Make sure your social media can pass inspection!
It is now a common practice for employers to look at a candidate’s social media presence. Applicants should take a look at their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts and make sure that there isn’t anything inappropriate. One rule of thumb is, “If you wouldn’t want to your parents or your professors to see it, don’t put it up!”
6) How to find a summer job
There are basically three ways to find a summer job: networking, using online job sites, and “pounding the pavement.”
Networking is a great way to find a summer job. Talk to teachers, family members, coaches, friends, and parents of friends and ask if they can help you with your job search. You will be pleasantly surprised by how much people will want to help you!
Online job sites like indeed.com are also really helpful. Use the site’s search engine by typing in a keyword like “summer job” and the city where you want to work. Most job sites require applicants to upload a resume and a cover letter.
“Pounding the pavement” is also an effective method for finding a summer job. This means walking into a business and asking the manager if he or she is hiring. This shows confidence, motivation, and maturity. Make sure you have your resume and list of references ready to go!
7) And last but not least, stay positive!
A positive attitude is the most important thing in a summer hire, even more so than experience. So during the interview, and in your follow up thank you note, convey that you are passionate and enthusiastic about the open position. Good luck job hunting – you got this!
Jeri Rochman, JD, MS
Jeri Rochman, JD, MS, is the Advance LA Director of Community Outreach, a Life Skills Coach, National Board Certified Counselor and Certified Parent Educator. Interested in learning more about Advance LA’s services?