How to Land a Great Summer Job Now
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Let’s face the calendar. With May upon us, if you’re not securing your summer job, you’re already behind. That’s why you need to know how to land a great summer job now.
This is the time of year when countless businesses, in nearly every service sector, are hiring. Employers are looking to fill and train positions before the vacation season (when their current employees will want time off) and the tourist season (when they expect more customers) both begin.
Before continuing, I want to encourage working professionals, not just students. Spring and summer are a perfect time to land either a temporary second job or to potentially get your foot in the door to facilitate a career move or gain new employment. Take advantage of it!
Now, here are some guidelines on how to land a great summer job now.
First: Prepare for that great summer job
Before you begin the hunt for your perfect opening, you need to get everything ready.
1. Resume and work experience. Including employer information, dates, work responsibilities (work performed) and your skill set. Don’t forget to include anything that shows leadership, reliability, and trustworthiness (one example is if you handled money).
2. References. Even though not every employer will use them, having references is still a good basic to cover. However, you need references that bear weight to the job you are trying to land. Positive experiences with former bosses are a solid option. If you’re basically starting fresh or starting over in the work world, other good options are people such as coaches and community organization or volunteer leaders. Don’t list friends and family. Employers won’t take those seriously anyway.
3. Samples or exhibits of your talent or experience. This does not apply to every position but is very helpful in many job application processes. The “show, don’t just tell” method is very powerful.
4. Availability details. Employers need to know when you would be available to work and if you may have any conflicts. Before even applying to a job, confirm you can reliably make it to work, at the times the employer is likely to need you.
5. Social media. You won’t necessarily be sharing it with a potential employer unless it has a direct relationship to the position but employers will check your social media. Not only are they searching for potential red flags, but they will also be looking in an attempt to get a feel for who you are as a person.
What kind of things can help you? Past posts showing support for your community, such as community service/involvement or other positive contributions. A strong indication of loyalty to friends and family. A reliable work and/or study ethic, including prior or current jobs, academics, arts, sciences, and athletics, to name a few.
What kind of things can harm you? Polarizing posts with too much drama or ongoing arguments. Frequent complaining or dogging of current leadership (teachers, employers, coaches). A social media that seems to be all about “looking perfect” and tooting your own horn. (Because it doesn’t seem genuine and appears very self-centered.)
What can you do if yours isn’t showing you in the best light? Comb through and selectively weed out (delete) excess posts. Whatever you do, don’t scrub your social media completely. Doing so can actually harm you because it looks suspicious. And don’t suddenly add a bunch of “positive posts”. That looks suspicious too.
Second: Present for that great summer job
Now it’s time to get out there to apply and interview. Take everything from start to finish very seriously. Employers expect that potential employees are at their best when interviewing. If you come across as bored, uncaring, surly, lazy, rude or self-centered – they’ll assume it will only get worse. They won’t want to deal with that so they’ll just choose someone else. This is not to say that you should act like a different person. If you’re naturally quiet and reserved, that’s okay. Just show genuine interest and you’ll be fine.
– Show up on time, wearing appropriate clothing and with a positive attitude.
– Answer questions honestly. It’s better to say “I don’t know” than to make something up.
– Be polite.
– Silence and ignore your phone. If you don’t show that the job opportunity is a top priority to you, you won’t get it.
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