With summer creeping around the corner and a few weeks left of school, it’s the time of the semester to start thinking about summer jobs. Woo! I know. But don’t worry if you’re struggling with where to start or even how to get one; I’ve got just the tips for you.
When you are looking to apply for jobs, you want to make sure you have a résumé. Since you’re in college now, it is appropriate you have one. If you don’t have a résumé, we have the lovely Neva Bryan, assistant director of career services, who would be happy to help.
If there isn’t enough time left in the semester to get some help from her, don’t worry either. There are many places that will hire you even if you don’t have a résumé.
Once you’ve established whether or not you have a résumé or are willing to make one, now it’s time to start looking.
When you choose to start digging for jobs, look online for different stores, restaurants, fast food businesses and others. Go to their website under “careers” (typically found at the bottom of the page) and see if they’re hiring. If nothing is available, you could always go into the location and ask for an application.
However, if you’re looking for a place to be once you get back home, you might want to cut your losses and look elsewhere.
When choosing a job, pick a place that fits best with your skill set. Stereotypically speaking, if you’re a vegetarian, for instance, odds are you might not want to work at McDonald’s this summer. But to each his own, so wherever you feel at home, that’s the place to be.
Also, don’t settle for less. You’re a high school graduate who is currently enrolled in college (a pretty freakin’ awesome one, if I do say so myself), so use that knowledge and information to find the best out there.
1. Applying for a job. As I said earlier, it is A-OK if you don’t have a resume. There are teenagers constantly getting jobs without needing a resume (but you’re an adult, so it’s even better). Fill out the application and be honest! Lying on an application can lead to some serious trouble. The application is pretty simple; fill out all of the information it asks for and typically there is a questionnaire that is designed to see the type of person you are based on the environment of the job. If they have a questionnaire survey, with one being “strongly disagree” and five being “strongly agree” and they ask you, “Do you consider yourself a hard worker?” I’m gonna take a wild guess and say you should put five. So when filling out any questions, understand the managers will look at the results. If you score low enough, they will not consider you when hiring employees.
2. The call. Oh dear! You’ve gotten a call for an interview. Odds are you might be here at college when this happens (depending on when you start looking for jobs). If so, and the job you applied for is back home, be honest and let them know you won’t make it because you are in college. Suggest having a phone interview or schedule one for when you know for a fact you will be home. Depending on the place, they might be lenient and work with you. There are places that will tell you to call when you’re home and go from there.
3. The interview. For the love that is all and right in this world, do not under any circumstances wear baggy clothes or jeans to an interview. This is the real world with real people and real expectations. Khakis and a nice button down for the men. Ladies, you could go from khakis to a dress to a skirt; it does not matter just as long as you look presentable. Remember, first impressions are lasting impressions. An outfit can easily determine your summer job over someone else’s.
4. The talk. Be professional; talk politely. Remember, gas and Taco Bell have to be paid for somehow. Understand why you’re working in the first place. It’s money, so do everything you can to win them over (don’t lie) so they will want you on their team. And don’t forget, shake their hand.
Happy job hunting!