How to Find The Perfect Summer Job
The perfect summer job can provide you with valuable experience, new friendships, and yes, a paycheck. Looking for seasonal work is different than trying to land a full-time and long-term job. For one, the type of company who hires summer workers are different than those looking for more permanent employees. But there are summer jobs out there if you are willing to put in the work necessary to land them.
Follow these tips to raise your chances of finding the perfect summer job—the kind of job that pays well enough but, more importantly, one that you’ll look back on for the rest of your life as a positive experience.
Learn How to Market Yourself to Potential Employers
The most important question that you’ll have to answer for a potential employers is “why should I hire you over everyone else?” What it comes down to is personal branding; marketing yourself as a hard-working, skilled, trustworthy employee who will bring success to the company.
Part of marketing yourself is dressing the part. Don’t show up to an interview in jeans and a t-shirt, even if the job itself is more casual. Dressing well shows that you’re serious about the opportunity. It’s about “putting your best foot forward,” and looking sharp is definitely going to look better than looking shabby to any potential employer.
Think of Your Unique Skillset that Sets You Apart from Others
Another way you market yourself is by framing your experience and skills in a way that shows how you could benefit the company. Don’t just talk about what you studied in school—talk about how that knowledge could help you fulfill your job’s expectations. If you had a paper route, talk about how it taught you the importance of consistency and getting to work on time. If you took a challenging biology course, talk about how it taught you how to pay close attention to details.
Even if you don’t possess the most stellar credentials, as long as you know how to frame your accomplishments (without lying or exaggerating) in a way that shows how you can add value to the open position, then you’ll be ahead of the curve.
“Network” with Friends and Acquaintances
You’ve probably heard the saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This rings true in many ways—your “in” for that dream summer job could be through a friend or an acquaintance. There are many summer jobs that aren’t posted online; they are filled because someone in the company knows someone (who knows someone) who could possibly be a good fit.
While professional networking will continue to be more and more important further on in your career, the best way to start out is by asking your close friends, family members, teachers, etc., if they know of any job openings locally. Follow through on any leads they give you, and you may be surprised by the results!
Look for Jobs Specifically Designed for Students
Depending on where you live, there may be plenty of seasonal jobs available that are perfect for students. These are often in the tourism industry (think restaurants, tour guide companies, hotels, etc.) and they are looking for people just like you who are willing to work hard for a few months during the busy season.
One of the best things about these seasonal jobs is that you’ll often be working along with your peers. Even if the work is mundane, you could still benefit from forming friendships that last a lifetime!
While you are applying for a job, you want to make sure that you explain how flexible you are going to be. A summer job can be a great opportunity for this.
Look for a Job That Interests You
It’s never too early to begin looking for work in your preferred field. Obviously, you’re not going to start at the top (nobody does), but you can hopefully get the kind of on-the-job training (the kind that isn’t taught in school) that is vital to so many industries.
Hoping for a career in the medical field? Look for a job as a medical assistant, or even a hospital janitor. Interested in engineering? Work as an assistant at an electronics repair shop. These kinds of jobs can teach you important skills and they can also give insight into the industry (helping you decide whether or not you want to proceed with that kind of career).