Spring Semester Time-Line for Landing a Summer Job
Where will you be spending your summer?
By Kathryn Knight Randolph
February 28, 2014
The economy may be on the rebound, but that doesn’t mean there are a plethora of jobs for students to come home to this summer. According to Forbes, only 16% of high school and 40% of college students hold part-time jobs as of May 2012. These are the lowest figures for student employment in the last 20 years.
With that, students interested in obtaining summer work this year need to start their summer job search now. Using the following timeline as your guide will help you strategize and take the necessary steps in securing an awesome opportunity for this summer.
February and March
• Assess yourself and your summer job goals: which industry would you prefer to work in? What skills are you interested in developing? What job or career do you eventually hope to pursue?
• Talk to your high school or college career counselor about opportunities within and outside of your community.
• Put together a resume a cover letter. Have a trusted mentor or counselor look over both and provide input.
• Start searching for internship or job opportunities on Fastweb, MonsterCollege or Monster.
• Talk to friends, family and other trusted adults about potential internship and job opportunities that they may be able to help you find. This is your initial foray into networking!
• Apply to open internships and jobs that interest you. Make sure you follow all application instructions as each opportunity might have different requirements.
• Ask teachers, coaches and mentors if you can use them as references or turn to them for letters of recommendation if necessary. It’s important to ask their permission so that they can anticipate and be ready for a call from your potential employer.
• Once you’ve submitted applications, follow up with each company to be sure they’ve received all of your materials. You wouldn’t want the perfect summer job opportunity to pass you by because you forgot part of the application.
• Prepare and attend job interviews. Practice with common interview questions and prepare your answers to those questions. Also ask friends or family to conduct mock job interviews with you.
• Research companies before the actual interview, and prepare a few questions to ask the employer. Being knowledgeable and interested go a long way in impressing potential employers.
• Follow up each job interview with a handwritten or emailed thank you note.
The summer job market for students isn’t what it used to be – so keep that in mind as you search for and apply for opportunities. You may be flipping burgers rather than interning at a Fortune 500 company, but any work experience at all is better than no experience. Good luck with your summer job search!