Seventy percent of student summer jobs are filled before June. So prompt your student to start searching now!
The payoff can be substantial — work experience, a chance to apply classroom learning, a stronger resume, funds for college. At average summer wages, a student working June 1 through mid-August can bank over $3,300 by saving two-thirds of his gross earnings, and many summer positions pays above that average.
If your student doesn’t have a summer job, here are five steps for effectively seeking one. You can help with all of them.
- Define Himself and His Best Fits: Start with a self-analysis. What can he bring an employer in terms of knowledge, skills, and volunteer or work experience? Then identify the characteristics of jobs in which he’s interested — type of work, location, hours, pay scale, etc. He may not get everything he wants, but this’ll help him get as close as he can.
- Make Himself Presentable: Now’s the time for him to write his resume and cover letter, leaving them on his word processor for easy updating and tweaking if needed. And since most summer employers audit applicants’ social media, have him review his and delete anything that might be inappropriate.
- Search . . . and Search More: You and your student should network by sharing his resume with adults you know. Ask about their employers — lines of business, work environments, whether they use students in summer? If a workplace sounds promising, request contact names and ask the adult to be a reference. And until he lands a position, your student should continue searching for job opportunities on internet job boards, search engines, and websites; in newspaper ads, etc.
- Get Out There: Urge your student to apply online or send send his cover letter and resume to employers of interest before spring break if possible, then visit those employers in-person over spring break. Remind him to dress conservatively and review of notes on each employer for each visit. Whenever the opportunity arises, he should complete applications and participate in interviews. Help him prepare for interviews by developing answers to common questions and formulating his own inquiries.
- Keep After It: Advise him to follow up on opportunities he likes with notes of thanks and, later, with calls expressing continued interest in those positions.
Whatever your student’s summer employment needs, the keys are to start early, be thorough, and remain persistent!
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