Although spring has not settled down yet and April fools us day by day with constantly changing weather, one thing is for sure – spring is the time when nature and us, human beings, wake up in order to get prepared for summer. This can have many different meanings to everyone: getting in shape, changing lifestyle, planning holidays etc. Summer season seems to be the time when all the responsibilities disappear in order to be replaced with relaxation, fun and finally deserved break. For many young people it is also the right moment to get their first job, do an internship or an apprenticeship.
Summer break is a time when students and high-school grads finally have their free time. A school year may consume all the energy, however it is worth considering what to do during the summer season not just in terms of relaxing (or simply doing nothing). It might not sound like fun (initially) but spending your holiday working can really give you plenty of advantages. Earning money, getting work experience, gaining new competences, improving your skills – that all may lead to discovery of your future career. Most of all, summer job/internship is a good way to test yourself before entering the labor market for real. Not to mention that working on summer means meeting new people, sharing knowledge and learning useful things!
Investment in yourself through constant growth is never a waste of time. If you already know what you want to do with your life better start now. If you do not know yet – why don’t you give it a try and find out this summer? Whether you already know which path you would like to go: accounting, human resources, event-management etc… or you are still hesitating – summer holidays are good time to find out what to do. During internships you mainly learn from more experienced employees – there is a space for mistakes and “silly” questions.
Below are my tips for young people on how to get a summer job opportunity and make the most out of it.
- Career/Employment websites
CareerBuilder, Indeed and of course globally-known LinkedIn – these are just few names. Depending on where you live – there are plenty of so-called career/employment websites where you can easily search job offers. You may also set “job-alert” so that you will get information on new job openings when available. Many of those websites allow job seekers to create an account and upload resume so that recruiters can find you.
Not only at universities or schools but also in city halls you may get a free of charge career advice. Specially dedicated officers and departments operate within public institutions that aim to help job-seekers. They have access to job offers directly from employers, websites and all the know-how to help you on your search and process of applying and successfully getting the right job. There are different names that you may encounter: career counselor or career services office, guidance office, employment office.
They may be organized by local authorities (e.g. City Hall), university but also by employers themselves. It is a possibility to meet companies and their representatives and find out about job opportunities. What is the most crucial in these type of events? The first impression. If you decide to participate, make sure that you are prepared to present yourself in the best way you can. Recruiters often want to have a look at resume and ask a few questions – do not be surprised.
If you already happen to know what career path to take or you have a dream to work in a certain position or for “that only one” and unique company. Go for it! Check right away the career site of companies that are of interest to you and look at their current job opportunities. Many companies have a section/tab on their websites exclusively dedicated to students/young grads. If you have not found anything that is desirable for you but you are strongly motivated to find a job opportunity with a particular company – try to contact HR department and present yourself to them. Do not forget about attaching a current resume and talking about your passion for the employer in a cover letter.
Sometimes a job opportunity is closer than you think. Have you already talked to your family members, friends, classmates or neighbors? You better do that!
You might not have thought that your aunt’s friend is actually looking for someone to do internship with her company. Imagine how glad she would be if eventually she helped. It may not come up to your mind at first but using your “personal
connections” – so-called networking – is an easy and beneficial way to find a job. Make a use of your social media and do a research in your own circle of acquaintances. In this case Facebook or Twitter often works like Google – can answer your needs faster than you expect it. Even if you are not successful in landing a job this way, you may get in touch with some people you can reach out to in the future. Last but not least – friends and family can advise you instantly and share with you some good practices on how to look for a job (from their experienced point of view).
What else can you do to increase your chances in getting a great summer job?
- Volunteering/charity work
Any type of pro bono activity is well received by recruiters. Through serving local community, participating in student organization or doing charity work, people learn valuable organizational and communication skills. Do not hesitate to highlight your volunteer experience. This may really help you in your future job search or on the job.
Use social media to attract employers so that they can find you on Internet. Nowadays digital recruiting is the thing. Many recruiters reach out to potential candidates not only through job websites (LinkedIn, Indeed, CareerBuilder) but also via Twitter, Facebook or even Snapchat. If you are currently looking for a job or an internship – consider revising your public settings on social media accounts and make sure you are presented to a wider audience only in a positive way. Keep your private content just to your own circle of friends.
- Get Your References Ready
If you have already worked, took internship or any voluntary work and you have references (or possibility to get them) – definitely do that! It is always beneficial to show your previous achievements to a future employer.
- Consider unpaid internships
It would be fantastic to get salary for work. In case of not succeeding in finding a paid internship, consider a non-remunerated one. You can always earn some money working in a restaurant or a shop instead but gaining professional experience and acquiring new skills – that is the key.
Good luck! The summer is coming.