Summer is quickly approaching, and for many of us, that means the pressure is on to find a job. With time off from school, summer is the perfect opportunity to build your resume, explore your interests, and earn some extra money. Unsure where to begin your hunt? Here are six tips on finding the perfect job:
- Start looking now. With final exams and projects on the horizon, it may seem difficult to focus on finding a summer job. That being said, many jobs will fill up well before the school year ends, so it is worthwhile to begin your search early. A head-start also gives you the opportunity to make any needed arrangements and satisfy any outstanding job requirements.
- Look within your network. Speaking to your parents, community members, teachers, and friends is a great way to get advice and explore possible job leads. When you have exhausted your physical network, LinkedIn and social media can be valuable tools in connecting job recruiters with potential employees. It is very important to craft a professional online portfolio and clean up your online accounts to ensure that employers have a positive image of you prior to your meeting.
- Search online. Websites such as Indeed and Workopolis allow users to sort results by title, keyword, and location to discover job availabilities that suit your individual interests. In addition, consider looking at your cities local websites, job boards, and advertisements in your local newspaper to see what employment opportunities are available in your community.
- Be specific. When applying for a job, make sure that your cover letter and resume are designed specifically for that particular company. Doing your research on an employer prior to interviewing and applying shows your interest and dedication. On the same note, try not to begin an email with “to whom it may concern”. Instead, track down the name of the individual you are trying to reach and address the email specifically to him or her.
- Practice for your interview. Although it is difficult to predict what an interviewer may ask, practicing common questions is a great way to ease your nerves. If the company is one that you admire, think about how you are going to articulate your specific desire to work there and what you will say to sell yourself. Also, be familiar with the details of your resume. Despite the fact that your resume is about you, it can be difficult in a high-pressure situation to recall the specific dates and details of your previous experiences. The interview is your moment to convince an employer that you are the most qualified candidate, so it is essential that you articulate your responses in the best possible way.
- Choose your references wisely. If you are unsure how a reference will respond when asked to speak about your character, don’t choose them. Carefully pick individuals who you know will speak highly of you and who can share experiences that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Always ask the person to be a reference first – that way, it will give them time to plan their response and ensure they are okay with being contacted.
- Remember that all experiences are good experiences. If you have exhausted your resources and can’t find what you consider to be the “perfect summer job”, don’t worry. Keep in mind that all experiences are good experiences, and that every opportunity is a chance to grow both your resume and your personal skills. Even if a job is unrelated to your career aspirations, there are skills that can be acquired and lessons that can be learned from every opportunity.