Finding a summer job

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For many high school and college students, holding a summer job can matter more than you think! Summer jobs provide the perfect opportunity to boost your resume and can help you begin to figure out what career is right for you, all while earning money for college expenses!

While competing with other students for these seasonal positions can be intimidating, we have a few tips that may help you land the perfect summer job!

  1. Clean up your social media – Cleaning up your social media accounts is the best place to start when job searching, especially for local positions. Ensure that your social media settings are not open to the public so that potential employers are not able to see your full profile. In addition, make sure that any embarrassing or distasteful photos, posts and comments are removed. You never know which one of your social media followers is friends with a potential employer.
  2. Start the hunt early – Don’t wait until the first day of summer to start researching job opportunities as many employers will have already completed their hiring. By looking for jobs early in the spring, you will guarantee yourself more options.
  3. Get the word out – Once you begin looking for a job, get the word out that you are on the hunt. Ask your parents to talk to friends and co-workers, talk to your teachers, school counselors, coaches and friends to see if they know of any opportunities. All of these connections could turn you on to prospective job opportunities.
  4. Use you resources – In addition to getting the word out that you are looking for a job, there are many sites online that can help you find a great summer job. Iowa Youth Jobs is a great place to start!
  5. Create a résumé – Even if you have no previous work experience, your résumé can include any extracurricular activities, volunteer work and coursework. Each of these experiences likely provided you with skills and knowledge that make you an efficient employee, so don’t leave these information out!
  6. Consider key words and phrases – When filling out an application, make sure that you use key words and phrases from the job description to describe your talents and experiences. By doing this, you’ll show potential employers how well you fit the description of what they are looking for.
  7. Prepare for an interview – Mock interviews are a great way to prepare for a job interview. Teachers, parents and friends can help you by asking you a list of frequently asked interview questions. Use this time to get to know your strengths and how you can best highlight them in an interview.
  8. Demonstrate your soft skills – Soft skills refer to qualities that allow someone to interact well with others. This might include having a good work ethic, positive attitude, effective communications skills, willingness to learn, flexibility, time-management and the ability to take criticism. These characterizes are something all employers desire in potential employees. Use the interview to show a potential employer your soft skills!
  9. Be professional – Before you leave for your interview, make sure you are dressed professionally. Even if the dress code for employees is casual, show a potential employer that you care about making an impression by dressing professionally. In addition, make sure all emails and correspondence with the potential employers are appropriate and professional.
  10. Apply for jobs you know will be there the following summer – If you held a job the previous summer, chances are your employer will be willing to hire you on again if you performed your duties well. Before you leave the job at the end of the summer, be sure to express interest to your employer about working for them the following summer. If you haven’t held a job before, try to look for work that you know will be there the following summer so that you have potential to return.
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