Despite the global economic challenges and high unemployment, many young people have secured part-time / full-time summer jobs for the months of June, July & August. Most of them are doing something to generate some form of income to supplement their summer spend and / or their next college term. Most of these jobs have been secured through many sources and many ways long before now and some will be secured after the school / college term finishes or indeed after the major state examinations. So, if you are one of those people who have not yet secured a summer time job yet, how can you go about it efficiently and effectively?

For a young person, with mainly educational years behind them and not out much work experience to demonstrate during those years, it can be difficult and challenging. They might not have the know-how, etiquette or where-about’s to find a summer job. For a lot of them, they expect someone to knock on their door and actually offer them a job, like the way their parents offer to ‘feed them…’, ‘cloth them…’, ‘bring them…’ – a whole new mindset has to be developed and is needed…they now have to take the initiative and do it for themselves or at least ask people to help them. No one is as interested in looking for and securing a summer job than them (we hope!).

Focus on three things:

  1. The people you know
  2. The business’s you know
  3. Your presentation in the mirror and your presentation on paper

Write down everyone that you know (your network) starting with your immediate family, working out to your uncles, aunts, cousins, relations, neighbours, friends, your friends parents / guardians, the list goes on. Write their names down on paper, don’t make any judgement of them yet. When the list is complete, review it and highlight people’s names who have their own business, who would have contacts, who would be well-known / respected amongst your network / community who could help you get a summer job. Arrange to meet them. Never ask them for a job, ask them who they know, what would they do if they were you, what did they do when they were your age? You just don’t know the people that they know and they need to know that you are looking for a summer job.

Write down the business’s that you know in your locality (if you wish to work near home). Who is doing well, always busy, would have people like you working there? Again, write them all down. Find out who is the Owner, Hiring Manager, person in charge. Decide to write them a letter, drop in your CV or actually meet them. The latter is always better, get yourself in front of these people. Tell them who you are, what you want (a summer job!) confident, happy and enthusiastic. Go on your own and look forward to meeting them. You may have to meet a lot of people…all you want is just the one ‘Yes’!

When it comes to your presentation of yourself and on paper; time, effort and attention to detail are of the utmost. This is almost a piece by itself. You cannot make a first impression a second time. Make sure your Letter and CV are professional and tailored (if possible) around the business / person you are meeting. Invest (if you can afford it) in smart business-like clothes (not interview dress, but one step down from it). Look the part, smell good, taking care of all the hygienic bits and pieces. I realize it is ‘only’ a summer job, but you must treat it like a real job. You don’t know how important this job, this business, this person or their employees / customers will effect your life in the future.

To go from college into a summer job is great, it keeps you busy, purposeful and in a routine, though a break in between them is always appreciated and a good idea too…get out there and get known…it could turn into a job you could do during college…more money to spend, without effecting your studies…!