Surviving the Summer Job Search

March 21, 2012

summer jobs

Even though some of us have just had (or are about to go on) Spring Break, it’s already that time. Yes, time to start thinking about summer jobs and plans. It’s only March, but most internships, jobs and programs are closing in on their final dates for applications! Not exactly sure what type of job you want for the summertime? Check out the following information for securing an awesome summer job:

Know your deadlines. Seriously. The summer job search is really intense–whether you’re applying for an internship, a position at your school or a job in your hometown, almost everything has a deadline. Not sure when to hand in a resumé and cover letter? The earlier the better! If you submit an early application, you have a more likely chance of having someone look at it before more applications come in. Trust me, you can never go wrong with an early job application–it makes a great, timely first impression.

Prioritize what you want for work. You love being a lifeguard at the local pool but think it might be time for an internship in your major or related field. What do you do? Depending on where you are in school and your field of study, internships are key to landing a job or getting into a graduate program. If you’re finishing your freshman or sophomore year, you’ve got some time to land an internship in the future before you graduate. Don’t be too worried if you can’t find one for the summer–a lot of internships prefer applicants with junior or senior status. If you’re an upperclassman, it may be time to start searching for a internship related to your major. Who knows? You may leave with a letter of recommendation, a better idea of what you want to do and more contacts for the future.

Check out your campus for opportunities. College campuses are always looking for people to stick around and help work at the school when it’s less busy. If you love your school and want to spend more time on campus in the nice weather, consider looking for an on-campus job. Orientation and high school programs often take place on college campuses during the summer because there are fewer people around. Check out your school’s website for more information about summer positions and when to apply. These types of jobs can also be eye-opening experiences in leadership, responsibility and school spirit!

Figure out the basics. Have you ever made a resumé for yourself before? If not, don’t panic! While applying to jobs, make sure you know the proper format for resumés and cover letters before you send them out to potential employers. Your campus career center may be the perfect place to get a resumé critiqued, learn more about internships and jobs and possibly do a practice interview! Be sure to check around your school for career-related resources. If not, you can always use search engines to relieve your resumé woes.

Make your application stand out. If you’re applying for a competitive position, make sure you stand out among the applicants! Don’t go overboard by doing a crazy, candy-colored resumé or a cover letter in 140 characters or less. Instead, make sure you emphasize what’s great about your unique skills. In your cover letter, talk about your leadership, athletic or volunteer experiences at school. On your resumé, mention your GPA, relevant courses or second language in order to shine! And of course, make sure you engage and behave professionally in your interview. One tip: always ask questions about the position when it’s relevant. Employers love when applicants show their desire for a position–asking questions makes them realize your passion for that job. And don’t forget to send a thank-you note afterwards!

No matter where you are this summer, GradGuard’s can help protect you. Good luck applying and interviewing!


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