Getting a Summer Job Once School is Out

A summer job may be a necessity to help finance your college education. But with a competitive job market, even for entry-level positions, finding summer work can be a major challenge.
Here are a few ways you can find a job in the summer months:

Start Early
The time to start applying for summer jobs and internships is months before you actually need them. Plan to start looking for your summer position by February at the latest, so you have plenty of time for your search.

Starting your search early also allows you to tap your network for possible summer openings. Make sure your friends and relatives know you're looking for summer work, so they'll be on the lookout for you (or may even have a position for you).

Stand Out by Walking In
Most job hunters perform their searches online these days. You can help stand out from the crowd by putting on your best walking shoes and look for "Help Wanted" signs around town. Many smaller businesses don't advertise for help online, so actually getting out in the neighborhood may help you find a job you wouldn't have known about otherwise.

Be prepared to give potential employers a quick "elevator speech" listing your skills and motivation for working with them. And don't forget to follow up with prospects who seemed interested.

Ask for Help
Find out if your school's career services office (or similar department) can help you with your job search. These departments may also help you with interviewing techniques and other tips to help you land a job.
Don't forget to contact previous employers to see if they have room for you through the summer. If you had a great work history with them, they may be able to help you out.

Look in Other Fields
If you've been set on finding a job in your chosen career path, but are still unsuccessful with summer looming, it may be time to broaden your search. While you might not gain experience that's specific to the career you want to have, any work experience will look better than none to future employers.

Become an Entrepreneur
Finally, use your creativity to make your own summer job. Many college students make their summer money doing landscaping or mowing lawns. Look at your skills and experience for ways to make money.
From handyman work like painting and minor home repairs to vacation pet care and babysitting, there are many ways to create your own job.

Don't forget to check into unpaid internships, either. While you won't make any money from these positions, they can give you valuable experience in your field or a related one, and will give your resume a boost.

Finding a summer job takes planning and legwork, especially as the job market for all career levels becomes more competitive.

By starting early and staying motivated, you stand a better chance of finding a position to help you finance or advance your career.

About the Author: Angie Mansfield is a freelance writer whose work covers a range of consumer and business topics for a variety of websites, including Reputation.com.

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