Look Now for Your Summer Job
The new year has just begun, but student planning for a summer job should begin right now. The days or weeks before the spring semester begins can be the best time to look for work, including internships that you might undertake. College student summer jobs can go quickly, especially for prime jobs that are directly related to your career aspirations.
1. Set your priorities. What kind of work do you want to do? Is that job related directly to your field of study or would you be happy to work most any job as long as it pays at least $8.50 per hour? If you have a year or two of education under your belt, then most any job may matter. However, if you are an upperclassman, then look for work that will benefit your career. At this point it shouldn’t be about making money, rather about acquiring experience.
2. Get the word out. Use your network of online and off-line connections to help you find work. Update your LinkedIn status and ask your parents, friends, other family members and college associates for help. Make a specific request such as, “I am looking for a finance internship with an accounting firm.” The more detailed you are the more likely you will be pointed in the right direction.
3. Visit your career center. Your college’s career center can be a great place to find work. Companies that are seeking students to fill summer positions will often make contact with the school in a bid to find suitable candidates. Update your resume, make an appointment and discuss your desires and options.
4. Consider it a stepping stone. Regardless of what type of job you land, you can gain valuable experience on the job. Employers are looking for candidates that listen, can learn, are able to work with other employees and enjoy serving customers. Students that are well groomed, arrive at work on time, that do not call in sick and show flexibility are those that are most prized. Do your best and ask your employer for a written recommendation. If the job is related to your field ask for continued work during the school year and for consideration once you graduate.
5. Maintain your priorities. The danger of any job that you work while in school is that it might interfere with your studies. Take on a full time job only when your classes are not in session. If there is some overlap, do not allow your grades to be affected. Ask your employer to work around your school schedule and to respect your need to study and to take your exams.
Most summer jobs will last about three months, but the experience can last a lifetime. Often, a summer job is a college student’s first experience in working a “real” job or a position that will closely align with the student’s career aspirations.
See Also — 10 Job Prep Tips For College Seniors