Summertime and the living is easy, right? Well, even if you are enjoying some much deserved R&R this summer you can still consider getting a job to save money for your gap year or college experience. Here are some tips to get your search going!

1. START EARLY

Beat out the college kids returning home and other high school grads by starting your search in the spring (or possibly earlier if you want to work away from home at a summer camp or national park). By researching and applying early, you’ll be more likely to secure a desirable job. Another strategy is to pound the pavement -print out several copies of your resume and walk into the places you want to apply and ask to speak with a manger. The opportunity to get facetime with a potential employer helps you be memorable and shows them you are serious about getting a job.

2. THINK ABOUT THE JOB YOU WANT, BUT STAY FLEXIBLE

Brainstorm about your ideal summer gig. Maybe you want to work at the local resort or lifeguard at a pool or beach. Then, reflect on what skills you need to get that job. For lifeguarding, you need to get your certification. For serving you may need to be willing to start out by hosting. If you aren’t qualified for the job you want, start by working towards any necessary certifications or apply for a different job and work your way into the position you want.

3. CUSTOMIZE YOUR RESUME

If you already have a resume made for your college applications, adjust it slightly for the jobs you want for summer. You can update it to include your intended college and highlight your relevant work experience above your coursework or volunteering. 

4. PREPARE FOR YOUR INTERVIEW

Younger and less experienced candidates can nab jobs by demonstrating their professionalism during their interview process. Show up on time, with a paper copy of your resume in hand. Think about what you can bring to a position and articulate that in your interview. And yes, bring this mentality to every job opportunity – even ones you think you are overqualified for. 

5. FOLLOW UP

If you submit a resume and are waiting to hear back, don’t be shy about calling up to ask if they received your application. This demonstrated your interest and responsibility. It also forces a manager to sift through other applications and get their eyes on yours! You should also follow up after an interview. A short email to thank them for their time goes a long way. 

6. CAN’T FIND A JOB? CREATE YOUR OWN

 If you are having trouble getting a position somewhere, or your summer plans don’t allow for consistent employment, don’t give up. Think about ways you enjoy spending time and skills you have to offer. Then, seek out gigs! A great place to offer your services is Next Door or Front Porch Forum. You can also put out the offer to your neighbors and parents’ friends. Here are some ideas that have worked for past students:

  • Lawn care – mowing lawns and landscaping 
  • Babysitting or nannying
  • Web design for small businesses
  • Task Rabbit or Uber Eats
  • Portrait or headshot sessions (for photographers)
  • Temp (via a temp agency)
  • Tutor
  • Pet sit or house sit 
  • Lead outdoor fitness classes or hikes

 

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