In a recent survey, nearly 80% of employers said that most of their summer job hiring was done by the end of May. So if you’re hoping to work this summer, now is the time to get out there!

Remember that having any job is a privilege and that employers deserve to have your best work at every task you do, every time you show up for work. (On time, every time, of course.)

This will also benefit you, because every job you have, even summer ones that might not seem to fit into your bigger career goals, are chances for you to build your professional reputation. You want to be known as someone who is conscientious, reliable, who learns fast and tries hard.

That being said, hopefully you can still have a great summer. Follow these tips to make your summer job less like a job and more like a great way to spend your days (or nights).

  • A summer job doesn’t have to feel like work if you find an environment that is congruent with your life style, interests and location.
  • Start your research early enough so as to have a broad scope of possibilities. This will give you an advantage over others to prepare professionally and knowledgeably.
  • Try to locate a company that can offer you a chance to hone skills that are related to your career goals. If you are a geology student working construction may pay well, but working as a summer intern in a mining company can pay off in spades for referrals and networking for full time work when you graduate.
  • Be sure to tailor each resume to the job you are applying for. If you apply to Parks and Recreation you should mention your baby sitting experience but if you applying to be a painter the two rooms you painted with your dad is what you should include.
  • Once you have identified your skills and maybe the kind of job you would like, inform your friends, friends’ parents, your parents, siblings, relatives, neighbors, etc. Many ears are better than one for sussing out a job. Tell people what you are looking for but don’t ask people out right if they know of a job for you.
  • Use all available means to find your job, the internet, newspapers, networking, post ads in super markets of your skills, go door to door.
  • If you are dropping a resume off, dress as if it is your first day on the job. You don’t have to dress expensively but be clean and well groomed. Shop discount or consignment for affordable wearables.
  • Respect yourself. Get the required amount of sleep, eat healthy foods, in between all the beer and pizza, and look smart, clean and bright eyed at the beginning of each shift.
  •  Dress as well as you can. If you are going corporate, think about covering up tattoos and piercings for the job interview. Like it or not there is discrimination in hiring.
  • Whatever you do, don’t give up. It may take 30 or 40 applications but if you are committed to succeed and you have followed all the rules, you will land.
  •  Lastly, show enthusiasm, passion and be yourself.

Whether you think so or not, chances are the adults in your life will be able to share some wisdom with you about how to conduct yourself during your search and then once you land. Ask a lot of questions, this is the first step towards the rest of your life!

For a head start on your job search get the book, “Summer Jobs in Canada”, Sentor Media, USBN# 1-896324-17-7.

Colleen Clarke, Career Specialist & Corporate

Author of Networking How to
Build Relationships That Count
, How to Get a Job and Keep

Co-author of The Power of Mentorship; The Mastermind