Temperatures are rising, days are getting longer and kids are dying to get out of the classroom! This can only mean one thing: Summer is just around the bend. It's time to start planning trips, summer camps, and summer jobs.
Despite the fact that school won't end in most places for another few months, it's still a good time to start thinking about summer work. The timeframe for hiring can be as long as a month, so waiting until school is officially out isn't a good idea. Not sure where to start? Try these four tips to jumpstart a summer job search for yourself or a young adult.
1.) Ask friends and family
One of the best ways to hit the ground running is to disrupt the lengthy hiring process of most big employers by going after small business opportunities. Where better to get your foot in the door than with someone you already know? Asking friends and family if they need help with their businesses can be a great way to start building your experience.
Parents, too, can help out in the search. They might ask at their own workplaces about summer or seasonal positions. Commuting with a parent will give you extra quality time and cut down on transportation difficulties.
Even if you don't have friends and family who can connect you directly to employment, it's a good idea to let them know you're looking. If you've got a friend of the family you're especially close to, ask if they'll serve as a reference. A good reference can really boost a short resume!
2.) Think seasonal
If you're not looking for a job that will carry over into the school year, it's a good idea to look for an industry that does most of its work during the summer months. Fortunately, such jobs are common. Many businesses are looking to hire seasonally during summer months.
If you live near a major tourist attraction, odds are good they'll be bringing in extra hands to cover an increased service demand. The same goes for restaurants and shopping centers near those attractions. If a major festival comes anywhere near you this summer, call and ask if they need extra help. Such jobs are usually short-term and perfect for someone who has those same few weeks off.
Other businesses do booming trade during the summer. Many people take on big remodeling projects during the summer, so construction companies need more people to help clean up job sites. Lawn care services usually have more work than they can handle, and city park districts also step up their programming to serve kids while they too are out of school.
3.) Hit the pavement
It's tempting to do all your job searching from the computer. It's air conditioned and you don't even have to get out of your pajamas! While these benefits are nice, they don't do much to showcase you to potential employers.
Think of it this way: What most employers are looking for is someone who will show up regularly and be presentable. Putting on your dress clothes and hitting the streets with a resume shows that you're willing to leave the house and can put yourself together professionally. That's something no online resume can convey.
4.) Make a plan for the paychecks
Getting that first real paycheck can be an exhilarating experience. Unless you're careful, it can also be a very short-lived one. It's too easy to watch that hard-earned money disappear into a few fast food meals or evenings with friends.
Making a plan now, before you've got a dime in your hands, can be a great tool to keep you on track. Decide how much you'll save, and what you're saving for. What portion of your money will you save for new clothes in the fall? What will help cover college expenses? Of course, you'll want to budget yourself a little fun money, too.
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Your Turn: What's your best summer job hunting tip? Share your wisdom with us in the comments!