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Summer Employment

Tips on the Application Process

Employers who are looking to fill part-time or seasonal jobs typically request that job seekers complete an application form. If you have a resume, you may be tempted to submit it in place of the employment application. Don't do this without first checking with the employer! Many employers have union agreements that require them to use specific application forms.

Some employers, generally small businesses, don't utilize application forms and will request that you submit a resume and cover letter. Many students find this to be a challenge because they either have limited experiences to highlight or don't know how to promote their experiences in a way that will appeal to employers. Let us help - we can suggest how to create résumés and cover letters that will be eye-catching. Once you have you have a draft completed, you can have it critiqued during our walk-in hours or by scheduling an appointment.

Finding Affordable Summer Housing

When planning on working away from home, the search for housing needs to happen as far in advance as possible. This is particularly true if you'll be working in a city with a tight housing market (e.g., New York, Washington, D.C.). Because furnished housing is the ideal option for most, start your search with your network contacts. Ask family, friends, and acquaintances (dorm mates, classmates, co-workers, etc.) if they know someone who lives in the geographical area you'll be working. This is good way to find an apartment to sublet or a room to rent.

You should also check with your contact at the company or organization where you'll be working. These individuals generally know where past summer employees have found housing and can be an invaluable resource.

Make the Most of a "McJob"

Because the availability of career starter jobs is limited, you might need to settle for a "McJob" (hey, you've got to pay the bills!). If this happens, be consistent in demonstrating the personal characteristics that employers value (e.g., adaptability, positive attitude, dependability, and a good work ethic). At minimum, this will yield a strong reference from your supervisor. If your supervisor values employee development, he/she may also reward your top performance by allowing you to take on special projects. You'll first need to tell your supervisor that you're interested in getting as much experience as you can. For instance, you might ask your supervisor if you could assist with brainstorming solutions to workplace problems or training new employees.

 

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