Spring Break Over? Now’s the Time to Gear Up to Get a Summer Job

Barry Lenson

Spring Break Over? Now’s the Time to Gear Up to Get a Summer Job

If you’re a college student, here are some surefire signs that can tell you that spring break just ended . . .

  • There’s sand on the floor of your dorm bathroom.
  • Someone is walking across the quad wearing those novelty sunglasses that do double-duty as drink straws.
  • Your roommate has an odd, lobster-like sunburn and he’s hung his surf jammies out the window to dry.
  • Every time you look at a textbook and realize you have to start working again, you start to cry.

Well, snap out of it. You’ve got some work to do on several fronts. First, you need to gear up and polish off the rest of the semester. Second – and this could be the harder part – you need to nail down a summer job. Here are some steps that can boost your odds of success on that front . . .

  • Tap your family and family contacts.  “Hello, Cruel World: What the Fate of One Class of 2011 Says About the Job Market,” a recent article in The New York Times, makes it very clear that many of the students who are finding jobs today are getting referrals from family members or family friends. Don’t be too proud to ask for some help. Whatever works, right?
  • Network your way to alumni of your college. You can do it by getting to know the staff at your college’s office of alumni giving, or even by volunteering at alumni reunions or special events. When you meet alums, tell they you are looking for summer work. It’s another way to get an inside advantage.
  • Drop by your college’s career or employment office daily. Your goal is to be among the first few students to see new job postings when they appear on bulletin boards. Also, get to know the people who work in the office. If they see that you are really trying to nail down a summer job,  they’ll be more eager to help you.
  • Talk to professors and instructors who like you. If you show that you are smart and hard-working, they’ll be eager to help you find a summer position either on campus, or off.
  •  Don’t be afraid to pound some pavement. I know one young woman who put on her “interviewing outfit” last March, armed herself with a pile of resumes, and walked through a building where dozens of physicians had their offices. She walked up to each reception desk and within an hour, she had offers to work the front desks in two offices while receptionists were taking their summer vacations.  So the bottom line is that even in this online age when most people find jobs online, you can still find a job by shaking hands and meeting people face-to-face.

So, is this a difficult time to find a summer job? Could be, but you know the old saying about what tough people do when times are tough, right? Now get out there and do it.

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