The weather is finally starting to warm up, and so should your summer job hunt. You may be thinking, “Kim. Seriously? I have finals to study for, soccer practice to get to, trips to plan and essays to write. I’ll starting looking for a summer job when school gets out.” Well, that would be a mistake.
We talked to 1,000 employers to find out what you need to do to make sure you have a job waiting for you this summer. Here’s what they told us.
1) Start looking now
We often find that summer workers wait until the last minute to start searching for a job. But employers want to have their hires in place by the time the season starts. In fact, 70 percent of all summer jobs will be completely filled by the end of May. Summer hiring has already started, so the earlier you start looking, the more opportunities that you’ll see.
2) Stay positive
A positive attitude is the most important thing that an employer is searching for in a summer hire, more so than experience. When you go in for an interview or to follow up on an application, use this fact to your advantage and prove to them that you’re passionate and enthusiastic about the position.
3) Be flexible
After attitude, employers ranked “having an open schedule” and “being available for the entire summer” as important things they are looking for in employees. I know it’s summer and you might want to spend your nights and weekends with friends, but by making it priority to be open during the hard-to-fill shifts, you’ll be setting yourself above the competition. If you’ve never had a job before this can really help you stand out. Think about it – would you rather hire someone who can only work Monday through Wednesday from noon to six, or someone who will be available whenever you need them?
4) Be socially responsible
Employers are pretty honest about the fact that they might look at a candidate’s social media profiles to determine what type of person they are. Fifty-six percent of the employers we talked to said they might search for you online before deciding to hire you. This is higher than previous years’ results. Do yourself a favor and perform a social media audit. Look at all your channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – and make sure there isn’t anything inappropriate (or illegal) on there. I suggest using the “mom rule”: if you don’t want your mom to see it, don’t put it up there.
5) Hours and wage to expect
2016 will be a great year for summer hiring! On average, hourly wages will be higher than we’ve seen in years. Summer employers are expected to pay an hourly wage of $12.75, up from last year’s predicted pay of $11.52. Also in 2016, employers expect summer hires to work around 28 hours per week. This means that it might make sense to apply to multiple jobs if you are hoping to get a full 40 hours or more in.
What are you waiting for? Get your summer job search started today!