Four tips to help land you a summer job
Sometime mid-spring, everyone you know starts to freak out about summer jobs. Your friends get all secretive about who they heard was hiring, and your parents start requiring up-to-the-minute status updates on every pointless detail ("What color socks did you wear to your interview?")
Sure, you can choose to diss the job search all together, but that means you'll spend the summer bored, broke and having to do Mom and Dad's laundry. That's just awkward for everyone. So you need a job for the summer, and you need it fast.
So, here are a few tips to make sure you're not stuck folding Dad's boxer shorts in the middle of July...
1. Have realistic summer job expectations
Everyone has that one friend with the dream summer job - the one who makes more than you, works less and seemingly possesses an unlimited amount of sick days. (And by sick days, we mean days spent tanning by the pool while reading a copy of US Weekly). It may seem like that friend has won the summer job lottery, and we don't want to be the fun police, but what is he/she really learning? Even if a summer job isn't the yellow brick road to your dream career, you can learn awesome job skills, or even turn it into a permanent paycheck.
2. Don't ignore old advice
You've probably heard to “dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” And your mom has told you, "You only get one chance to make a first impression." As annoying as these are to hear, cliches serve a purpose. "Dressing for the job you want" shows employers you're motivated. And there are no do-overs in your job search, so you better get it right the first time.
3. Be honest with potential employers
This starts with being honest with yourself. If you're a proud vegan and you aren't sure you could stand handling prime-cut filets, then skip the restaurant job route. Being honest also includes your initial conversations with potential bosses. Don't over-commit to the amount of hours you'll be able to work and then back down later. Also, don't claim you possess certain skills if you don't. We know it's exciting to be on the cusp of landing a job, but the quickest way to crash and burn is to get caught in a lie.
4. Don't be “that guy” or “that girl”
When dozens and dozens of your peers are competing for the same coveted job, don't make it easy for a potential employer to take you out of the running early. From having your cell phone blowing up during an interview to dropping off a resume with your mom in tow, the list of these embarrassing faux pas is long. When in doubt, pause, then exercise a little common sense.