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Summer Livin’: How to Help Prepare for Your Dream Summer Job

Written by Chris D’Alessandro

Need cash for your laundry list of concerts and festivals? Or maybe you’re just eager to gain some stellar workplace experience. Or, you know, to pay for tuition.

Either way, chances are you’re looking to land that perfect summer job.

And we can help.

Brush Up Your Resume and Portfolio

You’ll always want to use the most updated and relevant information on your resume. In fact, each job you apply to should have a uniquely tailored resume and cover letter.

Resumes should be easy to read, so lay them out accordingly. White space and a legible, well-sized font are your friends here.

Likewise, cover letters should be to the point. Anything over a page is probably too long. Keep in mind the sheer volume that most desirable employers have to go through.

The key to both your resume and cover letter is to do away with filler, you know, the unimportant stuff.

Microsoft Word works adequately for constructing resumes, but to really cut that fluff down, I find that Adobe Photoshop and InDesign are your friends. When you actually apply, however, it’s best to send a PDF copy unless otherwise requested.

If you’re applying in a creative field, it exponentially helps to have your own online portfolio. Wordpress is free to start and is a fairly intuitive plug-and-play service. If you can set up a Facebook page, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with a WordPress site.

Clean Up Your Social Media

The first thing a lot of potential employers do is Google your name and see what pops up. The last thing you want is for them to see that picture of you from last Friday night.

Make sure to set your Facebook, Instagram and other social profiles to private. Ensure there’s nothing inappropriate on there regardless.

Your Twitter profile can be public, but your tweets themselves should be nothing you wouldn’t want your mother to see. In fact, that’s a good rule in general.

As for LinkedIn, if you don’t have a profile, make one. Like, right now. Profile pictures all around should be professional looking, especially on your LinkedIn.

Network, Network, Network… and Then Network More

You want to always keep your ear to the ground for opportunities.

The truth is that so many companies can be incredibly difficult to get a job at when you don’t know somebody within the organization.

The job market is hyper-competitive. Many millennials find themselves still competing against baby-boomers for the same position.

So, it never hurts to know who you know.

Keep yourself open to meeting new people and put your best, professional foot forward when you do. Networking is really about pitching yourself. So let people see the value in you.

Whenever you can’t do something yourself, find somebody who can. For example, if you have a friend who fancies themselves a fine photographer, see if you can sweet talk them into taking the perfect profile picture for your social media accounts.

Apply Now!

Any desirable job will most likely have dozens, maybe even hundreds of applicants. Because of this, most job postings will usually close before the date given on the posting.

Especially when it comes to summer jobs, there can be such an influx of students who are all applying in a mad scramble for summer employment.

You’ll want to get as much of a head start as possible. Like, I don’t know, now!

Follow Up

If you really want something, show it. People take an interest in you when you take an interest in them.

So it never hurts to follow up after applying or after the job interview itself.

Just a quick email expressing your interest and how much you appreciated the employer’s time can make all the difference. Just don’t overdo it.

Even if you don’t land that particular gig, you will be remembered in a positive light, setting you up for future success.

Congratulations to Brittany Ferguson from St. Lawrence College, Winner of Week 4 in CIBC’s $10K Study Break!

Brittany F

Enjoy that $1,000 study break, Brittany! For your chance to win, see this week’s challenge.

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.