Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Contrary to popular belief, summer is not the best time for teenagers to start looking for a summer job. Application volume and the recruitment process often prompts employers to start the summer hiring process as early as mid-winter. If you have not started searching for summer employment itís time to get started.
Which employers are hiring?
The best place to start is with your local government. Many municipalities hire summer help for their park and recreation programs. Summer refreshment shop workers, camp counselors, parking lot attendants are just a few of the positions that they are looking to hire. Are you a good swimmer? Qualified lifeguards are always difficult positions to fill.
If you canít find a paid position, consider volunteering. Local libraries with summer programs are often looking for volunteers to help with registering kids for summer reading programs. This might not be a paid position, but the work experience is invaluable. Volunteering also looks great on a resume.
What skills are required?
The skills are often dependent upon the job. One of the most important skills, regardless of the position, is excellent customer services skills. Many hard-skills such as running a cash register and parking lot attendants can be taught. Itís almost impossible to teach someone to have a good attitude. Itís not impossible, but most employers donít want to take the time. Donít tell the employer that youíre a ďpeople personĒ. Show them in your mannerisms and attitudes during the interview. There are many other ďsoft-skillsĒ required, such as the ability to follow direction. The ability to work independently or as part of a team is essential.
If youíre interested in applying for a camp counselor position, for example, a proven ability to work well with kids in a structured program is definitely a plus. Camp Counselors are responsible for daily supervision, planning activities and the safety of their charges.
Where to apply?
Like most jobs, many employers use an online application system. If you have not prepared one already, the first step is to prepare a resume. This provides a document to work with when completing an online application.
Why start looking now?
While the jobs may be advertised through May, competition will increase sharply the closer you get to spring and summer. College students coming home for spring break will be quick to snap up any available positions. In addition, unemployed adults will tap into the summer job market to help supplement dwindling financial resources. Waiting until school gets out for the summer will have a huge impact on job availability. Itís time to get started!