Summer employment: Follow these tips on how to find that summer internship or job


OSJOBFAIR (Photo credit: cwgcph)

Whether you’re looking for a summer internship in your field or just a part time job to keep busy, you should probably begin that job search right now. Follow these steps on how to find summer employment and you’ll be well on your way to a summer of new experiences.

Step 1. Write and proofread your resume. 

Under no circumstances should you ever have any typos or misspellings in your resume. Suzanne Lucas for CBS News offers tips on resume writing in her February 2, 2011, post titled “How to Write a Resume: Dos and Don’ts.” Lucas suggests that as a job candidate you should highlight your strengths under past jobs. A big no-no on the resume is sharing too much information. Lucas lists “birth date, religion, hobbies, weight, social security number, marital status, links to Facebook or personal blogs, children, sexual orientation or life missions” as items not to include on your resume.

Step 2. Look for employment opportunities early

…and for as long as it takes to find one as “summer job openings and internships are extremely competitive in a tough job market.” Emily Driscoll discusses this and other helpful tips in a February 15, 2012, post “What College Students Should Do Now to Get a Summer Job,” for Don’t be afraid to make connections through social networking sites such as LinkedIn; just be sure your conversations, and professional online biography, remain just that — professional.

 Step 3. Do your homework

Research companies and organizations that you’re interested in working for. This way, when you’re contacting/interviewing for those employers, you’ll have relevant information to talk about. You may find it beneficial to call your “dream” companies and ask for an informational interview with a department manager. Christine Gaiser suggests in her interview with Driscoll, “either in your conversation or in your thank you letter, express your interest in a summer job and ask what the preferred process is for that organization. Submit your application through the formal channels and if you feel comfortable doing so, let the person you spoke with know that you did, so they can follow up internally if they so choose.”

Step 4.  Check with your university job board

After all, their goal is to help you find employment after you leave their campus. Depending on what college program you’re majoring in, you can check your specific department’s website for any upcoming job fairs. Here’s a tip: Just search “College Job Fair” and the local results should show up first for your area.

Step 5. Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family members for a connection.

The saying “It’s not about what you know but who you know that counts” is around for a reason. Katherine Dudley Hoehn, author at, offers up networking advice in a March 7, 2013, post titled “Networking to Find a Job.” Just a few tips from Hoehn:

  • Make a list of every person you know who could help
  • Call/contact each of them directly
  • Ask for suggestions of groups of committees to join
  • Follow up with new contacts
  • Add new contacts to your professional LinkedIn profile
  • Write a personal thank you card
  • Keep spreadsheet of all contacts handy, being sure to list mutual friends

Step 6. Keep a positive attitude.

Job searching can be very stressful, and the longer you’re out of work, the higher your stress level. The best advice I’ve ever gotten while I was job searching came from my soon-to-be father-in-law. He said, though I’m not sure I’ll do this story justice as he tells it in only a way that a clinical social worker can, “Bessie, do you know what people in the oil industry do when they’re having a hard time finding oil? They drill more holes. If you’re on the hunt for a job and you’re not getting any bites, drill more holes. Send more resumes, make more calls, and above all, don’t give up.”

You never know when an opportunity will come to you, so be open about start dates and responsibilities: If you have to cancel that Cedar Point trip in order to take an interview, you probably should.

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