Senior Maddie Lee has worked at Teaspoon, Scoop Microcreamery, and Books Inc. for approximately six months each. She shared her thoughts about what challenges she encountered while working.
“I think the most challenging part is probably learning to manage your time by yourself, and realizing that you have to set aside more time to do homework and extracurriculars that you can’t do during the hours you’re working,” Lee said. “Getting the job is one thing, but you have to keep it too. It’s really about shifting your mentality, and being able to take on responsibility for your actions and schedules. At work, people aren’t always going to hold your hand, and you have to learn to ask questions.”
However, some high school students have not worked much or do not have work experience, and it can be hard to find a summer job without prior knowledge or proper preparation. Here are some tips that you can follow to increase the chance of landing a summer job.
Today, job searches often start online through contacts or job search websites and then submitting a resume in hopes of getting an interview. Having a good resume is pivotal to getting a job, but some students may not precisely know how to craft the best resume.
According to Paly Work Experience Coordinator Meredith Gyves, who has been teaching the Work Experience class for many years, the resume process is quite different from the college application process.
“Take a well-written one-page resume, but don’t write too much that the interviewer has nothing to ask you,” Gyves said. “A resume for employment is not a college resume, because employers want to know you are willing to do the work and show initiative. They don’t care about the awards you won, or your test scores. They want to know you are qualified to do the work.”
Some students may have limited real work experience, but you can include the clubs you have joined or volunteer positions you have worked, according to Gyves. Students should also describe the role and responsibility in those projects and what they did to benefit the team.
Furthermore, describing the fact that you have strong interpersonal skills, can learn fast and are a hard worker adds to your list of essential skills that can increase your chance of getting a job, as stated by Gyves. Furthermore, being able to speak a foreign language may be useful if you are applying for a job that has to deal with customers who may speak different languages.
Also, Gyves recommends not to include family members when you include people who can describe your work ethic.
“Include a sheet of around three references that they can call,” Gyves said. “A teacher, coach, former employer; someone that knows your work ethic. Not a family member or friend.”
Having a professional or peer read your resume can help catch grammatical or stylistic errors, according to senior Albert Lee.
“The format of the resume is so critical that everyone should find a professional to help proofread it,” Lee said.
The summer job market is very competitive, and many people want the same job, so broadening the types of positions that you want can help you not to overlook good opportunities. Utilizing multiple methods to search for jobs, such as walking to local stores, looking at newspaper job ads, searching for jobs online and using Facebook or other social networks can help too.
Maddie Lee used many different methods when searching for her three jobs.
“For Books Inc, I actually spent so much time there anyway that they ended up offering me a job,” Lee said. “For Scoop, I saw a help wanted sign in their window, stopped by to ask for an application, and had an interview a few days later. I started working there the next week and ended up working there until the end of first semester junior year. Currently I work at Teaspoon; I asked around some friends I knew were working there, and found that they were still hiring. I went in for an interview and started soon after. ”
If the company contacts you for an interview, you have already gotten closer to getting the job that most people. However, the interview is still part of the job process. Preparing well for the interview could mean the difference between getting the job and losing the opportunity, according to Gyves.
You should prepare for an interview, but not overly stress about it, according to Maddie Lee.
“Don’t stress too much about the interview,” she said. “Be yourself and be friendly, and you’ll be okay. Also, make sure it’s a job you enjoy. As your first job, you can probably take the liberty of applying to work at places you’d be happy at. If you hate your work, it’s going to be a bad experience, even if you’re earning money. ”
Gyves advises to do a mock interview with your parents or friends, so you feel more confident and comfortable to do interview style talking. The interviewer may ask you to elaborate on your resume. However, the interviewer may ask questions not related to your resume, so be prepared for that. Demonstrate your confidence and good communication skills during the interview process.
Before arriving at the interview, Gyves recommends knowing about the background of the location you plan to work at.
“Research the job for which you are applying,” Gyves said. “For example, if you are applying to work at a restaurant; be familiar with their menu, know the name of the manager, and how long has the restaurant been in its present location. You might be asked if you have ever eaten there, so you should try it out so you can answer ‘yes.'”
During the interview process, Gyves advises to act formal and ready when going in for an interview.
“Make sure you go alone, dress nicely and leave your phone in the car,” Gyves said.”You should also get a business card of the interviewer. Having a good hand shake and eye contact equates to a good first impression.”
Do not forget to pick up a work permit at https://paly.net/work-permits if you are under 18 years old and plan to work a summer job. After June 5, you can download and print the summer work permit form and turn it in at the Adult Education Office located at the first floor of the Tower Building.