Top Tips for High School Students Looking for a Summer Job
- Start early. Winter is the perfect time to begin your search. If employers tell you it's too soon, ask them for the earliest time that you might come back to discuss summer opportunities.
- Post your interest in finding a summer job on your Facebook page and ask your friends to introduce you to their past and present employers. When chatting with your friends in person ask them for ideas and introductions. Visit currently employed friends at work and ask to meet their manager.
- Speak with your parents and ask them to introduce you to any friends or colleagues who work in local organizations or own local businesses.
- Approach your favorite teachers at a quiet time and ask them for ideas of employers for summer jobs and contacts to whom you can reach out.
- Speak with coaches and other advisors for your activities and ask them for suggestions of people and places to contact.
- Engage your priest, rabbi, minister, and/or youth group advisor at church to inquire about options.
- Meet with past employers with whom you've had good relationships and ask them about possibilities with other employers (assuming that you do not want to go back and work with them).
- Visit your high school guidance counselor and ask about the office's listings for summer jobs and other local sources of youth job listings.
- If possible, secure a letter of recommendation from a teacher, coach, past employer or other trusted adult which affirms your work ethic, positive attitude and sound character. Carry copies with you when you visit employers.
- Compile a list of local employers and begin visiting them at a time when it isn't too busy. Ask to speak with a manager but be very nice to whoever greets you first, these "gatekeepers" can determine whether you gain access to managers or not.
- Prepare and practice a short personal introduction or elevator speech which conveys your strengths and motivations to work in a positive way. Ask your parents for help in summarizing some of your good qualities.
- Dress the part. Wear a neat outfit that will impress the grown up types who will be deciding whether to hire you.
- Make sure your personal grooming is in order. Avoid wearing piercings, dyed hair and wild hairdos. Ask your parents if you look okay!
- Make sure you smile and look your employer in the eye when you speak with them. Show some energy and enthusiasm in your voice s you speak.
- Follow up your visit with a thank you note indicating that you appreciated the opportunity to meet with them, you would really like the job and will work diligently if hired. Include a photo so they remember you. This effort will show them that you are a hard worker and distinguish you from other candidates who won't take a step like this.
- Check back in with promising employers (with an enthusiastic smile!) every few weeks and let them know you would really like the job.
- Recognize that some employers will hire for the summer (like camps, resorts, rec programs) while others may be looking for ongoing employees. If appropriate to your situation, indicate that you are willing to work before and/or after the summer for those organizations that don't hire just for the summer.
Summer Job Articles and Advice