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Tips for Finding a Summer Job


With the beginning of summer right around the corner, it is time to figure out where to look for summer employment. Strong competition continues for this year's summer job market, but 21 percent of employers plan to bring seasonal workers to their teams, according to a CareerBuilder survey that questioned at least 2,800 hiring managers. And of these employers, 57 percent of respondents will think about offering full-time positions to their seasonal employees.

"More than half of employers reported they treat summer jobs as extended job interviews," says Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. "Summer employment is a great way for workers to network, test-drive different career paths and earn permanent placement within an organization.

"It's still a highly competitive hiring environment, so you want to make sure you apply early, highlight specific accomplishments in your resume and thoroughly research the company before the interview."

When searching for open positions, certain industries tend to hire more employees. Job seekers should look at retail, hospitality, office support, customer service, information technology, engineering, research, landscape maintenance, sales and telemarketing, construction/painting and camp counseling. When it comes to payment, the majority of respondents (58 percent) will offer $10 or more for their summer jobs.

The summer job market is still open for candidates. Forty-five percent of employers finish their summer hiring in May, while 20 percent will continue to fill positions in June and later months.

CareerBuilder provides suggestions to stand out from all the other resumes:

— List your accomplishments. Include examples of your contributions at other companies. If you are still a student, provide information on specific class projects or involvement in school organizations.

— Display your knowledge about the company. During the interview, discuss something you read about the company.

— Present interest in long-term position.

If you are looking for a permanent position, tell the hiring manager during the interview.

— Include a cover letter. This document can get a hiring manager's attention and display your communication skills as well as accomplishments.

— Send a thank-you note. Not only does it give you a chance to check in, but it also gives you another opportunity to discuss why you are perfect for the job.

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Although the job market has improved in the last few years, it still holds a challenge to new college graduates. Grads need to be prepared to work hard in order to compete with other job seekers.

"The key to success for graduates is to be aggressive," says John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "Yes, the job market is improving, but they are not only competing against their fellow graduates; they are also competing with people who graduated last year and the year before and may already have some work experience under their belt.

"Job seekers, regardless of age or experience, cannot afford to take a passive approach to the job search in the current environment."

Challenger, Gray & Christmas provides tips for grads on the job hunt:

— Look for jobs right after graduation. Even if you want to enjoy one more summer off, it is better for employers to see that you are motivated and ready to enter the job market.

— Put volunteer work on your resume. Volunteer work can provide insight into your personality, work ethic and commitment.

— Take time to network. Networking and in-person meetings can be more effective than sending electronic resumes. You want to find people who can further develop your network groups.

— Don't limit your job search. It is better to keep your options open. Look at other industries. You want to gain experience even if the position is in a different area of study.

For more information, visit

To find out more about Amy Winter and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



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