CAREER CORNER: Summer jobs...
It may seem a bit premature to be discussing summer jobs already - after all, March has only just started and some summer employment programmes probably won’t begin until July. At the end of May however, the hunt for summer employment will be on in earnest for University students who are preparing to graduate, and for continuing students who need jobs and/or internships. If you haven’t already applied for summer employment… I encourage you to do so now.
If you are not inclined to seek employment – the summer period can be a good time to start a business. Think about the skills that you have and how they can be offered as a service to potential customers. If you want to work in the traditional corporate sector however, the tips below can offer some guidance to you:
- Application Deadlines. Although application dates vary, companies usually accept summer job applications between March and May. Contact the HR Departments of companies where you would like to work, to confirm application deadlines. Submit on time.
- Career Centers. Get help with your job search by liaising with the career center at your University…often times companies recruit directly through them.
- Spread the word. Network with colleagues, friends and family- tell them that you are job hunting for the summer. They may be able to submit applications to their HR Departments on your behalf, and can also assist you in getting jobs that aren’t widely advertised.
- Focus. Apply to companies where you (eventually) would like to be employed on a full time basis and submit applications to them. Several companies use summer employment programmes as ‘feeder’ programmes for entry level positions- use this as an opportunity to work for these organizations.
- Travel. Your job hunt does not have to be restricted to our shores. There are different employment programmes that you may take part in that will allow you to travel overseas and gain international experience during the summer break. The career office at your university should also have a list of programmes that you may apply to.
The company that you work with during the summer will quite likely have interesting projects for you to engage in, and will provide you with significant opportunities for on-the-job experience. Capitalize on these opportunities and use the experience to further propel your job search after graduation or to aid in the completion of your studies, whichever the case may be. Summer employment is also an opportunity for financial assistance and students should ensure that they seek employment for this reason too.
Malaika T. Edwards is a Human Resources consultant and provides advisory services to individuals and business clients. She is also a PhD scholar at the Louisiana State University (LSU) where she specializes in Human Resources and Workforce Development. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/malaika-edwards