Finding Summer Jobs

Summer vacation is one of the highlights of the year – it’s a time off from school when you can hang out with your friends and family, enjoy the weather, and generally relax. As you get closer to the end of high school, that summer vacation can become a great opportunity to earn some money while you still do all of the things that make the summer break fun.

There’s a false myth out there that someone can’t get a summer job unless you’ve already got a job that you hold during the school year. If you don’t have the time or means to get to a job during the school year, you can easily find a job just for the summer that will help you save some money for the year and allow you to enjoy your break a little more when you’re not working.

Here are some tips and questions to ask yourself that can help you find a summer job:

  • What kind of work do you want to do and where?
    • Retail? Consider a department store like Kohl’s, Macy’s, Abercrombie, Pac Sun, or any place where you enjoy shopping yourself – employee discounts can be an added perk.
    • Something Outdoors? Look into summer camps, farms (Sam Mazza‘s is known for hiring teens over the summer) that need various kinds of help, and summer jobs with one of the Vermont State Parks.
    • Food Service? If you’ve already worked at a restaurant, you can usually get a job as a waiter or waitress, but if you don’t have any prior experience, consider applying as a food runner or dishwasher. It’s easy to work your way up from there by learning the way the restaurant operates from the ground up.
  • Check out websites for hiring teens and for summer jobs:
    • HireTeen.com
    • TeenOpps.org – Started by 2 V.T. stay-at-home Moms who wanted to help their kids and friends find summer jobs.
    • SnagAJob.com – Specializes in part-time and seasonal entry-level job listings.
    • Youth.Jobs – Non-profit organization’s website specifically for finding young adults jobs.
    • Internships.com – Listings of paid and unpaid internships.
    • CareerRookie.com – Job listing site for entry-level jobs for teens and young adults looking for their first job.

Getting Hired

There are some general guidelines to follow when you’ve gotten an interview for a new job to give a good first impression…

  • Dress to impress – don’t show up wearing what you wear every day to school. Got an interview at a retail job? Wearing something business casual should be a safe bet. Applying for a job on a farm? Don’t show up in a suit, but try to look professional with a tucked in shirt, some clean shoes, and ironed pants. Overall, look conservative and clean-cut. Remember that some scientific studies show that the more professional you dress, the more confident you feel, just don’t overdo it.
  • Do a mock job interview! Contact a Young Adult Navigator here at ImpactVT and we’ll go through a mock job interview to help prepare you for some of the questions you might be asked and coach you on the best way to answer them.
  • Complete follow-ups and write thank-you notes – Get the contact information of the person who interviewed you before you leave the interview. The next day, write them a short email or give them a quick call to say it was a pleasure meeting them, to thank them for their time, and that you look forward to hearing more soon.
  • Prepare yourself for competition – You won’t always get the job the first time around, and you might even get called in for a second or third interview if the competition is tough. Don’t be discouraged if you get rejected! Keep being persistent, set up a couple hours a day that’ll dedicate to job searching, and you’ll eventually find the right job for you.