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Money Matters Blog

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Student Summer Job Blues

While the unemployment rate has dropped in Michigan, it can still be challenging for high school and college students to find jobs for the summer.

According to a recent news report, teen and student employment has been slipping for more than a decade. The report, from Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, said that in 2000, over 51 percent of teens had summer jobs in 2000 while only 30.5 percent worked last year.

So what is a student to do while home from school for the summer?  According to Sue O’Connor, senior marketing representative at Community Financial and mother of two college students who have successfully landed summer jobs while in high school and college, there are some things students can do to increase their chances of being hired.

“Don’t be afraid to be aggressive, without being rude or a pest,” O’Connor said.  “For example, in high school my daughter landed a job with a new restaurant by visiting the construction site before the business was even open.  She was able to get her application in early and she worked at the business for several years. ”

Some other tips from O’Connor include:

·         Make a resume:  Make sure it is free of errors and be sure to include leadership experience and school involvement if you don’t have employment experience.
·         Include if you have your own car & references that are not relatives: Look to people like neighbors, teachers or people who hired you to babysit. 
·         Look the part: Dress up to deliver your resume and apply – often times you will be judged before you are even considered. 
·         Treat everyone like they are interviewing: The other employees may have a say in who will be hired, so be courteous and outgoing to everyone.
·         Be ahead of the hiring: Look for new stores that are not open and call or email any contact listed to see when they are hiring.   
·         Network: Ask friends who work if their employers are hiring.
·         Follow up:  Send a thank you note to anyone you interview with and ask when you should hear back from them – then follow up again if you do not hear anything a few days after that.
·         Be open to any job: Don’t limit yourself.  Working at a variety of places can give you the experience future employers are looking for.

The above tips aren’t a guarantee of summer employment, but following them could put you on the right track to earn some extra cash this summer.

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