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The Daily Tar Heel
Tar Heel Life Hacks

How to lock down a summer job ASAP

Gif Source: Warner Brothers

While it would be ideal to lay around the pool all summer like it was high school again, summer between college semesters means one of two things: internship or job. 

For broke, busy students, June through August is prime time for nursing bank accounts back to health.

While you might be craving cold hard cash, getting there can leave some people a little bit lost. What is the best way to find places that are hiring and more importantly, how do you make sure you actually get hired?

Take it from somebody who has recently experienced the summer job panic: looking for work is stressful, but finding it is not as difficult as it seems. 

With the right attitude and the right amount of patience, you can apply, interview and land a job in no time flat.

Take a walk

One of the easiest ways to find a summer job (and simultaneously tone those thighs) is to take a nice, long summer walk around the area that you live, pop into a couple businesses and just ask if they’re hiring.

Especially during the summer, most places will be actively seeking applicants, so it’s always worth your time to drop into a store and see if they’re looking for help.

Ask friends and family

Make sure to reach out to your friends and family to see if they know anybody or anywhere hiring. Other people might catch those “Help Wanted” signs that you might’ve missed.

In business, it’s also all about who you know, so your folks might have a friend or two who could hook you up with a great position this summer that you might not have gotten otherwise.

Call before, go in store

This is a good little mantra and something I always try to do when I apply to work somewhere. If you’re interested in working somewhere, call and ask to speak to a manager. Greet them warmly, state your name and ask politely if they’re hiring. Yes? Then apply.

A day or two later, go to the business and ask to speak to the manager. Shake their hand, reintroduce yourself as someone who recently applied and come up with a question about hiring – how long might it take to hear back? 

But, make sure that your face is in their mind. It may seem like overkill, but showing face can make all the difference. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that persistence truly is key.

Spend time on your resume

A well-built resume is a major key, friends. Always make it clean and simple, and never make it longer than one page. Do your best to have several different resumes – one for each type of position you might apply for (for example, I have one resume I use to apply for PR/social media positions, but also one for part-time jobs).

Try to focus on the positions that are relevant to the position, and including awards, honors, and relevant coursework can be great for students, as well. And if you find that you’ve got a lot of white space left, fill it in by typing your name in font size 1000003. Why? Because if they forget everything else, at least make sure they remember your name.

Better to be over-prepared

Sometimes, life doesn’t work out exactly as we expected. If you’re in the middle of job-hunting – especially if you’re in a crunch for time and money – there is very rarely space for assumptions. Even if you feel like you nailed an interview or that you’re a perfect fit for the job, it’s better to apply to more places than seems necessary in case you don’t land the position. Always better to be safe than sorry, and having a backup plan will save you a lot of stress.

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