How to Find a Summer Job During COVID-19
Finding a summer job is never easy, but in 2020 it may be especially challenging for many applicants. However, no matter how intimidating the landscape might be, there are employers looking for help right now. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has made it much more difficult to uncover them.
One thing hasn’t changed, however. The key to a successful job search will always be putting your best foot forward as a truly active job searcher. This is certainly not the year to sit back and wait for a job to come to you. So here are some tips to help you find a job during COVID-19.
Identify Your Summer Job Goals
What do you wish to get out of your summer job? Are you looking for experience in a certain field? Are you hoping to spend time outdoors? How important is your salary? What about part-time versus full-time? Do you just want a seasonal job or are you hoping to extend into a year-round opportunity?
All of these questions are important in helping focus your attention on the right areas. In any job search, it is critical to identify your goals early, so that you can stay on a path aimed towards achieving them. “I just need a job” is too general.
Be Flexible in Defining Your Summer Opportunities
After you’ve identified your goals, take a step back. It may seem at first like only a Wall Street internship will give you the finance experience you set as a goal, or that only a lifeguard job at the local country club will get you outdoors. Neither of these are true. You’ll need to think outside of the box this year. We suggest creating a list of all the different types of jobs that would satisfy your goals for the summer. You may be surprised what you come up with.
Research Job Opportunities
Once you’ve defined your job opportunity set, start researching. Find out which companies/geographies/camps/resorts etc. fit your defined goals and learn all you can about them. Your knowledge will help you find openings, and more importantly, it will prepare you for an interview when the time comes. Hiring managers want to see that you understand the market and the role you are applying for. It shows determination, and determination is a valuable indicator of future success.
Sometimes candidates get lucky and get a job just by blasting off a resume into a job portal. This is NOT one of those years. You’ll need help this year, and networking is the best place to get it. Ask your parents, your friends’ parents, your parents’ friends, etc. if they can help. Tell them what you’re looking to do and see if they know anyone in that field. LinkedIn is also an extremely useful resource for this. Find a common denominator with someone at a company you’re applying for and reach out. You’ll be surprised at how receptive people are.
Lock Down a Great Summer Job
The final step in the process is the interview. Be prepared! Demonstrate your passion by asking questions, but make sure they’re appropriate questions. Do not ask something you could have looked up on their website (that shows you DIDN’T do research). Rather, ask questions that show you’re generally curious about the experience. For example, asking about the corporate culture or what a typical day looks like is always a good idea.
Don’t Let Your Summer Job Get Away During COVID-19
There’s no denying this is a terrible job market, but you can’t let that discourage you from giving your search your all. Think of it this way, most people won’t even try. That gives you a big advantage in hunting down what does remain out there. So get to work and make this summer one to remember!