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How to Launch Your Summer Job Into a Career – 2018 Update

Summer jobs aren’t just for paying down your student loans, they are powerful opportunities to explore and position your future career path. While you may be fortunate enough to take a break over the holiday, working this summer —  or volunteering and interning — could be your break into an exciting career and prep you for when your life as a student comes to an end!

Yes! Finally the days are getting longer, sleeves are getting shorter, and the spring of 2017 is now in full stride. This all means that now is a great time get your resume built and to start searching for summer job openings!

Get the Most from Your Summer Job

If you’re looking for a job for the summer, you’re not alone. Over 23.2 million youth ages 16 – 24 in the US alone sought out summer employment in July 2015, and July 2016, there were 20.5 million employed 16- to 24-year-olds. A summer job could easily be dismissed as just a way to bring in some extra cash in-between school, or it could be the stepping stone to the career of your dreams.

This post is about how to get a summer job and elevate it! Here are our tips on how to get the most from your summer job.

1. Get Your Foot into the Door

Summer jobs = Getting Your Foot into the Door

Summer jobs and internships are a great opportunity to get your foot in the door within specific industries. The strategy here is to get into a summer job that is related to the industry that you might want to have career in — start networking and see what working in the industry is like from the inside. Even though the summer gig your get may not be your dream job, it may be in your dream industry. For example, if you want to work in marketing or sales, apply to be a brand ambassador. If you are wanting a career in healthcare, look for administrative jobs in doctors offices.

Take the summer as an opportunity to test if the industry is right for you before committing to further studies or a longer career path down that road.

2. Find Growth Opportunities

Find Growth Opportunities

When you are in your new position you won’t only be doing tasks, you’ll be developing general skills such as task management, personal organization, and communication. Focus on building your general skills as they’re part of the foundation to getting ahead in any future career. Also look for growth opportunities such as new tasks or roles within your company so you can learn about the different roles and acquire new skills for your resume.

3. Meet All The People
Meeting people and networking for growth

Never underestimate the value of an introduction. Networking accounts for 40 percent to 85 percent of all new hires — depending on which studies you look at.  This doesn’t mean job postings aren’t great resources, they just aren’t the only resource you should be spending your time on. If you really want your resume to stand out, network hard in your industry. And if you don’t get a call back –remember the statistics — it might not be because you lacked the skills or that your resume didn’t stand out, but rather it could be because your competition happened to know the hiring manager.

Here again, hopefully your summer job gives you the opportunity to interact with tons of different people, whether that be managers, co-workers, or customers. When you launch out of college with degree in hand, your social interactions will almost certainly play a large part within your respective career. Hone your people skills!

4. Learn About Culture & Fit

Ask About Workplace Culture and Fit

Liking the work you do is one thing, liking the people you work with — and for — is another. Take note of things you like and dislike about the way your manager runs the show. Do the same with your co-workers, and at your next big interview ask questions to see if the management style and company culture line up with what you enjoyed.

5. Keep Track of Your Work Achievements

Keep Track of Your Work Achievements

Did you win employee of the month? Did you increase social media followers? Did you get a great customer review? Whatever accomplishments you achieve during your summer job, make sure you keep track so you can add them to a future resume or cover letter. Even you only played a small part of a larger campaign, you still had a hand in it — track the results and even ask your team to update you on the results if the campaign runs longer than your term in the firm.

Many jobs straight up ask for demonstrable results or evidence of performance; data metrics are one the best ways to earn confidence from the hiring manager and stand out from the pack.

6. Werk, Werk, Network

Networking 101 -- Meet everyone

Gwen Stefani used to work at Dairy Queen, Richard Branson worked at a tree farm. I personally met a Rockefeller who was a professional clown — he later took two of our group members flying in his fighter jet. The point is, you never know who you’re going to meet, what they are about, and who they are going to become. Network with co-workers and customers, keep in touch, and never burn a bridge with someone you burn burgers with!

7. Get Linkedin Recommendations 

Get Linkedin Recommendations

In a recent interview we conducted with a Capcom Studios hiring manager, we were told that putting your Linkedin recommendations directly into your resume can help give you an edge. A professional recommendation from someone with influence can go a very long way.  So while this may sound obvious, don’t slack off even though it is summer. Apply yourself and fully commit to doing a great job. In return, you can ask your supervisor for a great Linkedin recommendation which you can use for career advancements for years to come.

Remember – this isn’t just a summer job, this is a chapter in the journey to career bliss!

Read our Full Summer Jobs Guide

Get your summer strategy polished by checking out our Summer Jobs Guide 2017, and use’s resume builder and Careers Center to make sure you’re looking professional when you start applying for your summer job!

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