If you are hoping to find a summer job, there are some things you should not forget when applying somewhere. Take a moment to think about what you want to get out of this summer job, for example if you want to have more experience or earn extra money, ask yourself what your goals are. After you find out which direction you want to go, start your research and prepare for the interviews.
Part 1 of 3: thinking about the position
Step 1. Take a moment to think about what you want to get out of this summer job
The type of summer job you are applying for should be based on what you hope to get out of it. Ask yourself the questions that will help you determine the type of job you are going to apply for. Ask yourself the following questions.
- Do you want to gain experience in your field of study? Look for internships or assistant positions where you can learn the basics of this industry.
- Do you hope your summer job turns into a full-time position at this company once you graduate? Look for positions at the bottom of the ladder where you can continue working part-time after you finish your studies.
- Are you just hoping to make some more money during the summer vacation? You can then broaden your searches to cover areas that pay well or offer a lot of hours of work.
Step 2. Think about your past experiences
When trying to think about what kind of job you want to apply for, take a moment to think about the jobs and experiences you have had in the past. In particular, think about what skills you have and what types of work they might be useful for. Ask yourself the following questions.
- What skills have you learned from your past experiences? How can you use them in a new job?
- Was there a particular job that you enjoyed and you would like to find a similar one?
- Is there a summer job that you hated and want to avoid in the future?
Step 3. Think about the goals you have set for yourself
Also consider what skills you want to learn. Take a moment to create a list of goals you want to achieve on this summer job. Also take into account the skills you hope to develop as you work. Make a list of these goals and skills. Refer to your list when you start to apply. If the job you are applying for was not helping you meet these goals and new skills, you should consider applying for another summer job.
- What kind of project would you be really happy to work on?
- What kind of work environment do you hope to work in?
- Which companies do you want to actively target?
- What kind of coworkers do you want to learn from?
Step 4. Add items to your goal list
Your list of goals and desired skills should be a constantly evolving document. Even if you've found new skills or a job that allows you to cross something off your list, you should also add new goals as they come to you.
Step 5. Seek advice if you're having trouble getting started
It can be difficult to start a job search, especially if it's the first one. Don't be afraid to seek help from people who have applied for jobs in the past. They could give you personal advice that could change your job search completely. Here are a few people you can talk to:
- your parents and family members;
- friends who have looked for work in the past;
- a guidance counselor or a Pôle Emploi counselor.
Part 2 of 3: start the job search
Step 1. Start your job search early
If possible, start looking for a job before the summer starts. Also starting earlier, you take the lead against other people who are also looking for a summer job.
Consider starting your summer job search in late winter or early spring, as most companies will start accepting summer job applications from then on
Step 2. Find out if you need certain documents
In some countries there might be restrictions for students who wish to work. In particular, if you are under 18, you are likely to need to provide certain documents (eg proof of your age and work permission) to be eligible to work.
- Talk to your guidance counselor at school about whether or not you can work.
- If you live in France, check with Pôle Emploi to find out what documents you need to collect and how old you are.
Step 3. Find at least three references
Many companies will ask you for references in addition to your CV when you apply for the summer job. References are notes left by other people that give hints about your character and your way of working that you can give to the interviewer. Prepare a separate document for your references, don't put them on the same page as your CV. Here are some ideas of interesting people to ask for a referral:
- your teachers;
- your academic advisers;
- your coaches;
- your boss where you volunteer.
Step 4. Aim for positions that match your interests and skills
This was mentioned in the first part. When you apply for a job, you must apply for a position that will help you achieve one of your goals or learn a skill that you are looking for. The person interviewing you can often tell if you are passionate or enthusiastic about the job.
Step 5. Expand your network and ask questions about available positions
When you know a large network of professionals, you are more likely to find a summer job faster than people who don't know anyone in their industry. To expand your network and find people who can tell you about open positions, chat with your teachers, former employers, friends, parents, and coaches.
Talk to those people about job vacancies they might have heard from or ask if they don't have any advice for you as to who or what companies you should get in touch with
Step 6. Do an online job search
There are many websites where you will find job advertisements. You can search these sites to find a summer job. In fact, there are even websites specializing in summer jobs. You can also search part-time job boards if you want to work during the summer while making the most of it.
You will find advertisements for summer jobs on Jobaviz.fr and Studentjob.fr
Step 7. Submit your application over the Internet
Most companies will allow you to apply online. Each company will ask you for different information. Prepare to complete a long application form in addition to sending:
- a CV;
- a cover letter explaining why you want this job and why you are the best candidate;
- your references;
- samples of your work (eg texts you wrote, photos you took, etc.).
Part 3 of 3: Apply in person
Step 1. Visit the companies to find out if they have any positions available
If you prefer to apply in person, or if there is a specific company you want to work for, consider going to their offices and chatting with a representative face to face. This can help you stand out from the tons of faceless resumes that the company receives on the Internet.
When you show up at their offices, chat with the receptionist about any currently vacant positions and ask if there is anyone now available to arrange an interview
Step 2. Prepare for an interview
If you go to their offices and ask if there are any positions available, you may be asked to go for an interview right away. This means that you have to prepare for it first. Think about your availability so you can immediately tell them what hours you can work. Prepare your answers to common questions during job interviews.
- Tell me a little more about yourself.
- Do you have experience in this sector?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- What are your strong points ?
- What are your weak points?
- When can you start working and how many hours per week do you think you can work?
Step 3. Dress properly
When you show up for an interview, it is important to wear the appropriate clothing. Try to be dressed in business casual attire.
- For girls: wear a blouse with a knee-length skirt or dress, or wear a pretty shirt with pleated pants and a jacket. Put on nice shoes. If you choose to wear high heels, avoid stilettos.
- For boys: wear a polo shirt or a nice shirt with pleated pants and nice shoes in good condition. In very formal situations, you should also wear a tie and jacket.
Step 4. Remember to take all the necessary documents with you
Even if you have not been told which documents to bring, you should keep a folder with the most important documents. This way, you can give a copy of your CV to the interviewer for you to refer to during the interview. Take the following documents with you:
- your CV;
- your cover letter;
- your list of references;
- your diplomas;
- examples of your past professional experiences.