Q. I am a college student. I’ve been looking for a summer job ever since I returned home for break. Employers are telling me that in order to be considered to work: a) I either need experience, or b) I cannot be a college student. I am starting to get extremely frustrated.
A. Summer jobs, as with all jobs, are in demand and highly competitive. What are your expectations for a summer job? Do you need to make money or gain experience?
Certainly if you can get both from the same job you are one of the lucky winners. For many others, especially those starting their summer job search now, as opposed to over spring break, putting together a few different jobs might be the only way to achieve both goals.
So where are the summer jobs? Tourism, including hotels and restaurants, and retail companies in high traffic tourist locations all experience business growth and need workers during the summer. Camps, beaches, parks, and vendors who support these activities may also be looking for summer help.
Many of these employers will accept walk-in applicants with resumes in hand. Dress well and ask to speak to a manager. If a manager isn’t available, chat up the staff to see if there are potential openings. Leave a resume and get the manager’s name and number so you can follow up. And don’t forget to get the name of the staff member to whom you spoke.
If you do not have a LinkedIn profile, create one. If you have a LinkedIn profile, communicate with your contacts about your need for a summer job. Cast a wide net and let everyone know you are looking for an opportunity. Make sure you are the person shaking social media hands with anyone who can introduce you to a hiring manager.
Use Facebook for the same activities. Make sure you describe the special skills you have to offer. Were you a great receptionist at the student union? Did you build a website for your fraternity? Showcase your experience and capabilities.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.