School is out and summer has officially begun. Many Long Island high school students take advantage of the break to get a job. Given the state of the economy, the job market is competitive. Here are resume writing, job hunting, and interview skill tips to help high school students get their summer dream jobs.
- Use the Internet productively – Many companies, restaurants, summer camps, and even retail positions advertise online. Sites like Monster.com or Craigslist are well-known for their local listings.
- Fill out applications even if they’re not currently hiring – People move, get fired, and find other positions all the time. When a manager needs to hire someone in a hurry, they’ll go through the applications in their files before advertising the position.
- Let everyone know you’re job hunting – Teachers, counselors, parents, friends… tell everyone. Networking is one of the fastest and most effective ways to find out about local opportunities.
A resume is a concise list of one’s job history, education, and accomplishments. It seems simple enough, but for many high school students, it’s challenging to write. We’ve attached a sample to help.
There are a few key ingredients to any successful resume. Keep in mind that each resume is unique to each student. Don’t feel compelled to include all the sections mentioned below if they don’t apply. On a resume, each point of information is punctuated by a bullet. Start with action words and avoid ending with periods. Ensure that the dates are all in a consistent location. Work in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent information listed first.
Students can also “recycle” their resumes. They can attach it to their college applications or to their requests for letters of recommendation.
- Heading – This should include a student’s full name, home address, phone number, and email address. Keep it all as professional as possible, including the voice mail message. If the student’s only email address is SweetDancinDiva or Gangsta4Lyfe, it’s time to create a new one.
- Education – Include the name of the high school and the years attending/attended. Add the year of graduation and the diploma type received (or expected). If a student’s cumulative academic average is a B or higher, include it on the resume.
- Achievements – What has the student accomplished so far? Include honors, awards, and any academic and/or athletic leadership positions. If the student is bilingual, they should include this here.
- Volunteer Work – This should be self explanatory, but volunteer work is something that’s done for purely altruistic purposes (if a student is forced to “volunteer” as a punishment, it doesn’t count). Real volunteer work looks great on a resume.
- Work Experience – Any for-profit job that a student has held in the past should be listed on the resume. The responsibilities of each position should be noted as well.
- Computer Skills – Students should list all of the programs in which they are proficient (do not list Facebook as a computer skill).
Congratulations! The phone has rung, and a prospective employer wants to schedule an interview. Now what?
- The clothes do make the man (or woman) – The outfit chosen for the interview should be clean, neat, and conservative. Baseball caps, sneakers, oversized pieces of jewelry, and excessive make-up should be reserved for meeting friends; work wear is different.
- Be on time – Always.
- Shake hands – A firm handshake, eye contact, and a smile go a long way towards making a good first impression.
- Do some homework – Know a little bit about the company before walking into your interview.
- Breathe – Interviews can be anxiety producing; interviewers like to see how a potential employee handles stressful situations. After the interviewer asks a question, take a deep breath. Think about your answer before speaking.
- Remember your manners -Thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you.
View a sample student resume:
By Rachel Minkowsky