It’s October, so why am I talking about summer jobs? Because most students start their summer job or internship searches too late - in April or May when most other students are looking for one too.
The competition is fierce of course. Many students are unprepared, craft error ridden resumes and use antiquated methods to look for jobs like looking at newspaper want ads.
If they started early, got some good advice and used the same game plan as more experienced adults looking for work, many students can dodge being an unemployment statistic next summer.
I spoke to Adrienne Langston, a recruiter and former college professional for advice on how students can be smarter about their job (and internship ) searches. Here is what she had to say.
Passion for Learning: What are some of the ways high schools students and young people should look for jobs ?
Adrienne Langston: Place your resume on LinkedIn, Monster, Careerbuilder, and Indeed. (For more specialized fields0 such as IT or Engineering, you may also (want to check out) sites like Dice or RigZone helpful.
If there is a company you would like to work for someday, but they do not hire at the entry level, look for internships with that company, or find people on LinkedIn who belong to that company's group and see where they started their careers.
Passion for Learning: How can they use social media to help with their search?
Adrienne Langston:Join groups of companies related to (the industry you are interested in) on LinkedIn. For example, if you (are interested) in electrical engineering, join groups for electrical engineers, power distribution companies, aerospace engineering, NASA, General Electric, etc.... From there post questions. You will find recruiters for these industries in these groups. Connect with them, especially if they have indicated that they are an "open networker" or L.I.O.N. Join groups on Facebook and Twitter as well, but ensure that your Facebook and Twitter profiles do not have any questionable content that a prospective employer might shy away from.
Passion for Learning: What skillsets should students focus on obtaining? Adrienne Langston:Research your industry and the companies you want to work for. Find out what skillsets the person who has the job you want has, and try to obtain them. Get one internship (I would not recommend multiple internships) but choose it carefully. Don't settle for an internship in an area you are definitely not interested in. I have seen cases where the first work experience has steered a person's career in a specific direction, and it is not always what that person seemed to have in mind. You can research jobs, qualifications and companies using sites like Indeed, The Occupational Outlook Handbook, and Hoover's.