Paying for College

Summer Work

It's mid-March. Do you know where your summer job opportunities are?

Now is the time to start looking for a summer job. Some summer jobs are already taken by students who will return to them this summer. Use some intelligent search and marketing strategies to help your cause. A traditional job search can be long and frustrating. Here are some ideas that can help.

Market yourself. Tell the community around you that you are looking for a job and that you have a lot to offer. One often overlooked resource is the power of your local newspaper. A "Job Wanted" ad in the classified section is relatively inexpensive and reaches a wide audience. Many employers scan job-wanted ads to see if they can quickly find a good candidate for an opening.

A good job-wanted ad is clear and precise. It should have a commanding headline, too. Something like, "Super Reliable College Student Seeks Summer Work." That's a hook. You've got to grab your reader's attention. Once you've got their attention, give them a good dose of your best marketing points.

You might say, "Very strong math skills. Excellent computer background: PC and Mac applications. Experienced in report and proposal writing. Publications, editing, photography, and desktop publishing. 555-1234 or" Now there's a strong ad.

You give anyone cruising the classifieds your a 20-second resume and a way for them to reach you. You could also post your ad on free bulletin boards in your community and anywhere else where potential employers might see it.

Take your ad and run it through your network. What's a network? A network is the sum of everyone you know who might know someone who has a job opportunity for you. You might even want to make up your own little handouts that have your ad printed on them. Whenever you talk to a friend or relative in your network, give them your ad card. Ask them to be alert for job possibilities for you. You'll be surprised how well this can work. Don't miss an opportunity to market yourself.

Start thinking about your summer work plans now. Hundreds of other students in your community are making their plans right as you read this. Don't be left in the dust.

Be sure to check out all my admissions-related articles and book reviews at College Confidential.