Whether it’s finding work during winter vacation or the long stretch of summer, seasonal jobs are some of the most profitable out there. There’s no worrying about how a work schedule will coincide with time in school, since classes are out for long enough to try full-time work. And because people feel more generous when on vacation, seasonal jobs are often the best time to earn tips. Big holiday weekends like Fourth of July can end up earning teens what working for a couple of months during the regular year might for others. That’s a huge incentive to get out there and to get working!
Of course, before you can start raking in the cash, you need to land the position. For anyone who is heading into the field of seasonal employment for the first time, be aware that even with a strong resume, chances are that jobs will start out small. After all, people who come back season after season do enjoy seniority, and while this might not seem fun your first year, it will matter in the future.
The first step to seasonal employment is getting together a resume. For those without a lot of prior work experience, this can seem a bit tough. The best way to go about it is to think about presentation. Be sure that there is at least one page, and that it’s not left half-blank. Don’t use a gigantic font to hide a lack of work experience, but do experiment with different fonts and margins. Anyone who is somewhat computer-savvy can make the visual presentation of a resume look nice enough to catch the interest of prospective employers.
As far as content goes, be creative when it comes to prior job experience. If you were ever helping out with a party or serving food at a wedding for friends, then you do have hospitality experience. Helped out in your father’s shop with woodworking? Then you’ve got a bit of carpentry skill. Think about everything you’re capable of doing, and then figure out ways to incorporate that into a resume. However, in your efforts to do this, do not embellish. You might want to include your GPA, if you’re currently excelling in school, to show just how much hard work and responsibility matters to you.
No resume is complete without references, and for those employers who actually take the time to check, it makes a big difference if you get glowing reviews or confused people wondering who you are. If you’re going to include someone as a reference, be sure to talk to them first, so that they can be expecting a phone call. For those who don’t have tons of previous employers, choose teachers or guidance counselors, family friends who know you well, or anyone you can say was an employer or mentor. After consulting with your references, be sure to double-check the spelling on your resume.
Small mistakes can sometimes be enough to weed out people before interviews. Hand-delivering a resume also makes a difference, but be sure to dress well and be well-groomed that day. Likewise, checking up a week later to see if the resume was received, in a non-pushy way, sometimes makes the difference between getting an interview and never hearing back. Remember to be assertive, but not too aggressive, when job-hunting for the season! That way, you’ll be sure to hear good news from someone.