How to Apply for a Summer Job


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lifeguard sitting on chair with megaphone at poolside for guarding lives

Amanda Treston, Features Editor

It’s that time of year again, Auks. Summer has arrived, and Archmere students are looking for something to do over the summer that can give them some life experience and get added to a college application. Summer jobs are a perfect way to give you both of these things and even some new friends along the way, but how does one go about finding and applying for one? Never fear, because I have been working since I was 14 and have applied for some of the most common summer jobs for high school students ever: lifeguarding and food service. Here are the steps and tips that helped me the most when applying!
** follow the steps in order for best results!

1: Find out what jobs are in the most convenient locations for you.
Whether or not you can drive, you should try to find a job that is either in walking distance or 15-20 minutes from your house at most. When I couldn’t drive, I picked jobs at places that I could walk or bike to in about ten minutes. The benefit of this is that you will be a reliable employee. If you are needed last minute or running late, you won’t have trouble getting to work quickly, and that will leave a good impression on your boss and coworkers. The closer to home, the better the chances that you will be asked to work more often and make more money!

2: Pick the job that pays the most.
Let’s say you find a takeout job and a lifeguarding job both within walking distance of your house. The lifeguarding job requires you to pay for training and pays $9.50 an hour while the takeout job pays $10.50 an hour and gives good tips. You should pick the job that interests you the most, but only when they pay relatively the same. If one job obviously makes you better money than the other, I would recommend picking that job because you will get paid significantly more for your time. The summer job is about the experience, but it’s also a job that you apply for to get good money.

3: Pick the job that interests you the most.
You’ve managed to get your list down to a takeout job and a camp counselor job that are both close to your home and pay relatively the same. Now for the easy part. You need to pick the job that excites you and makes you want to work. You don’t want a summer job that will bore you to death and make you dread every shift, so pick the job you think will be fun! If you love working with kids, pick the counselor job. If you like communicating with customers and typing orders in a computer, pick the takeout job. You should be able to have some fun while making good money, too.

At the Interview:
Be Attentive and Interested: Your employer wants to see right off the bat that you are clearly excited about this job and not just some other high school kid whose parents are making them take this job for a couple months. If you’re not excited to have this experience, at least act like you are. Who knows! You might end up really enjoying your job and wanting to continue it after summer ends!
Ask Questions: You should never be afraid to ask questions when doing an interview. The employer wants to make sure you know all about what the job requires before you take it, so be confident in what you know about the job and be inquisitive to show your interest in getting to know more about the position. You learn a lot more from asking questions than just smiling and nodding the whole interview.
Show your Skills: Show your boss at the interview that you can take instructions and communicate well with new people. The key to being a good employee is having good communication skills, so engage in good conversation about why you are excited for the job and what you want out of it (other than money, of course!).

Day One
Well, you finally made it! It is day one of your new summer job! By now, if you followed the instructions, you should feel really confident in your ability to perform well at this job and keep your position. But how do you make the best impression on your boss and the other employees? The key is… BE OUTGOING AND ATTENTIVE! This is what gets me through the nerves of starting a new job every time. Being scared and timid does not make for a good employee…well…anywhere! You have done much research and put a lot of thought into getting this job, and you have shown that you’re willing to put the time and effort into doing well, so go into your summer job with confidence and an open mind (and try to have some fun along the way!).