Advice to Applicants: How to Get a Summer Job

On January 1, 2016, the minimum wage in California rose to $10 an hour. It is currently set to increase to $10.50 an hour by 2017.

While a higher minimum wage is harmful to those in specialized careers because it lessens the salary distinction between skilled and unskilled workers, it is beneficial to those who are applying for their first job.

This is the uplifting circumstance for many high school students who are looking to save up for college or to simply make a little extra spending cash. But while getting a job may seem idealistic, many students struggle with maintaining an occupation.

Junior Cassie Cook, who works at Cool River Pizza, has learned how to balance her work schedule with other daily activities.

I don’t have that much time to do homework on nights I work, so I have to do it before or on the weekend,” Cook said.It can be hard to balance my other responsibilities, but I just have to be efficient with my time.”

With the end of the school year approaching, time management becomes less of an issue. As a result of not having any prior job experience, high schoolers alternatively struggle with the application process.

The Granite Bay High School College and Career center is open to students in search of information regarding internships and other working positions.

Students can also pick up a work permit in the College and Career center. Work permits are required for high school students who are between the ages of 14 and 18. Graduated students do not have to complete a work permit.

Another resource for job applicants can be found on Naviance, which provides tools for students to construct their own resume.

Junior Kendall Smith, who recently applied to The Bamboo Source, utilized advice from her mom to design a professional resume.

“When you make a resume, it’s almost like you’re selling yourself,” Smith said. “You have to organize it really well and …  present yourself in a positive way.”

During the application process, Smith maintained constant communication with the manager of The Bamboo Source.

“What I have learned is when you email somebody, you always send a follow up email,” Smith said. “It shows that you … care about what you’re about to do and … you have the ambition and motivation to work for (the company).”   

Although most businesses post contact information on their company webpage, Cindi Underwood, who works in the College and Career center, said the best way to apprach an employer is by face-to-face communication.

If the initial introduction goes well, employers will then conduct an interview with the applicant.  

“Make sure to dress appropriately,” Underwood said. “Make a good first impression. Make sure to arrive for your interview on time or even five minutes early.”

There is no way for applicants to predict how extensive the competition is. Because of this, applicants are advised to find a quality that makes themselves stand out. One way to do this is by expressing familiarity with the potential work environment.

“Make sure to learn something about the business you are applying to,” Underwood said. “Do some research so that you know before you go into the interview … that you can answer questions with some knowledge of what your job responsibilities might be.”

Underwood said students should try to search for a job they are excited about because lack of enthusiasm can translate into poor performance, but sometimes the companies that are hiring are not ones that reflect the applicant’s interest.

“If a student so happens to work at a job they are not enjoying,” Underwood said, “they should still try and give it their best. Remember you may need that employer as a reference someday!”

Published on Friday, May 20, 2016

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