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Weekly (4/2/12)

Topic of the Week  Summer Jobs

Summer Jobs:

  • Apply now.
  • Be flexible.
  • Be upbeat.
  • Show experience.

Summer Jobs: Get Started Now

For the Twitter and texting generation everything seems to operate in a just-in-time universe. Wondering what you'll be doing this weekend? Text your friends Saturday afternoon. There is one problem with this approach, summer jobs are filling up fast. Which reminds me of Tim Tebow, recently traded to the NY Jets. He accomplished some amazing things for the Denver Broncos last year, but most of it was done at the last possible minute.

You can't afford to try to Tebow a job this summer by pulling it out in the fourth quarter. No, this is a game that will be decided much, much earlier. That's why you need to start right now. Here are the numbers, at the end of Apri 46% of the jobs will be filled and by the end of May, 79%. That's the bad news. The good news, there will be less competition from older, more experienced workers this summer. Salaries will stay about the same as last year, at just under $11 an hour. Here are four strategies to help you get your share of some of that summer time cash.

Apply now. More than half of the jobs are still available, but you have no time to waste. Get your resume together and start filling out applications. It would be great to focus your efforts on spring break right now, but if you need to earn money this summer, you'd be better off starting your job hunt immediately.

Be flexible. The study also found that 32% of employers value schedule flexibility as their top priority when considering candidates. This is great news for people who lack experience, but for you to get the full benefit out of your flexibility, you need to mention it in your cover letter, on applications and in interviews.

Be upbeat. 29% of employers say that a positive attitude is what they're looking for in potential hires. Crank up the smile and be the kind of worker that people want to work for. Okay, maybe your last job wasn't as positive an experience as you'd like. Put that out of your mind and go into this job search as positive as you can. No one want to hire Donnie Downer or someone who depletes the energy of everyone around them.

Show experience. This should surprise you, experience was only the third highest rated priority when hiring for summer jobs. It was only selected by 26% of the hiring managers. Of course, you should highlight your experience, but be wary of assuming that what you've done in the past will close the deal for you on a great job. But there is one place where your experience can really help, 65% of the hiring managers said that they'd have a preference for hiring someone who has worked for them in the past.

Don't get me wrong, Tebow proved many of his skeptics wrong as the wins piled up last year. I'd just like to help you to take some of the drama out of your job hunt.

Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via bob@workplace911.com.
 

Thought of the Week

""I try to do the right thing with money. Save a dollar here and there, clip some coupons. Buy ten gold chains instead of 20. Four summer homes instead of eight." "

–LL Cool J

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    Women Workaholics?

    • Although the majority of respondents (91%) confine their working hours to five days each week, almost half (47%) claim to work more than eight hours each day.
    • 54% of women report working 9 hours or more a day, compared to 41% of men.
    • On vacation, most workers (65%) do some amount of work.
    • However, women (67%) are slightly more willing to work on their vacations than men (60%).

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