Gettin’ paid, getting’ paid – Job hunting advice! by Matt Kasznel
05.07.10, 9:45 am
Filed under: MattK, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

For those of you who are interested, I survived junior year. I’m officially a senior at Duquesne University. You may hold your applause until the end of the blog post.

But before I get to the the thrill of graduation, the agony of senior thesis, and the human drama of secondary education (props to anyone who gets that reference), another four-month task stands in my way: the temporary workforce.

In my flurry of schoolwork, school newspaper work, work study job, and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life, I had little chance to search for a job or internship most of the semester.  The job I had last summer – “warehouse associate” of a company that made aluminum insulator pipes – can’t give me hours, and while my hands are very happy that they won’t be bleeding as much this summer, my wallet is not as happy.

Even internships are difficult to come by.  Journalism internships are rough because most don’t pay well, if at all.  And banks aren’t exactly chomping at the bit to give out internships with this whole “we’-re having a financial crisis and it’s all the banks’ fault” thing going on.  This means I’m doing what I’ve done for the last two summers: searching for random full and part time labor to get me through until August.

However, my suffering can be to your benefit, readers.  Frantically searching for employment has made me somewhat well-versed in the art of the summer job search.

First off, the Internet is a beautiful thing, especially if you don’t live in the area you go to school in (i.e. you go to Duquesne but live in Philadelphia like me).  Not only are online job search sites great for simply looking for jobs, but most offer a “common application,” meaning you fill out your core application once and submit that to each employer, with a couple additional questions to answer for each individual job.  This saves you an incredible amount of time; in the time it would take you to drive around town and fill out three or four applications, you can apply for twenty-five different positions online.

For jobs or internships that are related to your major in college, you need to be looking starting in January.  They’re valuable, competitive, and fill up very quickly.  A site like JobsOnline or Monster that specializes in long-term “career”-type employment would be a good place to look for these jobs.

For regular summer jobs, such as working in retail or landscaping, you can usually apply later in the semester, even up until late April, and still be okay.  SnagAJob.com is a great site for this.  You may think that online applications get lost in the mess of millions of applicants, but I received two phone calls just two days after applying for jobs on SnagAJob.

Second, if you’ve applied for online jobs and haven’t heard back in about a week, drive around to the different places you applied and see what’s going on.  You can call and do this as well, but it’s much harder for someone to deny you or claim they “don’t do job applications” in person than over the phone.  Plus, while some might seem annoyed that you’re “harassing” them, most will appreciate your hustle.

Day camps are always fun too.  If you’re good with children and don’t mind (or love) being outside, being a day camp counselor is a great job, although the pay is not always the greatest.

Lastly, there’s always College Pro Painter.  A painting and window-cleaning company, College Pro Painter has been hiring exclusively college students for summer work for nearly forty years.  You’ll spend the summer “cold-calling” potential customers for estimates, painting houses, and basically working hard, but they have a very good hire rate.  Always consider them, unless you’re not a fan of manual labor or pass out at the scent of acrylic paint.

That’s the end of my guided tour of summer employment.  We hope you’ll come again soon.  The gift shop is to your right–please buy something.  As I’ve mentioned before, I could certainly use the cash.

-Matt

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