How to: Obtaining summer employment, tips for finding a summer job and polishing a résumé

The search for summer jobs is starting up again, and some students may be scrambling to figure out how to find employment over the summer months and a little overwhelmed by the whole résumé and cover letter process. Here are some tips for finding employment and writing a good résumé and cover letter, provided by three employees from the Career Services Center. The summer job and internship fair will take place on April 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Approximately 35 employers will attend. Students can connect with them for summer jobs and internships.

Any job will be helpful on a student’s résumé, said Sandy Nowack, assistant director of career services. However, if a student can find a job that relates to his or her major, that would be ideal.

“It’s nice in your junior and senior years to find an internship, because that will help you transition into your field,” Nowack said. “It gives you great experience and will help you open other doors,”

Career Services has multiple resources to help students find jobs.

“We typically direct students to WhitJobs,” said Kimberly Connors, program assistant for career services. “On WhitJobs we have both our on-campus positions and our Washington state work study positions, and part-and full-time jobs as well.”

Abigail Nyberg|Graphic Artist

Abigail Nyberg|Graphic Artist

Connors also recommended that students ask departments individually if they are looking for an on-campus job, or talk to their friends who work on campus to see if departments are hiring.

“Word of mouth is one of the easiest ways to find a job,” Connors said.

It is important for students to start thinking about networking and to show initiative and be proactive, said Andrew Pyrc, assistant director for career services: job development.

“Contact employers directly and have your résumé ready,” Pyrc said. “Start early; if you wait until school is out you may be too late, and businesses may have already hired.”

As far as résumés go, all three career services employees stressed the importance of qualifying and quantifying. This means using descriptive statements to give experiences a bigger impact, and also giving figures and numbers to increase your credibility.

It is extremely important to tailor your résumé for the job you are applying for, Connors said.

“I cannot stress that enough,” Connors said. “We get résumés all the time that come in and are not tailored specifically to the position. Quantify your experiences when you put it together. There is a difference in saying you handled money versus saying you handled a till that held $10,000.”

It is also important to proofread your résumé. Any errors in a résumé will get you disqualified faster than anything else, Nowack said. Have your résumé reviewed by at least two people.

Career services also does résumé reviews. You can email your résumé to careerservices@whitworth.edu.

Usually every semester there are résumé and cover letter workshops. Students can look for those times on WhitJobs and Pirate Port.

A good résumé and cover letter should keep the reader interested while being easy to read and formatted consistently, meaning both have the same format and design.

“You want to make your cover letter memorable so you will stand out over other candidates,” Nowack said.

Your cover letter should explain why you are applying for the job, why you are the best candidate and how you found out about the job.

As far as cover letters, keep them to one page and do not ramble, Connors said.

“In the body of a cover letter you want to give a broad view of what you bring to the table that maybe other people don’t,” Pyrc said. “You want to talk about what’s unique about you.”

Pyrc also said it is important to describe how this career would fit into your career goals and your plans.

“Always keep the information relevant, and try to look through the eyes of the reader. Ask yourself, if I was hiring for this position would I find this information relevant,” Pyrc said.

Career Services typically recommends using reverse chronological order, listing the most recent experiences first, Pyrc said.

“I generally recommend staying away from Times New Roman, not that there’s anything wrong with that font, just that that tends to be the default font,” Pyrc said.  “Probably 90 percent of the résumé I see tend to use Times New Roman. There’s a bunch of other ones out there, but stay away from the ones that are harder to read.”

 

Mikayla Nicholson Staff Writer

Contact Mikayla Nicholson at mnicholson17@my.whitworth.edu