This blog is written by Ariam, our Campus Ambassador from Stony Brook University. If you go to Stony Brook and want to blog for us please comment on this and Ariam will get in touch.
The purpose of this post is not to discourage anyone from seeking a summer gig; however, as a New York City native I can give you my first account of being on the job hunt in the big apple.
Here are some tips to increasing your chances of finding a job in a fast-paced city.
Tip #1: Don’t fear rejection.
You’ll come across many job opportunities through different mediums (i.e. word of mouth, the newspaper, Craigslist, twitjobsearch.com and other job focused sites). Don’t be alarmed when you don’t get a call back from any of the employers.
Last summer, I went to 11 open houses (throughout various locations in the city) and didn’t get a follow-up call from anyone.
With the competition here, you have to be ready to stay persistent with employers and continuously ask around because you don’t know who may know someone that is looking to hire.
Tip #2: Have no limitations—you’ll be surprised at how far you get.
Maybe you have experience working in retail or sales, but it’s best to keep your job objective open to any position. When an employer ask “What position are you looking to apply?”; You should say, “I’m open to any positions available.”
Speaking from experience, I have no to minimum retail experience; however, because I have worked at a food bar and dealt with customers I can say “I’m customer friendly” and customer service is a guarantee desire for many employers who are looking to offer positions.
This helped me connect with employers on a different level. I may have been at a disadvantage among fellow job seekers who had a background in retail or sales, but because I had a positive attitude and used customer service as the base for all companies, I stood out!
Tip #3: Don’t React—Be Proactive. Get Involved!
Instead of being discouraged and frustrated with employers, you must keep a positive outlook and know that the right job will find you!
In addition to the 11 open houses, I went on four interviews last summer and it got nowhere. At one job, I even went as far as taking a background test and providing legal work documents, and still wasn’t hired!
You shouldn’t spend weeks of searching for jobs and let it consume all your time. Remember you are on vacation! Find other activities to do, while you are going on open calls and interviews.
The summer is a great season to volunteer. I myself started volunteering for a bookstore, which is one of the entrepreneurial businesses to a non-profit (and get this I get free coffee, pastries, and drinks plus other discounts on already low-priced books).
Tip #4: Career/Recruitment Fairs.
Become a staple to recruitment centers, which I’m sure are plentiful in New York or any city for that matter.
Among a crowd of hungry employers, I was offered a position as a cashier at a gift shop and a great deal of help came from the account managers/officers at the recruitment site who screened me and referred that I work there.
Recruitment centers deal with the unemployed, and they want to help you find a job. Based on your skills, officers will screen (briefly interview) you and from their judgment decide on whether you are suitable to stand out in a crowd of fellow job seekers! Other services include resume building, mock interviews, and computer access. Plus you have the chance to speak directly with employers who come to these sites.
Good Luck this summer!