Undoubtedly, the recent financial downturn has affected many sectors of the economy and every level of job. When the economy is strong, workers can easily find a job because there are jobs and employers are looking for people to employ. This causes pay rates to rise. On the other hand, when the economy is weak, competition for jobs becomes fiercer because more people are unemployed. This causes pay rates to decrease.
Students looking for a summer job are very likely to face hard times for a number of reasons. First of all, statistics report a record high teen unemployment rate that will be hard to beat under the current economic situation. Moreover, teens face hard competition from highly qualified adults who do the job. And, minimum pay rates are fixed. In such turbulent times, there are ways to anticipate difficulties and get a summer job, but it takes persistence and good strategy to review it.
Teen Unemployment Rate is at Record High
Bad economy is certainly affecting student summer jobs as well. Many students face the increased stress and uncertainty associated with the summer job search. For many of them, a summer job seems like a distant dream due to difficult economic situation.
Economic recession is a fact for many businesses that have cut down their expenses and human capital to be able to meet their liabilities.
Experienced Personnel Does the Job of Teens
Another reason that complicates summer job search for students is the fact that employers hire experienced personnel for positions that would normally be taken by teens. In the current economic conditions, employers try to take advantage of highly qualified adults who possess the experience and are willing to do the job with less money because they cannot get a higher-paid job due to recession.
This has a direct impact primarily on pay rates. When the economy is weak, high unemployment causes fierce competition. As experienced workers are accepting minimum wages, pay rates are decreasing even further. Consequently, teen employment is also affected. Teens face a greater difficulty in getting jobs that were previously taken exclusively by them.
Minimum Pay is Fixed During Recession
A very important consideration for students looking to find a summer job in tough economic times is what they can expect as a minimum pay. During a strong economy, employers evaluate one’s experience in relation to the job under consideration and offer a minimum pay per hour or per day. Sometimes, pay rates may even be per piece.
During a bad economy, pay rates do not vary too much. Employers do not consider the individual skills and competencies of each student when they consider hiring someone. On the contrary, pay rates are adjusted to the overall economic situation and do not depend too much on the particular job. This complicates things even further for those students who are competent or have an experience in a particular type of job as they cannot really get the most out of it.
What is the Best Strategy?
Bad economy doesn’t mean there are no summer jobs at all. It simply means college students need to have a better strategy to anticipate difficult situation. One of the advantages is that students are looking mostly for seasonal jobs. This possibly makes things quite easier as employers will not hire an MBA Finance Major for a restaurant job or quite more possibly a highly qualified MBA Finance Major won’t accept a restaurant job because they are looking for something long-term. This increases the available pool of jobs for students.
Another consideration is the experience acquired. Summer jobs are not good just for pocket money. They are mostly good for building a good resume after graduation. Therefore, it may make more sense to choose an unpaid internship that will add valuable experience over a paid job that adds no value in the resume. In the long run this may prove a good decision.
Overall, getting a summer job in a bad economy is not a bad idea. Students need to be determined and not be discouraged at all because of the economic situation. Temp agencies list job openings every day and, depending on the experience and the qualifications of the student, there might be a match. What makes things a bit more difficult is the fact that students need to be more persistent so that they get the attention of the agents until their paperwork goes through.
How to Find an Internship
After polishing a resume, writing a cover letter and deciding on what a student wants out of an internship, the next step is to start looking for a position. However, depending on a number of factors, this may be harder than it appears due to characteristics such as location, availability, and the student’s preferences.
Why Get an Internship?
Many colleges and universities are now requiring an internship as part of the curriculum. In order to do so, internships are often accompanied by seminars that carry course credits that are needed to complete a student’s area of study prior to graduation.
Internships also provide students with the opportunity to apply theories and strategies learned in the classroom to real world settings. The experience also allows students to experience new opportunities in his or her field of study, develop or enhance professional skills, and to possibly earn some money to put toward educational expenses.
How To Find an Internship
There are many places a student can use to find potential positions, both within their school and beyond.
Career Development / Career Services Office
Not only can career development staff help point students in the right direction in terms of where to look for internships and what to expect, but they can also help improve a student’s resume and helping with interviewing strategies.
Professors, Friends, Family, and Co-workers
Spreading the word about wanting an internship is one another good way a student can find an internship. Through networking with people inside and outside of their field, it may be possible to find internship positions through social and family connections.
Job and Internship Fairs
Just like graduates looking for a job, potential interns can attend fairs to talk to prospective employers. Remind students to look professional and take several copies of their resume.
If a student wants to intern with a specific organization or company, the best way is to call their human resources or hiring department and ask. Submit a resume and keep in contact, showing that the student is genuinely interested in a position.
While internships may seem impossible to find at times, using a little leg work can go a long way. By securing an internship, many students are able to complete graduation requirements, gain experience in their respective fields, and make themselves more marketable to potential employers after graduation.