CareerSource Palm Beach County "Top 10 Summer Job Search Tips" for Students

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Springtime brings final exams and graduation events for thousands of Palm Beach County high school students. Now is also the time to plan and begin a search for summer employment.

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Employers consider summer employment as a critical first step toward developing the skills, confidence, and experience required to launch a long-term career.

Springtime brings final exams and graduation events for thousands of Palm Beach County high school students. Now is also the time to plan and begin a search for summer employment.

"Employers consider summer employment as a critical first step toward developing the skills, confidence, and experience required to launch a long-term career. In an effort to provide paid summer work experience, we are accepting applications for the CareerSource Palm Beach County program, and we offer these tips for all young adults entering the job market," said Mimi Coenen, director of youth services for CareerSource Palm Beach County.

Tip #1 - Start now! At any computer from home, school or the library, register in the Employ Florida Marketplace at http://www.employflorida.com. Search for local businesses that are hiring and the types of job openings available, set up a dashboard and even set jobs alerts that are texted to your smart phone. Need help? Visit the West Palm and Belle Glade Career Centers for job search assistance. More information is available at http://www.careersourcepbc.com.

Tip #2 - Define your unique talents. Within the http://www.employflorida.com website, you can access free assessments to help you identify your skills; determine the types of work you might enjoy and help you find occupations that match your strengths and abilities. Use the information to create up to 10 draft resumes that uniquely describe your talents and abilities.

Tip #3 - Research potential employers. If you want to work for a specific employer, find out as much as possible from the company website, social media, and search for people you know who are linked to the company page.

Tip #4 - Update your appearance. Prepare to transition from casual classroom attire to a more formal interview outfit and traditional hairstyle. Demonstrate that you know how to adjust your appearance to reflect a business setting. Wear clean, pressed, well-fitting slacks and dress shirts, or business dresses/skirts and tops with comfortable but sensible shoes when meeting employers.

Tip #5 - Practice your responses. Actors rehearse and athletes train. Appear confident and relaxed by taking time to develop your answers to common interview questions. Find interview questions online and ask a friend or family member to read them and serve as the interviewer. You can also write each question on pieces of paper, mix them up, select them in random order, and answer aloud. If possible, answer questions while looking in a mirror to get comfortable with your answers without looking at your notes. Video your “interview” and critique yourself. If you need help, visit CareerSource Palm Beach County’s website to access the free online interviewing workshop.

Tip #6 - Ask insightful questions. Research and develop at least two questions for the interviewer. Ask questions that will help you learn more about how you can best fit the position. Identify opportunities for a follow-up question or offer a comment that you can restate in the follow-up or thank you letter.

Tip #7 - Be persistent. After the interview, it is to your advantage to send a thank you letter. The letter demonstrates that you are eager to work and that you appreciate that the interviewer was willing to invest time away from their business to talk with you. Ask the interviewer when they expect to make a hiring decision, and be sure to follow up to see if the job remains open or if other positions are available.

Tip #8 - Continue your education. Earning potential increases if you finish high school, trade school, college, or post-secondary training. Completing educational goals demonstrates to employers that you are passionate about your career, and you have the ability to follow-through.

Tip #9 - Share your skills and build your network. Participate in community and charity activities; ask volunteer leaders if they might serve as a future reference. Learn new skills as a volunteer and add those skills to your resume. Occasionally, the other volunteers you meet can help you with job leads after they observe your hard work.

Tip #10 - You are hired! – Congratulations! Now that your job search is over, it is critical to remain positive and self-motivated. Arrive at work a few minutes early on your first day and every day. Concentrate and listen to instructions, ask questions to be sure you understand your assignments. Take time to find ways to contribute toward the success of the business as a key member of the team.

In Palm Beach County, unemployment is the lowest it has been in more than six years. Currently, there are more than 19,000 advertised jobs online. In addition, more than 11,000 visitors each month receive help from the specialized services at two career centers in West Palm Beach and Belle Glade. Services include:

  •     For career seekers: Classes and facilities for job search; career development/consulting/ placement services; grants for job training for those who qualify; assessments; programs for persons with disabilities and priority of service for U.S. military veterans. There is no cost to career seekers for services.
  •     For employers: Recruitment/assessments/referrals of qualified candidates; space and staff assistance for screening/interviewing candidates; grants for training new or existing employees; outplacement assistance; talent supply/salary/demand information.

More information is available at careersourcepbc.com or at our Career Center locations:
-- Central Career Center-3400 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33406; (561) 340-1060
-- West Career Center-1085 S. Main Street, Belle Glade, FL 33430; (561) 829-2040

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Tom Veenstra
Workforce Alliance, Inc.
+1 (561) 340-1061 Ext: 2229
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