As a nineteen year old college sophomore, the kinds of jobs that I’ve had have been pretty easy to get, but the application process can be tedious and I have learned a lot from the jobs and internships that I’ve had. If you’re looking for a job for this coming Christmas season while you’re on break from school, it’s definitely time to start applying! Last year, I applied for my winter break job (and got it!) exactly a year ago. Employers- especially retailers- hire like crazy for the Christmas season, but so many people are looking for work over the break, so apply as soon as possible if you need to land a job.
Your first step is choosing where to apply. Pick somewhere fun! Apply at places you already go and know you like. Ask friends that have jobs they like or have liked if they can get you an application. I usually sit and make a list of twenty or so places I know I could like to work at and then I go through and call them all to see if they’re hiring.
Tip: Most places you’ll work give employee discounts, so if you know of somewhere you’ll be shopping at a lot for Christmas presents, working there could help you save money while you make money.
Ideas if you have no idea where to start:
Department stores, UPS, coffee shops, pet stores, restaurants, videogame stores, makeup counters, gyms, bookstores, breakfast places, grocery stores (hello trader joes and whole foods discounts), boutiques, art/craft supply stores, florists, anywhere in the mall, clothing retailers (Gap, Old Navy, Kate Spade, American Eagle, Pacsun, etc), movie theaters, bath and body stores, paint stores, nail salons, stationery stores, businesses friends own.
-Where I would apply first: Whole Foods, Starbucks, LUSH.
Once you find a place you like and know they’re hiring, you gotta get your resume looking real nice. Also, yes, your resume actually can make a huge difference. I got called for an interview for my most recent (and favorite!) job ever because my resume was “impressively neat.” Ideally, you should be able to meet a manager and hand them your resume yourself, but if you have to drop off your resume, it’s going to make your first impression for you. Making your resume the first time can take some time, but updating it from then on out will be much easier if you keep up with it.
Application, Resume, and Cover Letter Tips + Links:
- Most places have applications on their websites they want you to fill out, so download it and fill it out on your computer if you can.
- Here’s some links to cool, free resume templates that you can download, fill out, and print or upload to use. Thank you, Buzzfeed!
- Cover letters seem to be optional, but they can add a lot to your application. Here’s a guide on what to include and how to write one.
Yay good job now all you have to do is apply! Call them and ask if you can come by and turn in an application, upload any paperwork online if they want you to submit it electronically, and then put on something nice and show up! Meeting the manager is the key to making the impression and being remembered so you can get the job. Bring in a hard copy of your application and tell them you wanted to meet them and turn it in in person if possible. Usually they’ll just thank you, double check that they got your name, and tell you that they’ll call you. I’ve had people hire me right then and there, though, also.
Being willing to work (ESPECIALLY BLACK FRIDAY) whenever is what’s going to get you hired most of the time. If you’re my age you probably don’t have a lot of experience (unless you’re a climber applying at your climbing gym you go to every day anyway or something), so your schedule and attitude about work is what can really set you apart.
That’s pretty much all that I’ve learned so far about applications. Leave me questions if you have any and email me your resumes at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want me to proofread them or help you out! I love all that stuff, so drop me a question there or in the comments if you think I could help at all.