What was your first job? Technically mine was standing in front of a K-Mart as a poor little girl, trying to get people to sign up for subscriptions to the local paper. That job sucked ass. I am not a salesperson. I believe you either want something or you don’t. So, after my second day, I hopped on a bus mid shift and went back home (I was 8!). My first taxpaying job was as a receptionist at a daycare (even at the age of 13 I knew I wanted to help people). I share this because I came across this op-ed in my career journal. I am not saying it’s the private sector’s role to fix jobs. Kids today need to realize it’s not all about the money (but this is a great time to teach budgeting, direct deposit, and saving). However, it is more about obtaining a skill set, and all jobs are not glamorous. I have sat on many panels for internships and camps, and this is the best advice I can provide any applicant.
Start early –most agencies start looking for interns in the spring, so be on the lookout.
Cast a wider net if you have relatives out of state. I open my doors during the summer to my nieces and nephew if they can find a learning or employment opportunity in my state. This can be pricey, so my siblings and I cover the cost three ways: parents, aunt, and child.
Pay attention to the details. What is this going cost (supplemental materials, bus/train passes, wardrobe), dates (deadline date isn’t the date you start the application process, it means you’re done), locations (how will you get to work each day?), essay prompts, and qualifications (some agencies are only looking for local students, others may be looking for disadvantaged youth, while another may be looking only to hire children and family of internal staff).
References: Approach references before starting the application. Contact your reference, ask whether they’re willing and excited to refer you, and ensure that they’re aware of the deadline. It is also your job to send them a copy of your current resume so they have a fuller picture of you and your skill set.