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Marketing yourself: Tips for student summer jobs

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Cuesta students sign up for summer positions at a job fair recently held on campus.
Photo by Colleen Dang / Cuestonian Staff Photographer


Allison Turner
Opinion Editor

Whether it be for financial reasons or just to pass the time and gain some skill, getting a summer job is a classic part of the college experience.

There are a few steps to finding summer jobs: building a resumé, navigating job postings and networking, and navigating interviews with confidence.

While many resources are available to students, getting tips from an expert in the field can make a big difference in a large pool of candidates.

“Your resumé is one part of the puzzle, along with your LinkedIn, it should represent the best of you,” said Scott Nevins, director of global talent acquisition at Monster Recruiting.

“I think it’s wholly important that when someone has a resumé, it’s a document representation of yourself,” Nevins said.

Building a resumé is a good first step in a student’s job application process. A resumé is an important way to highlight an applicant’s skills and experiences, as well as what has been achieved thus far in a students career.

A strong resumé should generally be no more than one page in length and contain keywords tied to your experiences, according to Nevins.

He gives the example of only customer service skills if your previous jobs reflect that.

Another important aspect in building a resumé is reviewing for errors, more specifically spelling and grammar.

“We [can] become blind to our own writing, [and] people often undervalue certain skills they have, and often those skills aren’t reflected in their resumé,” Nevins said.

Students who would like more assistance during the resumé process, or insight on where to find local jobs and internships as well, can also visit Cuesta College’s Career Center to speak with knowledgeable staff member who can provide help.

The Career Center at the San Luis Obispo Cuesta campus is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m, with the exception of a one hour lunch break, and a complete list of services are listed at Cuesta.edu.

Students returning home for the summer can also visit America’s Job Center of California in their hometown or at San Luis Obispo’s local branch.

The America’s Job Center of California also provides resources that help with many aspects like skill assessments, resumé polishing, and where to find jobs – all for no cost.

In the search for any type of job, networking can prove to be a worthwhile process. Networking most commonly includes proactively finding information on a company and not being hesitant to reach out for jobs.

“There’s a level of networking and a level of assertiveness that needs to be balanced. [This] sets you up for a greater chance,” Nevins said.

Photo by Sameer Wahba / Cuestonian Photo & Video Editor

While being assertive and having a certain level of ambition can set a candidate ahead of others, it’s important to be thoughtful of who the “right” people to talk to are – those who can increase your chances as opposed to those who may not be a strong resource.