Never too late to look for a summer job, or one that could lead to more

Kate Harvey, 16, makes an ice cream cone during her shift at Twist Ice Cream Company Wednesday, May 31, 2017, on Bethany Road in Liberty Twp. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Kate Harvey, 16, makes an ice cream cone during her shift at Twist Ice Cream Company Wednesday, May 31, 2017, on Bethany Road in Liberty Twp. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The arrival of summer often means area residents — typically teens and recent college graduates — reaching out to businesses to secure gainful employment. But while many area job seekers have already found a job, others continue to search for a position that will give them a paycheck not only this year but could end up a bridge to something more appealing, perhaps full-time and with better pay.

We talked to Melissa O’Brien, business services manager at OhioMeansJobs-Butler County, about the continuing quest for summer jobs and what job seekers can to do to make themselves more marketable. Here’s what she had to say:

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Q: Is it too late to find summer jobs, and if not which industries still need them this late in the game?

A: “It’s never too late to look for a job. There are always job openings in Butler County and the surrounding area. Most of the jobs could be part-time and minimum wage, which is $8.30 an hour now. Just remember these jobs are possible bridges to something better, perhaps full-time and better paying. Job seekers should network through their friends, as several employers offer referral bonuses to current employees; checking online help-wanted ads; and looking in store windows for now hiring signs. Retail, construction, hospitality, manufacturing, and the transportation industries all have multiple openings currently.”

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Q: What concrete steps can younger job seekers take to secure summer employment?

“Younger job seekers need to be prepared with an up-to-date resume. If you’ve never had a job, think outside the box (and include) pet sitting, babysitting, house sitting or even lawn mowing (experience). This shows you are dependable and responsible. Dress for success, talk with someone who works there to make sure it’s a good fit for you, research companies before the interview. Let the employer know you are serious about the job by being prepared. You should be willing to be flexible, working nights and weekends or coming in early if needed.”

Q: What should job seekers keep in mind if they want to turn a summer job into a recurring summer position, or even permanent employment?

“Don’t approach your summer position as if it’s only a temporary job. From the start, find out what your responsibilities are and what is expected of you. The best way to get an employer to start thinking about bringing you on permanently is to stand out in the position you have and not only meet the minimum requirements but exceed them as well. Showing a commitment to the position and excelling at your job is the quickest way to gain notice and consideration for a permanent, full-time position.

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“Say ‘yes’ to projects; never said ‘no’ to projects and accept all the little things that no one wants to do. Go the extra mile; Why? To get noticed and a full-time job offer, you need to do things such as staying late, coming in early or taking on tough projects, you make yourself a valuable asset to the company. Employers look for those employees that they can depend on; when they find them, they want to keep them. If you are truly interested in landing a permanent position with your summer employer, making yourself indispensable is one of the better strategies.”

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