Originally Posted: May 31, 2012
Last Updated: May 19, 2016
It’s that time of year where high school and college students are either looking for or starting their summer jobs. No matter what type of job you land, there are a few key tips to keep in mind to make yourself stand out and be considered for future, more permanent employment (or even just to get a few references!).
Take even the smallest tasks seriously
As an intern, it’s likely you’ll be the one brewing the coffee, making copies, or running errands. Regardless of what task you are doing, make sure you do it excellently. Make it the best darn pot of coffee you’ve ever brewed, or the loveliest copies you’ve ever made. You’ll show your boss that you are willing to work hard at any task that you’re given, no matter how (seemingly) unimportant. Also, if you do these tasks well, your boss will start to see that you are responsible and can handle even bigger assignments.
Be proactive and involved
Don’t sit around waiting for your manager to come to you. If you see the need for something to be done, bring it up to your boss. If you think it’d be beneficial for you to sit in on some meetings to learn more about the company, make sure you mention that too. Your superiors will be happy you are one to communicate properly and take initiative—that’s something all employers are looking for! It’ll also show that you are truly interested in the company and how it works.
Engage with others and maintain a positive attitude
In order for you to have a chance at getting hired down the road, you have to be liked by your fellow employees, and, very importantly, your boss. Strike up conversation during your lunch break or during some downtime. Get to know others and let them have a chance to get to know you. Also, keeping an upbeat attitude will send out positive vibes and make you all the more likeable.
Always, always bring a pen and notebook
Whenever you go somewhere, whether it’s just a chat or scheduled meeting, bring that notebook and pen along. You don’t want to be stuck having to memorize an assignment and risk making mistakes. Also, showing up without your notebook sends the signal that you either aren’t prepared or you don’t view what’s being said as important. With that pen and paper, you’ll be ready—even if it just ends up that your boss wants to show you pictures of his daughter’s pre-school play.
Enjoy your summer jobs, everyone!