Last-Minute Internship Search: Seasonal or Temp Work

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The spring semester is coming to an end, and the time remaining to find a summer internship is quickly running down. Hopefully, you’ve been employing the last-minute internship search strategies I’ve already covered, including:

If you’ve been diligently plugging away and have yet to secure anything, expand your options to consider basic seasonal jobs or temp work. The work you do through these positions is still beneficial. You get paid (for sure in this case), you can gain new skills, you build your resume, and you have another outlet for networking.

With summer jobs, it’s all about how you approach them. You can gain some valuable skills as a camp counselor, waiter/waitress, or manual laborer. Develop your leadership skills working with children at camp. Polish your communication and customer service skills waiting tables. Show your strong work ethic after a summer of manual labor. Take the work seriously, look for opportunities to expand your role, and reflect on your experience so you can talk about it in future interviews.

You can find summer jobs in many of the same places you find internships, including on Hawk Jobs (select “Summer & Seasonal” or “Part-Time or Temporary” on the Job Search page). Additionally, scan newspapers and help wanted ads. Many organizations seeking seasonal help will still use newspaper listings to advertise. The Royal Purple is one source.

You might also consider working with a temporary employment agency. One benefit of temp work is that you get the opportunity to “test drive” a career without making a long-term commitment. While some people are concerned about the stigma associated with a temp job, most employers care more about the fact that you are actively out there gaining experience.

So how do you work with a temp agency? Here are some pointers:

  • Do your homework. Here we go with the research again! Just as different companies have their own cultures, so do temp agencies. The important factor, again, is “fit.” Find out what kinds of positions the agency fills and what skills/experiences are needed. If you can, find out what the agency is like to work with.
  • Apply to agencies you like. After you have completed your research, go to the agency’s website to fill out a profile and possibly submit your resume. Then, contact a recruiter to schedule an appointment. Keep in mind that this meeting will be an interview – act accordingly. This is also an opportunity to discuss your background, goals, and particular areas of work you’re interested in.
  • Assess job opportunities. If the recruiter believes they can place you, you will move forward. When presented with a job offer, take your time to scrutinize the opportunity. Does this work meet your goals or match your interests? If it doesn’t, turn it down and provide feedback about why you didn’t like it. This will help the recruiter find a better fit for you.

A couple of temp agencies in the area include Manpower and Kelly Services.

Photo by Paul

Question of the Week:

Have you worked with a temp agency? What was your experience like?