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Show What You Know: Applying For A Summer Job

Posted by on Friday, May 10th, 2013

Whether you are a high school student or college or university student, competing for summer jobs or internships requires that you have a good knowledge of basic office procedures. You should be familiar with the entire Microsoft Office Suite, which is the standard. If you are an advance user, you’ll have a better chance of getting a job at this late date.

Searching for a Summer Job

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Depending on the type of career goals you have, most students need to learn Excel, even if it doesn’t seem like the type of program you will be using in the future. Spreadsheets can be very effective as a tool to help you get through the load of work piled on an average university or college student. When you are looking for a summer job, you are competing with hundreds of other students for these precious positions, including many overseas students looking to gain experience in the U.S. Most students start applying for summer jobs and internships months in advance, but you could still have a chance, if you can prove yourself.


But my goal is to become a college football coach or physical education instructor.

There is a lot of planning that goes along with these careers. All the activity doesn’t happen on the field or in the gym. Exercise programs, schedules and lesson planning require a comfort level with spreadsheets.

I want to work outdoors as a landscape designer or arborist.

Many higher end clients are looking for elaborate landscaping plans. If you don’t know basic skills like Excel, you’ll be left playing in the dirt while others get the big commissions. If you plan to start your own landscaping business, you’ll have schedules, expenses and invoicing to take care of. All accountants and bookkeepers use Excel because it is still the most effective tool for financials.

Summer Job Cartoon

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I’m going to become an executive, I’ll leave that work to the administrative people.

Good luck! Everyone has to start somewhere, and chances are you will start as an intern or in a summer job. That means you will probably be inputting numbers into a database. Don’t get too cocky. We’ve spoken to many managers who say that the interns who are offered positions after the summer are the ones who are not too proud to do what is asked of them. The students who seem to think they are too good to do menial type work don’t get ahead. Sure, there are CEOs who don’t have a clue how to use Excel, but they probably started out building their career before there was such a thing as Microsoft Word. Do you think that all those young tech guys who work at companies like Microsoft or Google don’t know the basics?

Most Important Qualities Employers Consider When Hiring An Intern

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Show a prospective employer that you not only know traditional office procedures and techniques but that you are up to date on innovative software that makes you more effective and efficient. More offices are going paperless and students who know digital inside and out will gain the advantage.

A PDF to Excel converter is one such program. Learn how to use this amazing program and you’ll be able to show an employer that you have the knowledge to streamline their processes. It might be something that they haven’t even considered, but if you show them how a PDF to Excel converter will save them time and money, you may get to work on  more interesting projects than adding numbers to a spreadsheet.

You need to decide what is right for your. Internships are great learning experiences, but often they don’t pay, or only offer an honorarium. You’ll never pay off your student loans that way. You could always take a job in a fast food restaurant for the summer. You’ll make some money, but you won’t get ahead in your career and after graduation you may be working there full time.

Learn office etiquette, but more importantly, learn how to be a great time manager, a good collaborator and a valuable member of a team. Good luck in your job search and future career goals.