Ah, summer. Staying up late and sleeping in, no school or homework, and maybe a vacation or two. If you’re wise, you may also want to spend some of those summer days making extra money.
Don’t have something lined up yet? Try some of these pro tips to jump-start your cash flow. A great opportunity may be waiting right under your nose.
Take it a step above
How do you stand out from the rest of the applicants? We’re not talking about a production on the scale of a promposal. Think more along the lines of extra credit. Have an elevator speech ready: Who you are, what you want, and why you’re qualified. If you enjoy writing, bring a one-page letter telling a story about a problem you had and how you solved it. When you stop in to apply, ask for the hiring manager. Before you leave, finish with a bold question: “when can I come in for an interview?”
Ask ten people
Make a list of ten grown-ups in your life — parents, aunts or uncles, neighbors, friends of your parents, your best friend’s older brother. Call them up, tell them you are looking for a job for the summer, and ask if they know someone who is looking to hire someone like you. This works even better if you have a specific type of work in mind. For example, if you’d like to wait tables, ask around to see if anyone knows of a restaurant owner or manager they can connect you with. This is a very basic form of networking. It is a practice that will come in handy all your working life, as most jobs are found through people you know.
Be an entrepreneur
Do you have a talent for making jewelry or coming up with T-shirt designs? Maybe it’s time to start ramping up production and selling your stuff. Farmers markets, Etsy, and neighborhood festivals are great places to start. Build a Facebook page to show off and promote your work. Maybe you just like the idea of being your own boss. Yard work, car detailing, childcare, light housework, and computer help are all services you can offer around the neighborhood. Print off some fliers and start knocking on doors.
Sure, it’s not as much fun as sitting by a pool all summer. But the effort will pay off when you see your first payday. Then, open a free checking account that rewards you at a community bank or credit union near you.