Make the most of the options available.
Every year, teenagers in Hong Kong who aren’t travelling look for summer jobs and internships, or part-time jobs for when school starts up again. It’s a great way to earn money and get useful experience as well. This year though, things are looking quite different. Even at the best of times, finding a summer job is not easy and now, especially in the midst of such unpredictable and stressful times, finding a job given your lack of experience may seem impossible.
But fear not. Turn off Netflix. You have more time than you think and equip yourself with real-world experience whilst earning some extra cash. Here are five tips to help boost your chances of landing a job, even during these times of the coronavirus.
Editor’s note: We do not encourage students to take unnecessary risks. Please follow government directives and adhere to social distancing guidelines. If possible, apply to opportunities that you can do at home – online tutoring, interest classes and/or research for companies, remote internships, etc.
Write A Resume
Usually, the first thing that the employer looks for is your resume. Even if you don’t have much experience, it is helpful to curate a resume that includes basic information and highlights relevant accomplishments, leadership experience and skillsets.
- Make sure you tailor your resume to match the service you are offering or the position you are applying for
- Include any remote experiences or skills you may have. This is important for employers to know that you are reliable and capable of working alone and without supervision
- Remember to choose a simple, clean format that is easy to read. There are a lot of resources to help you write a resume online (such as Canva) – using a resume template saves time and guarantees a certain level of quality
- And lastly, proof-read. No one wants to find simple spelling mistakes. Ask a friend or family member to read over before submitting. A strong, error-free resume will boast of your professionalism and competence.
Dress And Present Yourself Appropriately
Since many interviews and briefings are being done on Zoom or Skype, some students may be tempted to show up in what they normally wear at home with unkempt hair. However, doing so will create a bad impression and project the wrong image of yourself. That doesn’t mean you need to be decked out in a business suit – smart casual will suffice. Also, test your camera, audio and lighting before joining the meeting to ensure that it is working properly (the light should be coming from behind the screen, facing towards you).
Most importantly, place yourself in a suitable environment. Find a quiet, neat spot at home with good Wifi and make sure you are undisturbed during the entire call. Be aware of your background and clean up the space that is visible – no one wants to see your dirty clothes!
Always Be Polite And Courteous
Attitude, attitude, attitude! Growing up as kids, we’ve all definitely heard (sometimes, an overwhelming amount of times) our parents remind and nag us to check our attitudes. The same applies to the real-world. Always remember to greet employers and those who will decide on your summer job in a warm manner when you log onto the call. Maintain a courteous attitude when interacting with them and don’t get sidetracked – remember, they can see you even if they aren’t in the same room.
Bonus: Smiling also helps!
Provide An Hourly Rate
Many students are unsure of what to price their hourly rate. And that is okay. The purpose of providing one is to allow employers to gauge the expectation and avoid any unnecessary confusion. It is implicitly understood that the price is negotiable, so don’t worry if you can’t decide if you should raise or lower the price by a dollar. However, you should do some quick research before setting a price to ensure it is within a reasonable range. The usual hourly rates for summer jobs vary – for regular tutoring, the rates are $100 to $300, for babysitting, these are $50 to $200 and for art teachers, summer camps and other specialisations, these can be $150 to $400. With lessons being conducted online, there is no need to factor in transportation fees so make adjustments accordingly. Also, if you are taking on any in-person babycare duties or conducting play sessions for children, you will have to take precautions about travel and going out and be completely honest with the parents about it.
Provide A Cheaper, Low-Stakes Trial
How often do you try free samples? And how much more likely are you to buy the product afterwards? The same logic applies here. Employers may be uncertain about the quality of your service or whether you are suitable for their purpose, so offering a cheaper, low-stakes trial can benefit both of you by testing compatibility and fit. This can also improve retention rates and serve as a reassurance of quality and trust. Given that you can provide a trial without leaving the comforts of your home, there is no reason not to offer one – it is easy and will definitely boost your chances of landing a job!
Good luck with your job search!