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Summer jobs in the movies are always exciting. Kids work at amusement parks and make lifelong friendships while having adventures. But not every summer job looks like this. When you’re searching for a short or long term position during the summer months, what are the best strategies to find the right position for you? There are a few things that make the summer job search a little different than any other time of year so it is important to keep these vital tips in mind when you’re applying.

Connect in your community.

Word of mouth is one of the best and most reliable ways to find a new job. If you’re looking for work between school semesters or extra hours to make extra money, start by talking to others in your community. Friends and family will know others who may be looking for additional help. Talk to people at the grocery store and let everyone you come across know that you’re looking for work. You can extend this to networking events and simply walking into stores or businesses to ask if they will need help this summer. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish simply by asking.

Talk to your school.

If you’re a college student or a recent college graduate, your school may have resources that can help you find an opportunity. You may be able to work at the college for the summer if there is a need within your major department. Or, they can refer you to businesses they know would be hiring interns or additional summer help. Talk to the career center and use all of the available resources.

Apply with a staffing agency.

Lastly, another great way to get connected to short term jobs for the summer is to apply with a local staffing company. They will specialize in the area and work closely with businesses who contact them directly to find and place summer help, often on short notice. This experience will also look good on a resume as you transition your job search to something more permanent. When you work with a staffing agency you may also have an opportunity to return the following summers or during holidays.