Having trouble nailing down that summer job? You're not alone, writes Jack McCann.

I finished my first year in college just over two weeks ago. I was ecstatic that I had finished it without too many bumps and bruises. However, now lies the conundrum of what to do with myself for the next 4 months or so. If  you’re lucky enough to have already got a summer or part-time job, then reading this will make you feel even happier that you achieved what turns out to be an extremely difficult task.

If however you’re like me and have yet to find a job then you’ll understand the extreme frustrations that come with starting out on the road of acquiring a summer job. Since finishing college at the start of May, I’ve sent out around 20 to 30 CVs to places that advertised positions but also ones that didn’t, as I felt the bigger net I throw out, the more likely I am to hook an offer.

It turns out however, that I was wrong… Every job application I’ve done has more or less led me nowhere and I’ve gotten to the point where I would do very nearly anything just to get me some desperately needed funds for the summer and the next year of college. At the moment I’m surviving on less then 100 quid for the summer, which was part of money that my parents gave me. They’re another reason, if not the main one, that I want a summer job. Nobody likes to sponge off their parents for everything. It makes you feel like your 12 and asking to walk down to the Corner Shop to buy an ice-cream. You also have a lot less independence if the money is from your parents (I think anyway) as your aware of the fact that the money you’re spending is ‘their’ money.

Experience.

The word that I dreaded seeing on any job posting, as it ruled me out straight away as I have NONE. This one word has severely restricted my possible jobs pool. I’d say I’m not the only one who finds themsleves in this position when they look on sites like jobs.ie. The job may be exactly what your looking for but then, bam, they require 6 months/1 year/2 years experience in the job.

How is somebody supposed to gain experience in the working world if ‘entry level’ jobs require experience? It makes no sense to me and makes it doubly hard to get a foot hold in the working world, which is also made extra hard at the moment with the economy still struggling.

The power of connections:

Some people have no experience in a job but have been able to get hold of it by virtue of having somebody on the inside who vouched for them. Great for them, but what about the people who don’t have connections like that, including myself, what are they suppose to do?

I did have one crumb of comfort from all my endeavour over the past couple of weeks, as I did secure one interview, which I felt went well, but 2 weeks later, I had heard nothing. That’s one thing that was very frustrating, I didn’t anything back from the majority of places that I tried, apart from a couple of automated messages saying that I ‘was under consideration’. Which meant that I have  no idea whether my CV had been looked at or not, had whoever looked at it liked/disliked, did they nearly call me to an interview and then decide to go with a more experience applicant? I don’t know, and I’ll never know. However I’d like to know, as I could figure out then what I could improve on for my next application.

All I can say to anybody in the same boat as me, don’t stop looking, I know its clichéd but the more you put in to something the more you’ll get out of it. Which at the moment, for me anyway, all im getting is a lot of frustration but I’m hopeful my luck will turn this summer, eventually… 

Image courtesy of Flazingo.