Taking a gap year is a great way to get job experience and a taste of the “real world” before you head off to your university. Studies have shown that people who take a gap year between high school and college are less likely to drop out of their studies, are more likely to get hired at the job of their choice, and are more likely to be financially responsible when compared to those who don’t. If you want to get a gap year job though, it may prove to be a bit tricky. Here are some tips that will make that unique job hunt a bit easier.
• Start early. Many successful applicants start their job search in their senior year of high school. Some even start earlier, choosing to have their gap year job as a part time job during their junior and senior years.
• Focus on your great grades, as well as any extra curriculum you have under your belt. You need to show off that you are an “up and coming” member of society. Since you may not have any real world experience due to your age, show how dedicated you are to achieving high grades, as well as the work that you have done in volunteer groups. Employers will be impressed with that!
• Be upfront about your intentions to leave after the year is over. The worst practice you can do is to tell employers that you want to stay for years when you really don’t. Lying won’t be appreciated by your employers down the road, and you will need them for references later on.
• Tell them (or better yet show them) that you are willing to learn. Employers love having the opportunity to teach a new student how to work in their industry. Being able and willing to learn is a very attractive aspect of any job applicant, and sometimes, if you are determined and can show you are motivated, they will hire you just on that.
• Avoid looking for jobs that are looking for university graduates. If you don’t have the education, employers likely will not bother looking at your resume. Simple as that.
• Be gracious. You may have to face a lot of “no’s” before you get to a “yes”. You don’t know why you were rejected, so don’t throw a temper tantrum when you hear a rejection. You may apply there a couple years later and actually get the job you want if you are gracious enough the first time around.
• Dress like an adult – not like a teenager. Sure, you may be 18, but employers want to have someone on their team who has the maturity of a 25 year old, so don’t come to an interview in sneakers and a baggy tee. Dress the part in order to get the part.
• Consider getting a professional to look over your resume. Your resume is your key to any job interview, so it needs to be great. If you can get a teacher, mentor, or a parent to look over your resume for pointers, by all means, do.
• Go to networking events to meet other professionals. If you want an amazing, highly reputable gap year job, act like you already have the degree in your hand. Go to networking events in the field that you want to study, and start rubbing elbows. You may actually break into the field before your first day of university!
For some a gap year is simply a year off in their local town doing some part time work, for others it’s travelling around their own country working, and for others it’s travelling to a foreign country working.
Either way you will need a great resume and this is where the team at Resume Rescue can help you by pointing you in the right direction. Don’t forget to also check out our eBook that will give you templates and all the best information on writing resumes that will get you an interview.
On a last note, never give up your search. It’s true what they say: “Quitters never win.”