While summer hasn't officially started for most TEENs, the time to start applying for summer jobs is right now.
Before you apply for a summer job here are some things you will need:
Your resume should typically be a page and contains your name, address, telephone number, email address, the school you attend, your CSEC/ CAPE grades and work history if you have any, (including volunteer jobs). You can also include any leadership positions you hold at school. (You can leave out your primary school information, GSAT grades and hobbies. Don't worry, summer jobs won't be requiring you to have years of experience, they leave those unrealistic standards to recent university graduates).
You will also need some references, these can be your pastor, principal, a justice of the peace, one of your teachers (who would say good things about you), or your supervisor from where you volunteered or worked. Typically, they ask for two references. If you're confused about structure or worried about missing something, Microsoft Word usually has well-structured resume templates. It's a good idea to use those.
- Passport Sized picture
Not every summer job asks for this, but if they do and you're busy and broke don't sweat. You can get them done pretty cheaply and quick at most photo studios.
A Tax Registration Number (TRN) is a must for anyone who is working. Basically, you'll need some form of identification (such as your passport), your birth certificate, a signed passport sized picture and some time to go to the tax office. If you're under 18, you'll still need one of your parents or guardians to apply on your behalf. You can read more about it here.
- NIS card
This card shows that you are covered under the National Insurance Scheme. This is necessary for all working persons over the age of 18. It's a pretty quick process, and it will generally take less than a day to be processed. You can download the form here or pick it up at the nearest NIS office to you. You'll need a valid form of identification and your birth certificate. Even if your current summer job doesn't require it, it won't hurt to get it done ASAP (if you're 18 and older) because it's something you definitely will need in the future.
- Birth certificate
I'm pretty sure you have one of these already. But you'll probably need a copy of it. I suggest having a couple copies on hand because you need it to do a lot of things. (see number 3). Sometimes they ask to see the original so always double check.
Typically, the approved forms of government-issued identification are your passport, National ID (if you're over 18) and your drivers license. Some places will accept your school ID. They typically only ask for one ID so just make a copy of whichever one you want for the application.
- Bank Account
Some places that offer summer jobs will give a cheque, but others may ask for your bank account information. They typically want one at a commercial bank. Opening a bank account usually doesn't take long, neither is it expensive. You will need references though, and these include but aren't limited to medical doctors, long term account holders at the bank, police officers or Justices of the peace. If your ID doesn't have your address on it, you may need to carry in a proof of address too. Don't sweat, mail a letter to yourself.
Qualifications here is really referring to your CSEC/CAPE grades, Associate Degree, or even your high school diploma. Summer jobs typically require you to have at least three CSEC subjects. Photocopy the originals, (not the preliminary slips) and keep them on hand. They're usually needed for proof.
It would be best to check with the business you're applying to work with what they need from you.
Once you have sorted out the basic requirements, here are some ways that you can land a summer job and make some money this summer:
- Apply to the HOPE Youth Summer Work Programme
The National Youth Service is an organization that hires thousands of young people island-wide between the ages of 17-29 annually for their HOPE Youth Summer Work Programme. The summer job runs for three weeks and you may be placed to work either June, July or August. At the end of the three weeks you would receive a stipend. There's a different stipend for persons who are at the CAPE level versus those at the CSEC level. If selected, they typically try to place you somewhere near where you live. While the duration of the job is short, it's great if you need work experience to add to your resume. The deadline has been extended to May 24th. You can apply online here or you can pick up an application form at the nearest HEART Office.
- Attend the University College Ambassador(UCA) Job Fair
If you're a tertiary student, then you can invest $3000 to attend UCA's job fair. They'll be hosting a job fair in both Kingston (May 18 @ Cowork Ja at Post Mall) and Montego Bay(May 25, venue to be announced). They're offering resume services, interviews, as well as networking opportunities. You can register here and follow their IG page for more information.
- Apply to internships
Several Jamaican corporate businesses have summer internships. While many of them are for older TEENS at a tertiary institution. It's worth Googling and applying to the ones you're eligible for.
- Spread the word!
Tell everyone you're looking for a job. Ask your parents or your friends' parents if their workplaces are taking summer workers. You can also mention it to your guidance counselor or teachers that you're looking for a summer job, they may be able to connect you with an alumni of the school. Not every business advertises the fact that they take summer workers. If you already have a parent or relative working at the business place, it should make it even easier for you to get a foot in the door. If you do a great job, they'll probably keep calling you back every summer.
Good luck on the hunt!