The heat is on for summer job seekers

The Daily News Published may 20, 2012

Ahh, the summer job.It’s as much of a rite of passage for area teenagers and college students as hitting the waves, sunbathing on the beach or shopping at the malls.with the opening of Landry’s inc.’s Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, which officials expect to employ about 600 people, the summer job season has taken on a new meaning. with hot tourist destinations in Kemah and Galveston, the Haak Winery in Santa Fe and jobs at city recreation facilities across the county, ’tis the season to find a job.When Landry’s had a pair of job fairs to hire workers for the pleasure pier, more than 1,800 people showed up during the two days.“When I got here at 7 a.m., we already had people lined up,” Jill Watson, the human resources project coordinator for Landry’s, said during the second job fair.some people were hired on the spot; some were called back for a second interview, while others just didn’t fit the bill.First ImpressionsOne guy showed up with his pit bull. he didn’t get a chance to get inside for an interview.some of those waiting in line outside the human resources office of the San Luis Resort were sent home to change because their clothing was too revealing. others were told to get a long-sleeve T-shirt to cover up tattoos.Adrian Reynolds, 27, of Galveston, had to rush home when his arm tattoos were exposed.“That’s OK,” the veteran bartender said. “they let me right back in front of the line. I’ve been a bartender at Schillterbahn, Moody Gardens … and just wanted to see what was happening out here.”Landry’s officials must have been impressed; Reynolds was called back for a second interview and came out to support a friend who also was hoping to land a job.Winning PersonalityFor those who get to the interview process for jobs at the pleasure pier, personality is everything.“on those positions we are trying to gear toward their personalities,” said Mike Martorella, general manager of amusements at the pleasure pier. “that way we know that (the employees) are having fun, and the guest is going to enjoy it in return.”Mark Kane, who oversees operations at the Kemah Boardwalk as well as the pleasure pier, said he looks for people with plenty of energy.“We’re looking for personalities that can deliver to the Landry’s standards and expectations,” he said. “we are looking for hard working individuals who are high energy, well groomed and who want to have fun while delivering memorable experiences to our guests.”Having a fun personality also is key for Landry’s newest acquisition, Bubba Gump. the restaurant chain’s first Texas eatery will be on the pleasure pier. General Manager Jonathan Wascom has been hiring those fun personalities for 10 years.“we hire for personality and train for technique,” Wascom said. “Experience is good, but we want people who exude the excitement and fun of a family oriented place like Bubba Gump is.”Kane seeks workers with extra talents to man the boardwalk’s popular the Beast speedboat.“to be part of the Beast Crew, you must be high energy and love to interact in an on-stage-like environment, albeit on the water,” Kane said. “you must be willing to entertain our guests, and it helps if you have rhythm and can dance.”Crew members also must have first-aid training as well as advanced CPR training, he said.Friendly DispositionYou can be more subdued if taking a job at Haak Winery in Santa Fe, but customer service still is paramount.the winery is looking for a person with “a friendly disposition who smiles and engages customers in conversation,” Haak’s Cecilia Gabba said. Employees must be interested in learning about wine, but they do not have to be experts.“our events are outdoors and it is hot and there is physical labor involved in moving and setting tables, chairs, wine stations and then cleaning up afterward,” Gabba said.this summer, Haak is looking to hire about four people but might hire more if the right candidates come along, Gabba said.looking For LeadersA positive attitude and leadership skills are what Kyle Pacini, the aquatics and fitness superintendent for the Texas City Recreation and Tourism Department, is seeking. he also seeks those who have a habit of lots of activity. if students are involved in their school, “I can see their leadership skills,” he said. “if they have a lot of activities, then I can tell they can manage multiple things well.”they can’t be too active, especially during the summer months when the city’s Nessler Pool or summer camps are in session.“I look for availability,” Pacini said. “I ask what they have planned out for the summer and when will they be available to work. I really need my lifeguards to work whenever they can.”Finding those people doesn’t come from reviewing a résumé or a job application. the one-on-one interview is key, Pacini said. “Interviewing is the most difficult thing for me,” he said. “It’s hard to judge somebody on that first instance, but first impressions are important. it really does stick with them if they come in well dressed, organized and on time.”Pacini also has this piece of advice for young job applicants: Leave mom at home or in the car.“if, during the interview, the mom comes in wondering where (her son or daughter is), that sticks in the back of my mind,” he said. “it makes me think: Will I be dealing with the actual employee or mom all summer?”no Spring ChickenBy no means are all the jobs just for children these days.in fact, thanks to a slow economy, older job-seekers are on the hunt for work.Jimmy “Hollywood” Molina, 65, gained a reputation in Galveston as the “singing barber” until Hurricane Ike washed away his business in 2008. the Hitchcock resident also is handy with tools and was hoping to land a job working in the maintenance department for the pleasure pier.“It’s all about the attitude,” he said, standing in line with people who were half his age. “you take on life’s challenges with a positive attitude and it all works out.”that was the approach Marcus Mann, 24, of Houston, had as well. the Texas A&M graduate with a degree in leadership studies and a minor in business was hoping to land a management job despite his lack of managerial experience.“I heard about this (job fair) on the radio and thought I would come down,” he said. “it doesn’t hurt to get your résumé out there.”Mann, who is in a wheelchair, admits finding a job has been tough and thinks his disability might have played a role in the lack of interviews — despite laws against discrimination.that hasn’t deterred him. he figured if he keeps plugging away, someone will give him a chance.“That’s what I keep hoping,” he said. “It’ll happen — I’m pretty sure of it.”Summer Jobs Pay OffPlenty of successful business leaders parlayed a summer job into their first full-time or management opportunity.“Kemah is a great place for your first job, because of the training. the experience in guest services and interaction that can be gained,” Kane said. Martorella said he started off as a part-timer and worked his way into management at six Flags in New York. Now, he is the manager for the heart of Landry’s $60 million investment at the pleasure pier.and this tidbit of information: one of Landry’s owner and CEO Tilman Fertitta’s first jobs as a teenager was as a lifeguard at what was the Flagship Hotel that once stood on the pleasure pier.Now, he owns the pier. he said those early jobs helped him to understand how to treat customers.+++Tips For Landing a Summer JobAlison Doyle is a veteran human resources manager and provides tips for job seekers in articles for the New York Times, CNN.com and the Wall Street Journal. She’s also a contributor for About.com.she offers these quick tips for summer job seekers:1. Get help. Check with your school guidance counselor or career service office for job search assistance.2. Résumé or not? When applying by mail or email, send a résumé. if applying in person, bring one with you.3. Check the newspaper. while online sites like Snagajob.com offer good resources, the local newspaper’s classified section lists available jobs. 4. Hit the road. one of the best ways to find a job is applying in person, especially for an amusement park, beach venue or retail store. Plan to spend time filling out job applications and visiting job sites.5. Networking works. getting your name out there is not just for a full-time job. tell everyone you know you are looking for a summer job; you never know who might be able to help you out.6. Dress appropriately. a must. Even if you are filling out an application, you might be called in for an on-the-spot interview.7. Don’t wait. Summer jobs often get filled fast.SOURCE: Alison Doyle/About.com Job Search guide

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The heat is on for summer job seekers


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