When you’re in high school or college, having summer jobs is important. It builds your resume, gets you connections for future references or letters of recommendation, and of course helps your bank account.
Why Get Summer Jobs?
Summer jobs are very beneficial. You can:
- Make Money
- Build Your Resume
- Grow Your Network
- Develop Life Skills
- Make New Friends
- Develop Interview Skills
- Learn Time Management
- Give Direction As You Decide On A Career
What Summer Jobs are available?
During the summer, so many employers need extra hands to handle all of their customers. When you’re just starting out, a job in the service industry is relatively easy to get and there are so many options.
Think about your skills and what you enjoy doing. If you’re an extrovert, maybe you want to work front of the house at a restaurant. If you’re an introvert, maybe you want to fold clothes behind the scenes at a local boutique.
Do you like kids? In the summer, many parents scramble to find good childcare. They either hire directly or send their kids to day camp or sleep away camps. These camps always need counselors.
Do you want to be outside? Maybe work as a lifeguard at the local pool or get fit working for a lawncare company (or start your own!)
Here are some places that hire young adults for summer jobs.
- Coffee Shops
- Families looking for childcare
- Summer Camps
- Boutique Shops
- Grocery Stores
- Retail Shops
For more ideas, check out this article.
What is Your Summer Schedule?
When considering a summer job, you have to think about your availability during the summer.
Are you taking summer classes?
Are you traveling with friends or family?
Do you have other obligations like providing childcare for a sibling?
If you aren’t available for full-time work, you need to let your potential employer know your windows of availability. This includes letting them know if you’ll be gone for a week of vacation, or if you have classes three times a week in the morning.
Employers do their best to be flexible with your schedule, but you need to be flexible as well. Summer jobs may require you to work evenings, weekends, early mornings, or other odd shifts. You have to be prepared to do that if you want to work a summer job.
How Do You Apply to Summer Jobs?
Take a drive around your town. A lot of places put up signs that they are hiring. You can also search online with your local college and career services or a big job search engine like Indeed or Monster.
Once you have decided where to apply, you may need to prepare a resume, fill out an application and/or schedule an interview.
Job applications must be filled out in full. Some applications are done online, but if you’re doing a paper application, remember to use blue or black ink. Be sure that all your information is correct and that every box is completed if applicable.
DO NOT lie or exaggerate your skills or qualifications. When you are caught, you will burn bridges and damage your reputation.
How Do You Succeed at Summer Jobs?
You need to show up for your summer job. Not just physically, but mentally. You need to be on time (5 minutes early) and have a positive attitude. Don’t forget to be proactive. Don’t ever sit around doing nothing. If you have completed a project or assignment, look for additional work to do. This will enhance your professional brand and make your boss or manager more inclined to give you a good reference or letter of recommendation.
How to Maximize the Value of Your Summer Jobs?
Of course, you will make money with your summer job. But you will also build your resume. Throughout the summer, take notes on what you do at work so that you can translate that into line items on your resume.
You will also build your network during your summer job. Develop relationships with your colleagues and bosses. Ask them to have coffee or lunch. They will be important to your future. You are only as strong as your network. Who you know impacts your trajectory just as much if not more than your qualifications. You should try to have at least one person in mind as a future reference or letter of recommendation
What Comes After Summer Jobs?
Whether you’re in college or high school, you may have an opportunity to land a summer internship. Some young adults have parents who have the connections to land them an interview. Others don’t and will need to build a stronger resume and network before an internship opportunity becomes accessible.
If you have several summer jobs under your belt, you can apply for internships in your field. Rely on your network. Let your mentors know what you’re looking for.
Our podcast goes takes a deeper dive into making summer plans.