How to Find (and Get) a Summer Job

Don’t be intimidated when you’re looking for a summer job.. There are a few best practices that can help you get a summer job: start looking early, utilize your network and connections, and apply frequently. Explore your resources and keep an open mind. It can be a great chance to try something new and earn extra cash.

Here are a few tips for how to find, and get, a summer job:

1. Think about the type of summer job you want. 

There are lots of options when it comes to summer jobs. You could work at your local movie theater, the mall, that nearby water park that only opens for the season, and so on. The more you expand your search and the type of summer job you’re willing to take on, the more likely you are to land a position. You might even find a summer job that’s related to your college major or the industry you want to work in. Many companies create entry-level summer positions (in addition to internships) for this specific purpose. You may get the opportunity to work at a company you’ve always dreamed of, even if the position itself doesn’t have much to do with your career goals. On the other hand, you may find a summer job at a company that doesn’t particularly interest you career-wise, but the job itself can still give you some great hands-on experience. Either way, you’re starting to build your resume and your bank account.

2. Begin to look for a summer job as soon as possible. 

While it’s possible to find a summer job at the last minute, it may not be as easy. Summer positions may be filled weeks—even months—in advance. As a result, it’s never too soon to begin looking (and applying) for summer jobs as soon as you’ve decided you want one. Depending on the type of jobs you’re considering, you may need to make sure your resume is up-to-date and be ready to create customized cover letters for each one. If you’ve never created a resume or cover letter before, your college’s career services department can usually help you out.

3. Check with your school. 

Figuring out where to look for a summer job may be the hardest part of getting started. Your school is a great place to start when it comes to finding summer jobs. Many employers will connect with local colleges because they’re looking for students to fill their summer positions. If you’re also considering a summer internship, starting with your school is a good idea, and your advisor may be a good resource to discuss which options are the best fit for you.

4. Connect with recruiters and temporary staffing agencies. 

Recruiters and temporary staffing agencies are a terrific way to get connected with many types of summer jobs and companies. As summer approaches, it’s likely that you’ll find a lot more available temporary positions for the summer. It’s best to reach out to recruiters and the agencies directly, and send them your resume. If they feel you might be a good match for any of their clients, the next step will usually be a one-time interview with them. Once you’ve established a relationship, you could be their go-to person when available summer positions come up.

5. Search through job listing websites. 

The web is filled a slew of job listing websites that can help jumpstart your summer job search. Sites like ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn, and Monster are just a few popular choices to use for your summer job search. You can browse by industry or profession, type of position you’re looking for (such as contract, seasonal, or temporary), and can even search by keywords or phrases, which quickly narrows your results down to available summer jobs.

6. Don’t forget company websites. 

While job listing websites are a terrific source for finding summer jobs, don’t forget about researching different companies individually and looking at their specific websites. Not all companies will use job listing websites or outside agencies; they may just post available positions on their own site, or they may at least post the ads on their own websites first before turning to third party listing options. This includes both summer jobs and summer internships. You’ll also want to follow local companies you’re interested in on social media; more and more businesses are using social media as their initial platform for announcing company news, including open positions.

7. Network as much as possible. 

Word-of-mouth can sometimes be the best way to find summer jobs, even before the ad is created and circulated on the web. Talk with your parents and other family members, plus neighbors, friends, and fellow students and let them know you’re looking for a summer job. If you get the word out there, you may be one of the first people to find out about an available position, which can help to improve your chances.


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