6 Tips for Finding The Summer Job of Your Dreams

By Vivian El-Salawy on March 23, 2016

Image via www.savethestudent.org

Summer is right around the corner and most students resort to either more school, travel, internships, or a summer at home.  With tuition and food being the two largest sources of your financial discomfort, it is never a bad idea to get a job during the summer when you do not have too many responsibilities.  However, often times getting a summer job can be difficult, especially if you have little to no previous job experience.  It is not easy to find a job in today’s economy, as jobs are scarce and the job market is highly competitive.  Having said that, here are some crucial tips that will help you find the summer job of your dreams:

1.     Establish your intent.

What is the reason behind you searching for a summer job?  Are you looking to remain busy while saving up some cash?  Are you solely doing it for financial reasons?  Do you intend to find a job that may contribute to your career or perhaps another interest of yours?  Before searching for a job, it is important to pinpoint you intent so that you know exactly what kind of job you are looking for.

2.     Be sure to use all of your resources.

Many campuses and departments have part-time job fairs at the beginning or end of the semester.  Be sure to explore every form of medium when you are searching for a job.  Check out websites such as Craigslist or Snagajob and reach out through social media.  Who knows, you may have a Facebook friend or two that have positions available at work.  Exploring in person or calling local businesses may show confidence as well.  It may have been a while since you have read one of these – but checking your local paper in the jobs wanted ad pages may score you the perfect job.  Consider all the different types of jobs and your current skills.  Many college students choose jobs within the food industry or retail, however often times there are jobs available at local businesses, preschools and daycares, or even lawn care.  Camp counselors are able to merge summer vacation with work as well.  Consider previous community service you have done and think about what kind of skills you may have acquired and what jobs may correlate with them.

Image via www.career.fsu.edu


3.     Write a targeted resume. 

Start by using a template on Microsoft Office or another processing program.  Many college campuses have a career center that will assist you in the organization of your resume for free, however this can be done individually as well.  Most workplaces prefer that your resume does not exceed one page, so be sure to limit any shared information to be relevant and targeted to the job you are trying to acquire.  It is crucial to be clear and concise.  Avoid using distracting colors, fonts, or designs in your resume.  Be sure to include:

  • -Your full name and date of birth (age may be significant to your employer depending on the job).
  • -Contact information (permanent and/or current address, phone number, professional e-mail).
  • -Any skills and qualities that make you a valuable employee (be sure to be clear and concise in selecting traits that appeal to the job type).
  • -Include any prior employment history.
  • -If you have no prior employment history, include clubs and organizations you are involved with.  Sometimes holding a position of leadership within the community is just as important.
  • -Include some references (prior managers, employers, or supervisors) along with their contact information.  Be sure to contact said individual and get permission before using them as a reference.
  • Image via www.engr.iupui.edu


4.     Write an effective cover letter.

A cover letter typically states your purpose or intent.  This will be easy if you have followed the tips accordingly, given that the exploration of your intent was the first step.  Here, you can include details that you were unable to include in your resume.  Take advantage of your cover letter in showing your potential employer what sets you apart from everybody else.  What skills or characteristics do you carry that other individuals do not?  What makes you different from anybody else that is applying for this job, or perhaps a stronger candidate for the position?  What experience do you have and what new things can you bring to improve your potential workplace?  You want your employer to get the impression that the decision of hiring you will be mutually beneficial.

Image via Static Blog


5.     You have landed an interview!  Now what do you do?

Make a good first impression.  Be sure that you dress appropriately for an interview.  Typically, business casual attire is appropriate for most interviews, but be sure to do some research depending on the type of job you are applying for.  Articulate your thoughts and enunciate your words.  Turn your phone off before the interview.  If it just a summer job you are interviewing for, make sure that you are there with the intent of being part-time.  Most employers’ biggest pet peeve, especially with students, is the excessive use of cell phones.  Most employers take time out of their work schedule in order to conduct a job interview, so be confident and patient with them.  As important as it is for them to collect information about you, it is just as crucial that you pay attention to any information they provide as well.  Make appropriate eye contact, address them properly, and provide a firm handshake – it is important that the individual interviewing you knows that they have your full attention.  If you naturally carry a nervous demeanor – smile and take a deep breathe.  Think of the interview as being a formal conversation.

Image via www.northeastern.edu


6.     Be careful.

There are many scams set up for college students specifically.  Your contact information is not difficult to acquire, especially as a student and with the expansion of social media.  Be sure that before going on an interview, you do some research of the job or internship opportunity being provided.  If you are contacted for a job through a phone call, do not be hesitant in asking for more information or looking up details about the business or company.  Your safety is most important.   

Image via www.yourfirstyear.uncg.edu 


The provided tips should help you land the summer job of your dreams.  Who says you can’t spend the summer on the beach as a lifeguard or at a lake as a camp counselor?  Maybe you could work with children or get a head start in your field by working at a hospital or in an office.  While the job market is an unpredictable vortex at times, these tips will make getting a job less about luck and more about your own personal determination.


Vivian El-Salawy is a graduate of Florida State University with a B.A. in Editing, Writing, and Media with minors in Slavic (Russian) Studies and Communications. Alongside writing for Uloop News, WVFS Tallahassee 89.7 FM, and editing for the Good Life Community magazine, she is heavily involved with a Tau Beta Sigma, a national honorary sorority that promotes women in the band profession.

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