10 summer job tips

By Trinya Murray

I learned firsthand that there is no downside to a summer job. You get work experience, money in your pocket, and it’s part-time so there’s plenty of time left over to enjoy your summer. So tidy up your resume, dust off your interview outfit, and use these tips to get yourself a job!

1. Start looking for a summer job ASAP

Start applying for summer jobs ASAP

Positions can fill fast, so start looking for summer jobs and scheduling interviews as soon as you can. Even if you’re still finishing up classes, you can apply for jobs and schedule interviews for when you’re done. Sites like WayUp, Indeed, and craigslist are good places to start your job search.

2. Apply for as many jobs as possible

Apply for as many summer jobs as possible

Don’t limit yourself to just a few applications. Really put yourself out there. When I was first looking for a job, I sent out dozens of applications and only heard back from a few of them. But don’t give up! Summer in the business world means back-to-school shopping, and they need you to make that happen.

Look for jobs in retail, food service, or child care

There are tons of great summer job opportunities out there. Retail is a good option because they’re always hiring for the summer months. Service jobs at restaurants and coffee shops can be very lucrative and are a great way to make new friends. If you like to play, kids get summer off, too, so working parents need someone to watch them.

4. If possible, introduce yourself in person

If possible, introduce yourself in person

If possible, drop off your applications, resumes, and cover letters (yes, cover letters) in person. Meet with the manager and shake their hand. They’ll appreciate the initiative, and putting a face to a resume can help you get an edge. Some employers will even hire you on the spot.

5. Even minimum wage adds up to a lot over a summer

Even minimum wage adds up to a lot over a summer

Working for minimum wage can seem discouraging, but look at it this way: even working 25 hours a week for 10 weeks at the lowest minimum wage of $7.25 will add up to $1,800. Not too shabby, especially when, in most places, you’ll probably be making more than that. Larger retail establishments will often offer closer to $10 per hour to new hires. At those rates, you’re looking at heading back to school with nearly $2,500 in your pocket.

6. You will have plenty of time to have fun

You will have plenty of time to have fun

A problem lots of student have with working over the summer is coming to terms with the idea that they won’t get a vacation. Wrong-o. Summer work is part-time, which means that you’ll likely be working less than 25 hours a week. There are 168 hours in a week. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy yourself and spend time with your friends and family.

7. Make a good impression

Make a good impression

Doing your best and making a good impression can help when you need references later, and employers will be more likely to hire you back next year.

8. Even if it sucks, you’ve earned money and experience

Even if it sucks, you’ve earned money and experience

Look for work you will enjoy, but don’t be too picky. At the end of the summer you’ve got a pile of cash, and you never have to work there again if you don’t want to. Plus, it’ll help build your resume. You’d be surprised how quickly your work experience can turn into a better job in the future.

9. Save your money

Save your money

A summer job won’t do you much good if you spend your money as fast as you get it. Make sure you set up a budget and save as much of your income as you can for the coming school year.

10. BONUS LEVEL: use your wealth to start paying down your student loans

BONUS LEVEL: use your wealth to start paying down your student loans

You can use your summer job money to get a head start on paying down your student loans. Chances are your loans are already accruing interest like mine were. I worked a summer job during college, but didn’t think about keeping the interest down on my loans. If I had started paying off my student loans early, I could have saved myself nearly $800 in the long run.

Scholarships can reduce your student loans and summer is a great time to apply. Find your perfect match from over three million scholarships with our Scholarship Match.

Animations courtesy of Giphy.