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Looking For A Summer Job? Here’s A Guide To Help You Find One

With the spring semester finally over and summer officially here, some college students are now scrambling to find last-minute jobs to make some money and keep themselves occupied for the next few months. 

If you’re one of these students, then listen up: As a college student who doesn’t yet have a degree, may not have tons and tons of work experience, and is limited to the two to three months they’ll likely be home and not busy with studying before having to go back to school, it can be tough to find a place that is willing to hire someone. Don’t fret, though! While summer job hunting can be daunting at times, there are options out there that are perfect for students — or anyone looking to make some extra money over the summer months, for that matter. You just need to know what to look for, where to look, and how to sell yourself as the ideal candidate for the summer job of your choice. 

If you’re wondering how to find a summer job as a college student, here is your comprehensive guide to finding the one that is right for you — at least, for the next few months. Good luck, and happy hunting!

Where To Look For A Summer Job

The first step when looking for summer jobs (or really any job in general) is knowing where to start searching. There are the standard sites such as Linkedin and Indeed, but there is also a platform called Handshake designed specifically for college students. Handshake is pretty much like a college student version of Linkedin, and lots of students have accounts through their universities. With this in mind, see if your school has Handshake as a resource for students. If it does, you can go onto Handshake and start looking for summer jobs in numerous different fields. 

Through Handshake, you can message recruiters and also filter jobs you want based on location, type of role, and more, just like with Linkedin! You can include all of your important information and experiences in your profile and even apply to roles directly through Handshake. 

Another option is if you have a place locally in mind you want to work at, you can go to the company’s website and see if they have a “careers” or “work for us” page where you can learn about potential job openings and how to apply. If going online doesn’t work, you can always go the old-fashioned route and show up in person to ask if the company is hiring. Sometimes you need to put yourself out there and take chances to find something good!

Summer Job Ideas For College Students

Besides knowing where to look, you’ll want to have an idea of what type of job you are looking to find. Some specific jobs that are great for college students during the summer include: 

Camp Counselor

This job is honestly perfect because it’s kind of implied due to its nature that the job will only be during the summer months, so you won’t have to worry about quitting when school comes around, because the summer camp job will be over as well.It’s a win-win for everyone.

Tutor 

Another job that can work during the summer months is being a tutor. Tutoring children during the summer independently, or working at a tutoring center, is a great way to make some extra cash (while also keeping your brain in learning mode over the break so you’re ready to jump right back into things when school starts). Just make sure you let the person you’re working for know how long you plan on staying so there’s no confusion when it’s time for you to move on.

Nanny or Babysitter

For those who enjoy working with kids, a nannying or babysitting gig is another great option for the summer. Many parents struggle with childcare in the summer while their kids aren’t in school, so your summer-only availability will be ideal for many. If you know of a local daycare or individual family in need of help, those are good places to start. Otherwise, sites like Care.com allow you to create a profile and have potential clients find you. 

Lifeguard

Becoming a lifeguard is another job that is great for the summer months because, in a lot of places, you can really only swim outside during those months due to the weather. If you consider yourself to be a good swimmer and are eligible to become certified, then think about lifeguarding at the beach, a community pool, or a local organization like a YMCA or JCC. 

Dog Walker 

If you’re an animal person, ask around or go to businesses where you can sign up to be a dog walker in your neighborhood. And if you’re good at multitasking, remember that by walking more than one dog at a time, you can make double (or even triple) the money at once. 

Seasonal Retail Staffer

Head over to your local mall to see if any of the stores or kiosks are hiring for short-term gigs, especially as things get busy around the back-to-school shopping season. If you have experience working in retail, that’s a bonus. 

Receptionist 

If you happen to know anyone who owns a business, see if they have an opening for a receptionist or assistant. These people are usually behind the front desk at the business, handling administrative tasks and answering phones and emails. If they’re fully staffed, it wouldn’t hurt to ask if you can be their temp, filling in whenever their employees go on their summer vacations.

Food and Beverage Staffer

Another option for the summer is to find a job the food and beverage industry. You can work as a cashier at fast-food establishment, a barista at a local café, or a host or server at a restaurant. Through this, you can get experience working with people face-to-face and improve your multitasking skills. If you don’t mind driving, you can also consider working for a rideshare delivery service like Grubhub or Uber Eats. 

Theme Park Employee

Lastly, another good job that allows you to make money over the summer is working at a theme park. Depending on the size of the park, there are so many jobs across different fields, including as a performer, a ride operator, a ticket booth salesperson, or a food stand staffer There is something for everyone! 

How To Sell Yourself To An Employer As A College Student

Once you identify the type of job you want to look for and figure out where to start looking, the next step is to sell yourself as the perfect fit for the job. Just because you are a college student, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be looked at as an inferior candidate due to lack of experience or a degree. If you are looking to get into digital marketing, for example, and want to work at a local business as its social media manager, you can market yourself by saying you are learning about the field in your classes and explaining how you are up to date on current trends that will help the business grow. You can offer your services to film commercials or videos for the business and see if they take you up on it. 

You can also focus on the jobs and experiences you have had. Even if they are not in the same field or relevant to this particular position, I’ll bet you still have plenty of skills that transfer over. These skills don’t even need to come from previous jobs or internships, but rather through leadership opportunities you’ve had on campus. 

Remember that ultimately, the hiring managers want the best person for the job, so describe how you can help them, and you’ll be in great shape to land that summer job!

Courtney Lemkin is a National Contributing Writer for Her Campus. She writes life and career content on the site including advice on academics and more. She is a recent graduate of St. John's University where she majored in communication arts and minored in English. During her time at St. John's, she was the vice president of the campus' multimedia organization and also has previous experience writing for College Magazine. She later became an editor, social media coordinator / newsletter editor, and eventually worked her way up to holding the position of editor in chief. In her free time, Courtney enjoys anything related to the arts and loves going to see Broadway plays.