Tips on Landing that Full-time Summer Job

Unfortunately for us, exams aren’t the only thing university students have to worry about in March and April. Landing a summer job can be just as stressful as—if not even more than—studying for finals, especially if you’re paying for your own tuition and rent. So, since not many of us want to spend our summers flipping burgers, here are some tips on landing that full-time, hopefully above minimum wage, probably boring summer job.


1. Apply early

March is half over and if you haven’t already started applying for jobs, start now. Right now, you are only competing with students that live in and around the area, but as it gets closer to the end of April, students who have gone abroad will be coming home and will be trying to snatch up those precious jobs. Employers usually also want you to be trained and ready by the time summer comes along, so most places do hiring a lot earlier.


2. Apply everywhere

A job flipping burgers is better than no job at all. Apply everywhere you can, and if worse comes to worst, you only have to stay at the job for four months and then you can quit. When I was in high school, the only job I could get was in fast food…and let’s just say, it wasn’t my favorite place.  However, it taught me that, in life, you don’t always get what you want, but if you work hard and persevere, you can quit that terrible job and eventually find a new one.


3. Look for Seasonal jobs

I can’t stress enough how many catering positions open up in the summer months. Summer is wedding season and companies are always looking for front-end type positions such as servers and bartenders. This is a big hiring time for venues as well, so look at private companies and places like local golf courses. Also look for companies that get really busy in the summer, like some ice cream shops or businesses on the beach. One summer, I worked at a seasonal ice cream shop where I spent every day scooping ice cream and fawning over the cute little kids and their hot dads.


4. Ask around

Ah, nepotism. It’s not what you know, but who you know. You might have never met your mom’s friend’s sister’s boyfriend, but if they can land you a full-time $20/hr job, personally, I’d become their best friend. Ask your friends, ask your parents, ask anyone! Where I work, basically the only way you can get hired is by being referred by someone who already works there. So, take advantage of those connections!


5. Look for full-time positions at your current part-time job

If you don’t absolutely hate your job, maybe consider going full-time in the summer. Where I work, it gets crazy busy in the summer, so, all I had to do was talk to my manager and boom, full-time summer job. Most places would rather promote and hire from within than taking the time to hire and train someone brand new.


6. Consider co-op

If you don’t work part-time and don’t know anyone who could get you a job, co-op might be your best option. SFU has a great co-op program with awesome advisors who just want to help you land that work term. Watch for the deadlines for next summer and make sure you commit to it. I actually got into co-op for this summer and even though I’m not following through with accepting a job, there are so many awesome opportunities for students. Most of them are over minimum wage too, which is a big plus.


The biggest piece of advice I can give anyone regarding a summer job is: pick something that won’t totally make you want to smash your head into the wall. Sure, money is important, but so is your sanity. Think about it. Happy hunting, ladies!