Summer is almost here, which for most students, means a break from classes. High school and college students have plenty of options on how to spend their free time in the summer. Here are a few suggestions of positions available on a seasonal or temporary basis where students have the opportunity to earn some money, learn a new skill, or pursue their academic interests in a real-world setting.
Summer Jobs for Students
Many industries employ students for entry-level positions. Here are a few of the most common:
- The restaurant industry is a great way to gain job experience, as well as a paycheck. Working as a host, server, dishwasher, or line cook will help you develop skills, such as customer service and how to prioritize, that you will use throughout your professional career.
- Younger children are also out of school during the summer, creating a greater need for caregivers. Students can earn money babysitting for a few children, or working as a camp counselor.
- Heading to the pool is a must in the summer heat, so there is always a need for lifeguards. This job requires certification, but ensures your summer will be spent outdoors.
- Grocery and retail stores are often hiring entry-level employees for inventory, sales, and cashier positions. Jobs in these fields are less seasonally influenced, so they may have the potential to become more than just a summer job.
- Farms and ranches need more helpers in the warmer months. The work will likely be very labor intensive and involve tasks such as planting, cultivating, irrigating, and harvesting crops, working with horses and cattle, or even selling produce at a farmer’s market. This is a great summer job if you are interested in horticulture, agriculture, and animal husbandry.
- Be your own boss by mowing lawns and doing other landscaping tasks. Promoting your services can be done by putting the word out with family, neighbors, and friends, putting some signs up in neighborhoods, or by distributing some flyers in mailboxes.
Colleges and employers love to see that an applicant has completed an internship. Paid and unpaid internships are available in every field and are a valuable way for students to decide if they are on the right career path. Working an internship allows the student to be fully immersed in a real job setting while hopefully obtaining skills and knowledge that can be applied to future career opportunities. Internships are a great way to find mentors in your desired field of work, and high schools and universities frequently offer academic credit for internships. Guidance counselors and academic advisors are particularly helpful when searching for an internship, but don’t be afraid to personally inquire about opportunities at companies that you are interested in.
How to Stand Out
Landing a summer job or internship can be difficult when there is lots of competition for just a few positions. Get the word out that you are looking by asking your family, friends, and teachers if they have any leads that might interest you. Most jobs and internships will require an application and resume, subsequently followed by an interview if they wish to find out more about you. The resume should list past work experience, academic achievements, volunteer projects, and personal or professional references. If selected for an interview, be sure to dress appropriately, smile and shake hands with the interviewer, thoughtfully answer each question, and thank them for interviewing you. Keep in mind that your social media presence can determine whether or not you are selected for a position, so be sure yours cannot have a negative impact on your chances.
Summer jobs and internships commonly lead to regular positions with the company, and start students along a more financially independent path. The opportunities mentioned above help students develop social and work skills that prepare them for life after graduation. Having some practical experience, even if only for a summer, can be a huge advantage when applying for college or for a paid position in their field after graduation.