♫ “School’s Out For Summer!” ♫
Alice Cooper sang those words back in the 70s. Maybe you’re singing them right now or have been for weeks…But is there something stopping you from fully enjoying your break from the books. Is there a little voice inside saying, “I really should find a summer job…what if it’s too late?”
Sure some of the major internship applications are long past due. But whether you’re a high school or college student, you’d be surprised to know there are still some opportunities out there, if you just take the time to knock.
Why get a Summer Job?
Besides the obvious—making money—working during the summer can help you gain some valuable experience towards your career goals. For example, if you are thinking about a legal career in the future, but have little to no work experience you may be able to land a file clerk or admin assistant job in a law firm, which would be a great introduction to the inner workings of the field.
Workopolis’ Kevin Makra recommends working every summer to help you land a job once you graduate from college and develop your professional network of contacts. “Having a summer job gives you vital experience that employers want in a new graduate,” wrote Makra (March 31, 2014). “If you are unsure which career path to choose, a summer job is the perfect way to try new things and determine your likes and dislikes in the world of work. If you’ve done the same job every summer, consider trying something completely new this year!”
What Types of Jobs Am I Even Qualified For?
Even if you have little to no work experience, there are still summer jobs that you can apply for. Look for positions that emphasize qualities (such as friendly, hard worker, able to handle fast-paced environments, etc) rather than those that require years and years of experience. But remember extracurricular activities and volunteering can count as experience too, and you can tailor your resume to highlight these.
Generally speaking, examples of some industries that hire students, even with no work experience, include tourism and hospitality (like at a hotel, restaurant or attraction), office (like as an admin assistant, clerk or in the mailroom), recreation (like a camp counselor or nanny), labor (such as entry-level construction or landscaping) and retail (such as at a grocery store, gift shop or the mall).
You can look at each of these industries as chances to gain valuable practice. For example let’s say you have been thinking of a future as a youth probation or justice professional; then a camp counselor job would definitely be a great way for you to gain relevant experience.
Is it Too Late to Apply This Summer?
With one week left in June, believe or not some employers are still looking to fill summer positions. There is a slight chance you even might find a last minute internship
For example, a gander on Indeed.com today revealed:
- Student Trainee with the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys
- Office Assistant at a university
- Summer Camp Counselor
- Summer temp in a Lab
- Summer Intern at a cyber security company
- Part time teen leader/role model
- Security Guard
- Intern for a legal/social justice organization
- Police Cadet
- Part time campus community advisors
- IT Technician
- Basketball Instructor
Job Search Tips
When searching for job positions online, HerCampus.com’s Christina Madsen highlights aggregator employment websites like SimplyHired.com or Indeed.com. “Aggregator websites pull job postings from all over the web and put them in one place,” wrote Madsen (April 4, 2014). “They’re basically Google for your job search!”
When searching these sites, naturally you would refine your search by location. You can also search using keywords for the job title (i.e. “security guard,” “camp counsellor” or “mailroom assistant-law firm”) and also phrases like “summer jobs,” “summer employment,” “part time jobs” “student jobs,” “summer student” and “criminal justice student”.
Before applying, pay attention to the date the job ads were posted (the more recent the better) and whether there are any application deadlines.
Also searching for a job RIGHT NOW, you’ll also start to see opportunities already advertised for this coming school year, such as Work-Study positions and Internships.
Finally do not limit your job search to the online world. Talk to your parents or uncles and aunts, family friends, teachers and instructors and others in your personal network and ask them if they have any leads. You could also cold e-mail or call organizations, businesses or agencies to see if they would be willing to hire a student for the summer. If you are not strapped for cash this summer, look into volunteering to start building your resume.