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Blog>Guides>How to Find the Right Summer Job

How to Find the Right Summer Job

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The semester is coming to an end, you’re putting the finishing touches on your final projects, and you’re considering getting a summer job during the break. You probably have some questions if you’ve never had a job, or if you have, you want to find the perfect fit. We want to take as much of the guesswork out of the equation.

A summer job can be an excellent way for college students to prepare themselves financially for the next semester, travel abroad to experience new cultures, or find an internship to propel their career. Before you start sending in resumes or contacting potential employers, there are some things you should consider.

Where to Find Jobs?

To start with, you’re going to need to find out who’s hiring. In today’s market, there are many useful avenues.

Red and white help wanted sign in a shop window.
  • Search online: Until recently, looking for a job on social media wouldn’t be considered the norm. Now, online job searches and using social media for hiring are standards. Not only are they good ways to search for jobs, but they are good ways to vet possible employers.
  • Walk-ins: The oldest way of getting a job still holds value. Get a stack of resumes printed, put them in a folder, and hit the pavement going to places you would like to work or with 'Help Wanted' signs.
  • Local classifieds: This type of job posting is becoming less popular, but is still an excellent place to look for local jobs.
  • Check with your professors: Your teachers are an excellent source for references if you don’t have any previous experience, but they may also need help. Check with them and see what positions the school may need to fill.

Jobs Take Time

After working hard all semester, how much time do you want to commit to a summer job? Do you have any trips planned or extracurriculars that would cut into the time you’re available? Be honest with yourself and your potential employer about these things. Being transparent about your availability will ensure you find the right job to fit the employer’s needs and your own. The employer will be grateful, and you will start your new position on the right foot.

Shaking hands after an interview.


College students often find themselves limited to entry-level positions until they build their experience. If you’ve worked in the past, make sure you accurately describe the skills you’ve acquired. Throw in any babysitting you’ve done, house-sitting, or paper routes. Simply demonstrating you have worked in the past can help get you a job.

Mature business professional supervising happy student writing notes.

There’s also the possibility you want to build new skills. Don’t count out jobs simply because you don’t have the skills needed going in. For the right person, many employers will train you. Be open about what skills you do have, but also let them know your interest in learning any other skills through your cover letter.


Internships are a great way to use a summer job to propel your career. If you’re lucky, you may even find yourself with a paid internship. Even the internships that don’t pay can lead to paying jobs down the road.

Closeup of a girl on an internship.

The beauty of an internship, whether paid or not, is that employers understand you don’t have a full grasp of the job. Use these employers as mentors to teach you everything they can about the business. Take the time to form relationships with the people that are your coworkers. At its heart, an internship is a great way to build a network of contacts for your future career.

Untraditional Options

What if a traditional job or an internship doesn’t fit how you want to spend your summer? There are a plethora of opportunities outside of conventional roles that allow college students to use their summer to the fullest.

Staff member welcoming guests to boutique hotel.
  • Destination Jobs: Whether it is a campsite host, a dockhand at a famous lake, or a restaurant worker in the Virgin Islands, there’s a need for seasonal hires to manage the high volume of tourists visiting these destination spots. Take advantage of their demand and experience the destination for yourself when you have days off. Many of these places offer lodging as well as pay, making it even easier to validate the travel expenses.
  • Working hostels to travel abroad: Many hostels are primarily run by volunteers. Volunteers exchange services like cooking, front desk work, and even IT help for lodging. It’s a fantastic way to experience cultures abroad without worrying about accommodations.
  • "Voluntouring": Would you prefer to use your time helping those in need? Voluntouring is a program that exchanges room and board to help impoverished communities. From working a farm in Thailand to teaching English in Peru, there are programs to use your talents to help others while allowing you to experience new cultures.

Take Control of the Summer

If you’re looking to take on a summer job as a college student, there are options. Take the time to figure out what you want to get out of a job. Be honest about your skills and the time you have to commit to a position when you interview. Ask yourself what you want to get out of the job. Do you want an internship that could create a network for your future career? Do you want to travel and experience other cultures?

Whatever you decide to do, it starts with asking the real questions. Take control of your summer, and decide what is best for you. Joblist can help you find the perfect job before summer break rolls around!

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