When to Apply for Summer Jobs: A Timeline

These summer job tips can help you get hired before school is out.

When to Apply for Summer Jobs: A Timeline

The clock is ticking to apply to summer jobs.

Curious about when to apply for summer jobs? We've got the answers. Soon you’ll be trading lecture halls for work spaces and go from writing term papers to making paper. The countdown clock is ticking to find summer jobs for teens and students—and there are already many of them up for grabs on Monster, but you’ll need to get going. Right now.

Whether you’re hoping to be a lifeguard and work on your suntan or find an internship to gain professional experience, these popular summer jobs can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months to tie down.

This timeline can help you figure out when to apply for summer jobs. Tip: Start planning now, so you can have a summer work gig lined up by the time final exams roll around, and you won’t have to suffer through a last-minute job search from behind the eight ball. Bonus tip for high school students: You can put these jobs on your resume, which can be part of your college application. Admissions counselors love to see initiative in prospective students. 

April (First and Second Weeks)

  • Determine the type of summer job you want. Develop a list of criteria, including:
    • Where you want or need to get a job
    • How much money you'd like to make
    • Key skills to build
    • Areas of interest and/or organizations to explore
  • Assess your current skill set, either by yourself or with a counselor at your school's career center, to determine which key skills an employer might need this summer.
  • With guidance from a guidance counselor or campus career counselor, develop a basic resume and cover letter.
  • Begin looking for specific job opportunities using:
    • Online resources like Monster
    • Job fairs or college career fairs on campus
    • Friends, family members, relatives, professors, and others who can direct you toward job possibilities
    • City-specific resources

April (Third and Fourth Weeks)

  • Continue looking for job opportunities.
  • Start applying to summer jobs, being sure to follow the employer's directions. Some companies require a resume and cover letter. Others want you to fill out a company application.
  • Ask teachers, previous coworkers and supervisors, and others who know you professionally if they'll serve as references. If possible, have each person write you a one-page letter of recommendation to give to prospective employers.
  • Follow up with companies you've applied to. Make sure your materials have been received and that each company has everything it needs from you.
  • If possible, schedule interviews with companies of interest.
  • Start researching housing options for summer, if applicable.


  • Practice answering job interview questions, either with a friend, guidance counselor, or career center counselor at your school. Research companies and jobs before the interview.
  • Finalize summer living arrangements.
  • Schedule job interviews.
  • Go on job interviews and follow up with thank-you notes.
  • If the right job is offered, accept it
  • If you don't have a solid line on summer work, get some help from your school. College students, this means preferably before spring semester ends if your summer plans will take you away from campus. You can also step up your networking efforts. Ask your parents, friends, teachers, and others if they know of available summer jobs for teens and students.


  • Show up for your first day on time and prepared.
  • Talk to your new supervisor about the skills you'd like to further develop.
  • Go above and beyond to make a good, lasting impression on your supervisor and co-workers.

Get a Head Start

Now that you know when to apply for summer jobs, the sooner you get started, the better your chances are of landing something awesome. Could you use some help getting going? Create a free profile on Monster today and we can send you job recommendations, job search tips, resume advice, and much more. Think of it as the last bit of homework for the school year—one that rewards you with a paycheck.