How to Score the Best Summer Jobs
Fire up your summer job search! These tips can help you find work fast.
The best summer jobs can line your pockets with a paycheck during the sunny months—and get your parents off your back—so you'd better get ready now.
The youth labor force (people aged 16 to 24) skyrockets between April and July each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's not exactly a surprise. It's summer vacation time, and you need something to do (and earn a buck), right? Turns out, that's not the only reason to get a summer job.
The best jobs for summer also teach you about working well with other people, gaining professional experience, and learning problem solving and customer service. Trust us, these are important skills that come in handy later in life.
Bottom line: If you're looking for a job this summer, expect some competition. Use this strategy to make sure you're not left sitting on the couch while all your friends are working.
Target the Top Industries for Best Summer Jobs
Though the unofficial job of the summer may be lifeguard (and rightfully so), here's a sample of other industries that typically hire seasonally, and what types of workers they need:
Summer Job Ideas
Construction: Summer is prime time for building, especially in the Midwest and Northeast, where harsh winters prevent outdoor work. Not all construction jobs involve heavy lifting or standing in the sun all day. Project managers and engineers are in demand for these summer gigs as well.
Hospitality: Hotels, motels, resorts, campgrounds, restaurants, marinas, beach clubs, and country clubs all need extra staff to deal with the influx of visitors during summer. Hospitality jobs range from front desk attendants to housekeeping to food service to valet attendants and beyond.
Landscaping: Like construction, the landscaping industry needs a lot more workers in the summer than in the winter. And again, although some jobs will involve working on the landscape crew, landscaping companies may also hire extra people to answer customers' questions and schedule jobs.
Office work: Even in industries where there's no particular uptick in work to be done over the summer, there may be opportunities. Workers go on vacation, after all, and in some cases companies have to fill their positions with temp workers for a few weeks.
Recreation: Summer camps are full of good summer jobs, including counselors, coaches, instructors, cooks, nurses, and coordinators. Not to be outdone, amusement parks and movie theaters also need extra hands on deck.
Tourism: Visitor centers, tour companies, and travel companies all see an increase in business during the summer. They'll hire people to work onsite but may also need help behind the scenes. Jobs may be available working the phones for customer service, for example.
Keep Cool, but Be Persistent
Of course, look for summer work online, and send in an application. But try to arrange to go in and meet the people you'd be working with. That'll help you make a connection so they know who you are beyond what you look like on paper.
Bring a Resume
You'll have a leg up on the competition and increase your chances of getting hired for the best summer jobs if you put together a resume, even for a first job.
Use your resume to talk about the experiences you've had both inside professional settings as well as things you've done at school or in the community that can highlight skills and characteristics that are valuable to employers.
There are no secret skills required to land good summer jobs—employers are looking for candidates with technical know-how, communication skills, and reliability. You should be flexible and display a willingness to just get the job done.
Think Career Planning
While it's certainly fun to spend a summer scooping ice cream or working at a camp, don't overlook opportunities for summer internships in your field. Most medium- to large-sized companies offer internships. These can be in a variety of departments—like engineering, accounting, IT, marketing, and sales—many of which are paid.
Look for opportunities in your field of study—you can search “engineering internship” on Monster, for example—as that's where you'll have the best odds. And ask your college or high school counselor for suggestions.
The benefits go beyond June, July, and August. You'll gain relevant work experience, make valuable contacts and potentially open up job opportunities for after you graduate. When companies hire summer interns, they're creating a talent pool of future entry-level employees.
Get Connected to the Best Summer Jobs Now
Since there aren't many tough qualifications required to hire people for good summer jobs, employers will move fast, so you want to be in the running. Want to get an edge on the competition? Set up a free profile on Monster today. You can get job alerts sent directly to your inbox so you can apply as soon as opportunities become available.