Every Student’s Nightmare: The Summer Job Search

Since I’m ‘technically’ going to become a student again in September and my current job ends April 30th (aka making me a student anyways..) I’m classifying myself in the student category for work this summer. Which means finding a job ASAP. This becomes a cringe-worthy task for any student-especially when you are more than likely quitting after 4 months of work, which most places dread. Some people are fortunate enough to have a summer job lined up by returning to a previous job that needs people for season work regardless. In my situation, my work closes and has very little opportunities to work, aka maybe once a week if that. Here are some tips I’ve used in the past and are using now.

1. Contact previous employers.
I was lucky enough to have two jobs this previous summer and left on good terms with each equally. I’ve reached out to one of my previous employers to see if there is a need for work this summer since students may be leaving for the summer, and I’ve already worked there. Some places welcome this due to less training needed for incoming employees-especially meaning they already know your work ethic and how flexible you are. If a place liked you and know what your bring to the table, most of the time they will be honest with you in regards to if there will, or won’t, be work available for you for the upcoming summer months.

2. Reconfigure your resume.
Since the last time I’ve updated my resume, I’ve had three very different jobs. I worked as a receptionist temporarily full time, at a burrito place, and as an assistant manager (my current job). Adding these previous experiences to your resume is beneficial. Although some employers may be wary as to why you only held two very different jobs for a short period of time, you can explain this reasoning to them while also showing how driven you are by holding two jobs and working lots of hours in between that time period. I worked a part time and the temporary full time position by not complaining to my part time employer of how many hours a week I was working, and updated my availability to nights and weekends which suited them fine.

3. Don’t be picky-too picky that is.
I say this strongly since too many times I have heard people complain that they could not find a job anywhere because they were only applying to places that also did not suit their experience and would not hire them due to lack of experience. Do I want to work at a grocery store part time during the summer? No. Is it a job that is decently flexible and will give me money to pay my bills? Yes. Would I apply anyways? Yes, because at the end of the day you’ve got to take what you can get, even if it means work is torturous for a few months. I have hated a few of my part time jobs, but I stuck my nose to the ground, worked hard, and it paid off, regardless if I hated the position and work I was doing. At the end of the day, it is a learning experience and something that will make you a more well-rounded candidate for a further position in life. I’ve found the more customer experience you have, the more people are willing to hire you since you can interact with people in a positive, and professional manner. I worked at a government law office for two summers and one of the things they loved was the fact that I had 3 years worth of customer experience which they sought after as a valuable skill I could maintain within my position. Every little bit helps these days.


Do you have any other tips? Do you think there is anything else that is super vital in regards to summer jobs? Let me know!


  1. Sydney says:

    Looking for a job can be such a scary thing. I remember when I started looking for my first job and was terrified that I wouldn’t get ANYTHING. So many of my friends were telling me how they had a hard time getting a job because people weren’t hiring. I went out on a limb and applied for my first dream job and was seriously surprised that I got it, and it’s been such a good experience.

    I start college in a few months and I’m honestly terrified to look for a new job in a brand new city. Tbh, I’m more terrified about the job than the school because I got lucky my first time and I may not be so lucky a second. XD

    Good luck looking for a summer job! I really hope you find something that suits you, and something you like. <3

    • Kayla says:

      Everyone always thinks your first job is the hardest to get, when if you are applying to the right places (like McDonald’s or a Tim Hortons (or something equivalent), they generally take those people and the skills learnt from there transcend throughout your life. When you move to a new city, see if you can transfer stores (if you are in a department chain-ish), or even call up some bookstores and see if your current boss will give you a reference if they would like to call. It shows initiative and also a “hey I’m gonna be with you for a few years, I’m interested and have similar experience” kind of vibe! Good luck and thanks for the well wishes!

  2. Erin Nicole says:

    I wouldn’t classify a summer job or any job as a nightmare to have to find one. It is something really hard to do as no one likes to hire temporary help but it isn’t really a nightmare. I can understand if you haven’t had a job before that it would be a nightmare though.

    Good luck with classes! I’m a junior in college so I know how that is. Right now I’m going to school full time and working part time so it is interesting. 🙂

    What is a nightmare is re-configuring your resume. I hate making resumes and I hate having to redo them. :/ That’s the worst cause then you have to remember all of that information for previous jobs just to say “hey look at me! hire me please!” ergh. :/ Annoying sometimes. I’m going to have to make a new one next summer as I will be doing my internship for Elementary Education next Fall and there is a possibility I could get hired right off my internship since I would be working a full semester or half of the school year anyway… unpaid. I wish it was a paid one but I have to keep my part time job because of it. Which means I have to teach and work part time which equals 55+ hours of work each week. Not looking forward to that.

    Great tip telling people not to be picky! That’s the problem my sister and I have. We are too picky for our jobs sometimes and it is ridiculous. Lol I shouldn’t be so picky but I am. :/

    When you are getting hired or applying don’t tell the employer this is a summer job. You are more likely to get hired that way. What they don’t know won’t hurt them. It makes you look better too!

    • Kayla says:

      You are so right about the resume! Rebuilding mine when I go to apply real jobs is going to be difficult! I’m sure you will be hired after your internship, it’s a great opportunity to find out a persons work ethic before committing to them as an employee. I wish more places offered the paid internship for experience, they don’t understand how much it helps the student out, and it isn’t a huge budget constraint at the same time. 55 hour weeks are terrible.

      I certainly agree with your tip on telling them it is NOT just a summer job. Most places do not enjoy that. You can always explain to them that ‘something came up’ which is why you leave on a better note than just quitting randomly once September rolls around.

      Good luck with school!

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