Summer Jobs for College Students

Summer Jobs for College Students
  • Opening Intro -

    College students can use their time off in the summer in a number of different ways from pursuing leisure activities, volunteering, taking summer classes or by working.

    Done right, you can balance all four each summer, or emphasize one or two some years and the other two in subsequent summers.


Online opportunities await the job seeking college student

Finding Work

Finding work is important for many students who can use the income to pay for college and personal expenses. Work can also be useful to demonstrate experience. By completing a summer internship, students can put that information on their resumes. This experience also opens doors for full-time employment following college.

Even in the best economy, finding work for the summer can be a challenge. In hard-pressed financial times, students may find that work has alluded them completely as company cutbacks and staff reductions weigh in. The following are some ideas for students who are seeking employment this summer:

Internships – A two- or three-month internship can help you develop your skills and demonstrate to a potential employer your capabilities. Today’s students have an advantage not available to students a generation ago – the Internet. Instead of filing, fielding phone calls or handling drudge work, some students have found that their social media prowess can be helpful for companies who need such assistance. You can put your Facebook and Twitter experience to good use by making a Facebook page or setting up a Twitter account. Contact local companies to discuss your internship ideas.

Freelance – The freelance arena has mushroomed in recent years as the Internet has provides a means by which many people can seek employment while yet working at home or on schedules suitable to them. The market is tough and jobs can be hard to come by. You don’t have the same rights as full-time workers, but you aren’t tethered to a desk and your clients cannot dictate how or where you work. Use websitses such as Craigslist, Elance and Sologig to find opportunities.

Temporary – You can go to a temporary services company to find work for a few weeks or a few months, but you’d be better off knocking on doors, picking up the phone or working your contacts to find temporary employment. Most job opportunities are not published. Rather, they are found through word of mouth or happenstance. You’ll need to become skilled at building up a business network in life anyway, so get started now. Make up some business cards with your name and phone number on it. If you’re not on LinkedIn, set up an account and publish your address on your business cards.

Volunteering – A lack of work doesn’t mean you cannot work. You just may not get paid for it. Nonprofit organizations including churches, shelters and ministries may welcome your help. In times of financial distress, nonprofits cut staff back to the bone, which means some work is never finished. Expect to handle a variety of tasks including fund-raising, office management or counseling. You’ll gain much experience and will likely receive the best letter of recommendation for your efforts. Visit local nonprofits to offer your services for 10 or more hours per week this summer.

What you earn and what you learn by pursuing summer employment may not always come into balance, but by keeping your options open you may be able to make some money and acquire needed skills useful for full-time work. Some summer opportunities can lead to year ’round part-time work or leave open the possibility of returning the following summer. Put your experience and acquired skills on your updated resume.


The Blue Banner; Andy Sherman; Persistence Needed to Get Summer Job; April 8, 2011

The Daily Iowan; Michelle McConnaughey; Students Struggle to Find Summer Jobs; April 9, 2011

Related Reading7 Summer Job Ideas For College Students


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Categories: Career Planning