Making Your Summer Work for You

Published: Apr 28, 2014

Courtesy of Resume Bear

Following a plan that helps you to be prepared and stay actively engaged in your search makes it more effective.

  • Jobs may have different application methods.  Childcare may just require an interview, summer camps camp may have an application and interview, or a lab may want an application, resume and interview.
  • Be prepared for all types of application materials by ensuring your resume is up-to-date (your resume will have most or all of the information required for an application), and prepare a sample cover letter that you can modify for each job opening.
  • Clarify the type of industry/job you are pursuing. Your career counselor can talk with you about the type of places you would like to work and the skills you are interested in using.  Summer employment can limit your options as the limited availability is not practical for all types of employment.
  • Prepare a list of your preferred work environments to target employers.
  • Practice for an interview by preparing to discuss how your skills, interests, education, and experience have prepared you for your targeted jobs.
  • Prepare a list of how you will conduct your weekly job search using a variety of job search methods.  Make a targeted number of calls and emails each week.  Research employers who fit your needs.
  • Conduct your search daily -  research jobs, make phone calls, attend job fairs, or send out resumes.
  • Maintain a log of your job search activities and contacts, following-up within two weeks.  This gives you an opportunity to contact the employer and find out how the process is going.  Tell them you are calling to check on the status of your application and where they are in the hiring process.


Typical Summer Employers

Since a summer job means limited availability, employers looking for seasonal or short term help can be limited but there are still a variety of options to gain valuable experience.  Some employers may offer paid positions and college credit with paid summer internships.  If you find a paid summer internships and would like to receive credit, check out your career center’s Internship Checklist.  Summer employers can connect with your major.

  • Biology, Chemistry, Physics – national parks, research labs, greenhouses, farms, chemical companies
  • Dance, Theatre, Music, Art – museums, galleries, photography studios, music stores, community theatres
  • Economics, Management, Mathematics – accounting firms, government agencies, banks, insurance companies, marketing firms
  • Education, Psychology, Sociology – mental health facilities, summer camps, government agencies
  • English or Communications – publishers, advertising or marketing agencies, newspapers, bookstores
  • Political Science or History – law firms, archives, historical societies, government agencies

Additionally, don’t discount seasonal employment opportunities.

  • Camps
  • Summer Recreation – pools, amusements parks, etc.
  • Retail
  • Hospitality/Food Service
  • Childcare- Check the Childcare book in the CDO.


Job Fairs

Job fairs are a great way for employers to reach a large pool of applicants and that means that a job seeker can also meet a large number of employers in a few hours.  Find out where and when job fairs will be held.

Locating Resources Anywhere

Once you have determined what types of jobs you want and organization you want to work for, you may want to focus your job search on a certain geographic area.

  • Use the online phone book,, for the location where you want to work and search for the types of organizations that interest you.  Make a list of those companies and check out their websites or call them to find out if they have summer openings.
  • Local newspapers online and in print will advertise summer jobs and job fairs.
  • Use your network!  Speak with family and friends.
  • Contact city and county government for information on summer job programs.

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