7 Ways to Land the Perfect College Summer Job

Summer is here! Colleges and Universities are done for the semester and many students are returning home for a few months of R&R. While taking a break from the books is always needed, it doesn’t mean that companies in your area are on vacation.

Often the summer months are times for companies to ramp up projects and seasonal positions that cannot be staffed during other months of the year. Summer jobs aren’t just for high school students, so college students take note!

Taking a summer job has many benefits beyond keeping boredom at bay. They can open doors to new career opportunities, you can get your feet wet in a desired career industry, help you to create strong networks, build your resume, let you earn some extra cash, and can even be fun! Let’s look at 7 ways to land that perfect college summer job.

Know where to be

While different regions of the country (and even states or counties) offer different types of summer jobs—Iowa probably doesn’t have a surfing summer camp, for example—there are some standard places to look for summer jobs.

If you’re staying local to your college or university, try the career center and job fairs on campus. Staffing agencies can be a fantastic resource for seasonal and temporary contract jobs, especially for those out-of-state students who are just looking for short term employment. Local businesses, retail, and food chains are usually always looking for students to come work for them during the summer. Any job involving tourists, recreation or younger kids (like camps) can be a great avenue to look into as well with so many families on vacation.

Know when to apply

Getting a summer job doesn’t mean that you can begin applying in June. Start asking around and applying during late spring. Particularly for college students, the competition of high school students and adults seeking seasonal work can increase during the early summer months. Employers begin planning out the number of temporary hires they will need to make early on in the year to prepare workflow systems, training schedules, inventory and other factors of smoothly running a business through the summer. Ask around during spring and be first on a potential employer’s list!

Dress the part

Summer doesn’t mean a mandatory flip-flops and board shorts dress code. No matter what position you’re applying for (even if it’s fast food), think business casual. Dress well for any opportunity that could pop up anywhere: around campus at job fairs, a store you’d like to work at, striking up a conversation in a coffee shop with a business owner. Showing self respect in your appearance also shows respect for the company you’re applying to and the person or panel taking the time to interview you.

Be prepared

Have your resume ready for summer and temporary jobs by late spring. This way you won’t have to worry about adjusting anything last minute and can hand over your resume to potential employers with confidence. Also have all of your application information written down or memorized in case you have to fill out an application on-site. When you email, call, or go in-person to local businesses, tourist and recreational locations or staffing agencies, make sure that you schedule enough time for yourself in case an impromptu interview happens. It never hurts to have a little information about the company and position in your back pocket too!

Cover your butt

There are a lot of candidates in the sea of summer and temporary jobs. What can you do to cover your butt and make sure you’re the fish that stands out in the school of fish? Know exactly what you have to offer to the company and position, and have your “elevator pitch” ready. Some other things to determine about a potential position are what an acceptable rate is for you, what hours/days/shifts are within reason for you, and what your reliability will be (will you have a car? public transit? how far is the commute?). These are all things to take into consideration based on your resources for the summer months.

Be flexible

Most temporary and seasonal summer jobs will consist of shifts in almost every industry. Know that the shifts and hours you want in order to enjoy your summer might not be available all the time or what you end up with. Show your flexibility, and the company that wants to hire you will appreciate it. They will likely be more willing to be flexible with you too! Be realistic on what you can do in terms of your time and the actual duties of the job.

Say, “Thanks!”

Even if your time with a company, camp, or event is temporary or contract based, remember to say thank you. Make an impression from the get-go and thank the interviewer, hiring manager, or Human Resources representative for taking the time to pick you out of the summer crowd. Don’t say it in an email, voicemail, via social media or in a text. Be old fashion and classic: go out and buy nice, standard stationary (only a few bucks at Target or Walmart), and write a thank you note. It’ll only take you two minutes! Good etiquette will get you noticed and says a lot about your drive to get the job.

So when your friends and professors ask what you’re doing for the summer, let them know that you’re looking for a summer job and ask if they would keep their eyes and ears open for you. Be sure to keep your social media cleaned up and your LinkedIn profile polished—you never know when a job might come along!

If you’re looking for a seasonal summer, temporary, or temp-to-hire job, contact Innovative Career Resources today! Serving Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, Innovative’s network of industry leading companies in accounting, finance, healthcare, tech, science, engineering and professional administrative services will have the perfect seasonal sumer job for you! Check out their open jobs here, contact them to find out about upcoming temporary jobs, and follow them on Twitter for more tips to landing a great summer job. Employers looking for seasonal and temporary employees? Contact Innovative to see about staffing your company with the best candidates in Southern California.