Werk it: How to find a summer job that pays


Last updated on May 14, 2024.

Summer break isn’t just about relaxation; it’s a prime time for students to earn money and gain experience. A good summer job can help finance your education and open doors for future careers. However, choosing the wrong one can leave you short on funds for school.

Industries like hospitality, retail, tourism, and internships often hire seasonal help during summer. Here are tips to land the perfect summer job:

Look for a summer job with long-term potential

Jobs that require extensive training may mean that they’ll want you to return for many summers to come. It is usually cheaper to have you return than having the expense of retraining someone new each summer.  Jobs that require a high degree of training may also pay higher as an incentive to return.

Asses your dependence on external factors

That summer painting job may look financially promising but if you’re working entirely as an exterior painter, a rainy season could dampen your hopes of making money.

Where to start your summer job search

Finding a summer job can be daunting, but with the right resources, it’s easier than you think. Whether you’re a student on break or seeking temporary work for the warmer months, these platforms can connect you with various opportunities. Here are some valuable resources to kickstart your search:

  • Vancouver Public Library – Summer Job Search guide offers a comprehensive guide specifically to young workers seeking employment.
  • Indeed – It’s one of the largest job search engines, aggregates listings from various sources such as job boards, company career pages, and newspapers, allowing you to filter your search by location, job type, and specific keywords related to summer jobs.
  • LinkedIn – It’s not only a networking site but also a potential job-hunting tool. It allows you follow other companies, monitor their job openings and join relevant groups.
  • Student job portals – many universities and colleges have job portals of part-time or seasonal work. They may include on-campus jobs, internships and summer employment opportunities.
  • Referrals and networking – Don’t underestimate the power of networking. Let friends, family members, teachers, and acquaintances know that you’re looking for a summer job. They may have leads or be able to connect you with someone who is hiring for seasonal positions.

Maximize your application process

Craft a standout resume and cover letter that highlights your skills, experiences, and enthusiasm for the position. Tailor your application materials to each job opportunity, showcasing how your qualifications align with the employer’s needs. Prepare for interviews by practicing common interview questions and articulating how your past experiences have prepared you for success in the role.

Research the company

How vulnerable are you to economic factors? You may be promised plenty of hours, but if the company is not doing well your summer hours could get cut. Retail is a good example, as many bricks and mortar stores are going out of business. While your retail employer may not close, it may cut back on staff hours to stay in business. Unfortunately, for students, it’s usually the seasonal hours that get cut first.

What are your perks?

While getting a free feathered hen outfit at the Chunky Chicken Grill may not be a great perk, others can add up. Use of a company vehicle or a mileage allowance, free meals (in a restaurant job), or free travel with a tour company can save you some cash and/or provide free entertainment. Always check to see what benefits you’re eligible for in addition to your pay.

While no job comes with a guarantee, considering the risk factors may increase the odds that you’ll start the school year with a bank account full of summer savings.

Before diving into your job search, it’s essential to recognize the various benefits of a summer job. Beyond financial compensation, these positions offer valuable experience, networking opportunities, and insights into various industries. By seizing a summer job, you’re not just earning money — you’re investing in your future.

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