Summer Employment Guide

Tips on how to maximize your job search for summer employment opportunities in all fifty states!

Don't Wait For Your Ideal Summer Job! GO GET IT!

Application Tips

Many of the best positions will be filled by mid-February to mid-March. The later you start to apply, the less employers will be able to accommodate you. Use the January semester break as a time for applying to potential employers.

You are responsible for providing a complete employment file to your potential employers. Many employers will not consider an applicant for employment until all material is received. An employer may require a résumé, cover letter, references, transcripts, medical forms, certifications, etc. You could increase your chances of response by sending in all required forms at one time.

What a Summer Job Can Offer

Many students may be unaware of the exciting summer jobs that are available all across the country. Whatever your summer or overall career goals are, a summer job can provide you with the opportunity to:
  • Complement your academic training with practical experience
  • Travel and spend two or three months in a different part of the country
  • Meet new and interesting people
  • Just have plain fun!

Career Services can help you:
  • How and where to look for summer jobs
  • How and when to apply for them.

Useful resource tools to assist you:
  • Lowe Building Summer Job Board.
  • Career Resource Area (Lowe 120) - summer job publications that can be reviewed.
  • Links to Summer Job-Related Sites

Getting Started

First, plan to spend a little time visiting some websites and/or reviewing the available resources in the Career Services Resource Area, to get an overview of what types of summer employment might be possible. Some good websites include:

Tips: Avoid pinning your hopes on just one or two opportunities. Plan to compile a list of 25-50 possibilities. By working with a long list of employers you will hopefully have several employers interested in hiring you.

How To Apply

Consider developing a résumé. It will be one way to separate yourself from other candidates who may not be as well organized. Develop a résumé that highlights your education, work history, extracurricular activities, volunteer experience and special talents in your background that would be of interest to a summer employer. Additionally, create a cover letter that will accompany your résumé and introduce you to the employer. In your letter, be sure to clearly state the dates you are available to work. For many summer employers your availability to start before Memorial Day and work through Labor Day is a plus, especially for jobs at resorts, camps, etc. You may use sample cover letter and sample résumé formats found in the summer employment guidebooks as prototypes.

Helpful Hints

In many cases, summer employers provide housing as part of a position or make it available at a reasonable fee. You will want to clarify such arrangements, as well as meals, laundry facilities, etc. Be aware that in most cases, transportation to the work site is the applicant's responsibility. Further, to encourage a response from potential employers, enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE). Many employers receive such a heavy volume of requests for employment, they only respond to candidates who include a SASE. It may cost a little more in postage, but it can improve the number of responses you receive.
Last Update: November 29 2011
For additional information, contact: Julie Greene