You’ve made it. There may have been periods when it got a bit touch-and-go, you might have had a few dinners that would make your mum recoil in horror if she knew (‘9p noodles with soy sauce?!’) and – in hindsight – you might have spent a little more than you should have on less essential items (read: alcohol, nights out, things for your room you were never allowed when you lived at home…) but you’ve made it to the end of the year intact. There’s just one problem – there’s a good four months until university starts again. Which means there’s four months until your next student loan drops in like a gift from the gods. You hear your mother’s voice in your head: ‘why don’t you get a summer job?’. If only it were that easy – summer jobs for students are difficult to find.
Luckily, we’ve put together a few pointers.
How to find summer jobs for students
We’re not going to lie to you, finding a summer job as a student is a little tricky.
But don’t give up hope.
There are a few tricks you can have up your sleeve to make sure you bag that perfect summer job:
Trick One: Have a killer CV
If you’re applying for jobs online or sending emails, you don’t have the chance to make a good first impression: your CV needs to do that for you. It needs to sell you and your strengths and make you seem like an offer that’s too good to refuse. Need some tips on putting together a killer CV? Here are a few to get you started..
Trick Two: Don’t give up
Ask anybody who has applied for a job and they’ll tell you that there were lots of applications that they never heard back from. (In fact, STAT). The trick is to not let it bother you. Don’t dwell on why you never heard back, just pick yourself up and apply to another. (Even better, apply to lots at the same time – don’t put all your eggs in one basket. But make sure you tailor your CV and cover letter for each job.
Trick three: work smarter, not harder
This is the big trick for finding the best summer jobs for students: look for jobs that have a high churn rate – working in a bar or a restaurant, for example – or for jobs that look specifically for students. They’ll be easier to get, better suited to your needs and more understanding that you’ll be leaving at the end of the summer.
Where to find summer jobs for students
Here are a few places to start:
Gumtree is a bit of a goldmine for student jobs. As a rule, jobs advertised on Gumtree tend to be for less professional, more informal roles. That usually means there’s an abundance of job adverts for casual staff – waitress/waiter roles, bartender roles, and cleaning and house-keeping roles, for example.
What’s even better about Gumtree is that it’s less about sending over your CV, tailoring a cover letter and going for an interview. Instead, it’s more about sending potential employers a friendly message with your CV and – in all likelihood – heading in for a trial shift that you’ll get paid for.
The most effective way of getting a summer job is to just put yourself out there – print off your CV and head into places you’d like to work. Ask if the manager is in and if they’ve got five minutes to spare. If they have, quickly explain what you’re hoping for. Also – if you can – strike up a rapport at the same time.
I’m a student that’s in between years at university. I’ve just moved back home for the summer and I was looking for a job while I’m home. I just wondered if you had any openings for bar staff? I’m a hard worker and I don’t mind getting stuck in or doing long shifts…
The best thing about this approach is that it usually results in them hiring you on the spot, if you’ve made a decent impression. At the very least, you usually get a trial shift or a ‘we’ll give you a call’.
Student Job is a great resource for finding summer jobs. It’s a job board for postings specifically for short-term work geared towards the student market.
Just a quick skim through the job board shows a whole host of jobs – from market research (getting paid to review websites) to event staff. Plus, you can narrow your search by region to find opportunities that aren’t going to require lots of driving back and forth.
Do a bit of moonlighting
Why not use your degree to bring in some extra pennies over the summer? Sites like PeoplePerHour and Upwork allow you to bid to complete a whole range of tasks that can vary from writing an email campaign to designing company logos. Sure, they’re never going to break the bank, but a few little projects while you’re away from university will keep your head above water (and look great on your CV).
Are you looking for a summer job? Have you got any tips on the best places to look? Let us know in the comments below.