Summer is the perfect time for a short break from your studies – with the sun blaring down, it’s a period of relaxation and fun activities. Unfortunately, a lot of those activities cost money and with your student loan being stretched on important things like deposits and food; a summer job can be the answer to your prayers. A source of income, experience to put on your CV and something to do in the long break until your next semester… sounds great, right? Here are our top tips on how to snag yourself a sweet summer job!
1. Think about your other commitments
Your university education should come first, so if you have a lot of work to catch up on or extra studies, you don’t want to commit to a full time job when you haven’t got the time to work. Also think about your other plans. Going on holiday? Spending time with friends? Living it up at a festival? If you have a lot of social events planned it may be best to go for a part time job. Only go for a full time job if you really need the money or want to save up for something at the cost of your summer break.
2. Does your university have an advice centre?
Often universities have a careers or advice centre, where staff specialise in helping students find summer jobs. It can be well worth spending a few minutes setting up an appointment and talking through your options with them – they usually have a list of student-friendly employers who will be hiring every summer; not to mention their recommended businesses with ties to the University. This means your student status at your place of study will actually be an asset and could put your CV above others applying straight off the bat. If anything, it won’t hurt to check out their advice, so make it one of your first stops when you start the job hunt!
3. Remember it’s only for the summer!
Summer job hunting is not like other job hunting. You’re looking for a job for a very short period of time – four months at most. Aim to apply to jobs aimed at returning students or seasonal ones. Failing that, many larger chain stores will be looking for extra help over the busier summer months. If you’re diligent in these jobs you may be asked to stay on or be able to grab yourself a transfer up to your university city, which can be great if you’re looking for part time work whilst studying! If you aren’t too fussed about money and want to get a job for the experience, remember you can also volunteer at charities or at events like festivals as well.
4. Is a seasonal job best for your needs?
Part time jobs that run from the beginning ‘til the end of the summer are just perfect for funding that festival trip all your mates are begging you to go on. Check out businesses that only operate in the summer months to see if you can hitch yourself the ideal job. For example, ice cream is the perfect summer treat and they need someone to dish it out to customers... someone’s got to work on those ice cream stands! Other businesses hiring for seasonal work can include local parks, outdoor adventure parks and bars, so keep your eyes peeled for those Hiring signs and check the sites of local businesses to see if they’re recruiting.
5. Boost your CV with a placement!
If you’re more interested in finding a job to help improve your CV, you will want to find something relevant to your career path. Depending on your area there are usually many businesses looking to take on summer placement students and these should be the jobs to aim for. Some of these will pay you for your work, allowing you flexibility with regards to location. However, the economic outlook is such that the majority of placements will be unpaid. In this situation it may be worth looking into bursaries – a lot of these are difficult to find so you will have to hunt about on Google; but you should be able to apply for a couple. Students who have completed a placement opportunity are four times more likely to find a job upon graduating, so a placement is the perfect opportunity to make your CV stand out when applying for your full time career!
6. Find the ideal job!
Now you have the ideal job in mind, it’s time to find it! Not all jobs are listed on major websites – try agencies or http://www.e4s.co.uk, which specialise specifically in finding jobs for students. These usually have options to search for summer jobs or placements so you can use them for whatever you’re looking for. Tailor your cover letter and CV for each job you apply for, matching the key points in your cover letter to the job specification. It’s a competitive market and if you tick every box they’re looking for you’re more likely to reach the interview stage and hopefully get the job.
Be sure to think about your options and what you might like to try before searching for your summer job. Keep sharp, keep looking and good luck! With these tips you’ll soon be the envy of your friends, with the perfect job to keep you going through the summer months.
Written by Isabel Whiteley
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