Summer Employment: Tips For College Students On The Job Hunt

By Susan Wynne

During the summer break and throughout the semester, students need a little extra cashYoung female student looking through job offers on board while they are going to school. Part-time and seasonal jobs are in demand for college students. They can be especially difficult to snag for student workers already low on the totem poll. But dedicated job hunters willing to sacrifice a bit of free time can easily snag themselves great jobs.

Stay On Campus During Breaks

Yes, family togetherness is a hallmark of school breaks, but if you’re broke as a joke, you may need to sacrifice a weekend or two at home in order to score that dream retail job. Seasonal employers require, above all else, constant availability, a quality you cannot offer if you’re constantly commuting to and from campus. If you can plan family visits and holidays accordingly, you can keep a job going all semester or even the whole time you’re in college. Otherwise, consider establishing your own unique experience with other friends hanging around campus for this very profitable work period.

Apply Early

If you desire summer employment, you should begin applying for jobs by the time mid-terms roll around. Once May arrives, prospective employers have already filled out their payrolls and you chance of landing sufficient hours plummets. That being said, if you make the mistake of waiting too long to turn in that stack of applications, don’t give up. Career expert Matt Krumrie tells the Star Tribune that, although certain employers may slow down on hiring, they still may require a few additional workers in order to cover lingering gaps in scheduling. Thus, you should make a point to apply for as many jobs as possible, utilizing online job boards or sites like in order to streamline the search.

Play up Your College Enrollment

Despite the potential for school-related lack of availability, employers prefer college students to other prospective summer break workers. This often results from students’ open schedules following finals week. A 2013 CareerBuilder survey found that 45 percent of employers preferred to hire college students, possibly a surprise (and also a relief) to any co-ed job-hunter bemoaning his or her lack of work experience. Be sure to include your status as a college student on your job application and make your open schedule apparent to the interviewer, as well as your intention to remain on campus if necessary.

Return To Old Employers

Whether you worked near your campus in past years or held a seasonal job in high school, it’s worth your while to re-apply with former employers. Even if the former employer fails to contact you, consider filling out an application. The minimal training requirements should be more than enough to convince your old employer to give you another shot.

Susan Wynne
Susan is a freelance business marketing writer, and recent grad student. She even has a dog named “Sellie”.

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