How to Find the Perfect Part-Time Summer Job

Summer is just around the corner. While it's an ideal time to relax and soak up the sun, it's also the perfect chance to earn extra cash! 

Whether you're a student, a seasonal employee out on break, or you’re looking for a career change, working a part-time summer job can be both fun and rewarding. So, if you’re ready to find a temporary gig that suits your interests and schedule, let’s start the job hunt! 

summer job search timeline

Identify your interests and goals 

The best summer job is one you enjoy — and you're more likely to enjoy the work if it matches your interests or helps you reach long-term goals. There’s no guarantee you’ll love every job, of course, but taking an inventory of your interests can improve your chances of a positive experience. 

Ask yourself what industry you're interested in, what skills you want to develop, and what experience you already have that can help you stand out from other applicants. This will give you a clear direction and help narrow down your choices when it comes to applying for jobs. 

21 part-time summer jobs by interest 

While your options will vary by location, summer employment can often be categorized by interest or personality type

  • Outdoorsy: Camp counselor, lifeguard, park tour guide, landscaping crew member, farmhand 
  • Creative: Camp art instructor, photography assistant, freelance writer, event helper 
  • Outgoing: Retail sales associate, server/bartender (with proper age requirements), childcare provider, customer service representative 
  • Tech savvy: Social media content creator, virtual assistant, computer camp counselor, data entry clerk 
  • Animal Lover: Veterinary receptionist, kennel worker, pet sitter/dog walker, animal shelter/daycare attendant 

Unpaid gigs and long-term gains 

The right unpaid gig can potentially lead to a lucrative career in the future. So, if your main motivation for getting a summer job isn't financial (i.e., you’re still a student living at home or you can earn internship credits), don't discount the experience you can gain from a summer volunteer opportunity. 

Internships offer valuable hands-on experience in a specific industry, allowing you to get your foot in the door, learn from professionals, and build your network. 

Volunteering, on the other hand, can help you develop new skills while giving back to your community. There are even volunteer programs abroad that can broaden your horizons and make your resume stand out. 

Remember, a summer spent gaining relevant experience can be an investment in your future, paving the way toward new and exciting career paths

Start the summer job search 

Many industries experience an increase in business or need extra hands to cover vacationing staff in the summer. This leads to a wide array of seasonal and part-time job openings across sectors like hospitality, tourism, retail, and food service. 

That sounds great and all, but where do you start? 

  • Online job boards: Popular sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster, and FlexJobs make it easy for job seekers to search for summer positions. You can filter your search by location, job type (part-time, seasonal), and keywords related to your interests. 
  • Company websites: Many companies advertise open positions directly on their websites. Look for a "Careers" or "Jobs" section (sometimes nested in the “About Us” page) and browse for seasonal or summer openings. 
  • College career centers: If you're a student, don’t forget to utilize campus resources. Career centers can connect you with internship and employment opportunities, fine-tune your resume, and help you hone those interview skills. 
  • Networking: Don't underestimate the power of your network! Talk to friends, family, and former teachers to see if they know of any part-time summer jobs. You might be surprised by the hidden connections you discover. 
  • Temp agencies: Staffing agencies often connect businesses with temporary workers to fill seasonal or contract positions. Registering with a temp agency can open doors to well-paying industries like healthcare, manufacturing, administrative, and logistics. 

Set clear expectations 

Once you start interviewing for summer job opportunities, be upfront about your scheduling expectations from the get-go. Clearly communicate your availability, including: 

  • Your preferred shift. 
  • The number of hours you’re available to work per week. 
  • Existing commitments, such as school or another job. 
  • Any planned vacations
  • Whether you’re flexible to work evenings, weekends, or special events. 

Before accepting a job, make sure you have a clear picture of your expected work hours and the company’s scheduling practices to ensure the role aligns with your needs. 

Don’t give up 

There are a lot of people looking for a summer job, so expect competition. Since finding the right fit can take time, it's wise to start applying early and often. 

Timing can be tricky when you’re finishing up a semester or seasonal contract, but employers are generally understanding of these scheduling conflicts. If you’re hired before summer break starts, they might be willing to let you work a limited number of hours per week until you’re free to take on more. 

At the end of the day, don't feel discouraged if don't hear back from a job application. Follow up with a polite and professional email expressing your continued interest in the position.

Make this summer count! 

Remember, a summer job opportunity can be so much more than a string of paydays that help fill your wallet. It's a chance to build your resume, develop new skills, and gain valuable experience that can benefit you for years to come. 

Want to make your summer earnings stretch further? Explore our latest blog posts for helpful budgeting resources, money-saving tips, and DIY hacks.

About the Author

Jennifer McKnight is the Senior Content Writer at Advance America. Drawing on her past financial struggles, she’s driven to create relatable content that empowers readers on their journey to financial stability.

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