Make Your Summer Job Matter

Make your summer job matter

Include your summer job on your resume

With college tuition and general expenses on the rise, for some students the idea of working 40 hours a week at an unpaid internship just isn’t an option. Paid internships can be hard to come by, so for a lot of students summers are spent at paid part time jobs that are usually not directly related to their future careers.

But just because you spent the summer scooping ice cream or working at your favorite retail store doesn’t mean you didn’t learn valuable skills. All that matters is how you market your newfound expertise to your future bosses. Here’s are three quick tips to making your summer job work for you, even after the season is over:

1. Work hard

Now this may seem absolutely basic, but it can be easy to slack off at a simple summer job, especially when you’re not 100 percent into it. But remember that future opportunities and references can come from anywhere and you never know where this job could lead you. Putting your all into every job you do will only make your bosses want to refer to you to other people, bringing you even closer to your dream career.

2. Don’t be modest

It’s easy to write off a babysitting or waitressing job as a silly summer job if you’re not honest with yourself about your responsibilities and skills.

Were you a camp counselor in charge of keeping a group of kids safe and happy every day, all summer? Then you’re probably an expert problem solver who knows how to foster a supportive, enjoyable environment.

Did you waitress for hundreds of people? Then you probably have fantastic communication skills and can anticipate people’s wants and needs.

And no matter what your summer job was, you probably worked alongside other people, giving you excellent teamwork skills. You know how to cooperate with others, balance responsibility within a team, and work toward a collective goal.

Before putting your summer job on your resume, really think about what skills you learned and how those could be applied to the workplace. This will help you craft a resume that truly highlights what you can do and will allow you to market yourself to any work environment.

3. Keep in touch

You usually hear this tip associated with internships, but it’s important to do it no matter where you spend your summer! Whether it’s just sending the occasional email or visiting your old boss, you want to keep your network wide and active.

No matter where you spent your summer—whether sitting in an office as an intern or sitting by a pool as a lifeguard—you can make your experience work in your favour.

Madison Feller

Madison is a student at the University of Missouri, where she studies magazine journalism, business and computer science. She is a freelance journalist and has previously written for the Columbia Missourian, Levo League, and her work has appeared in Business Insider. Follow her at @_madisonline where she regularly tweets about teen magazines and her love of red velvet cupcakes.