How to find a summer job

How to find a summer jobStudent holidays seem endless at the start of the summer but all too quickly it’s a new term again. Make the most of your break by earning some much needed-cash and developing your skills and work experience at the same time.

Starting your search

Opportunities for certain roles are advertised early, especially when it comes to working abroad.  If you’re in plenty of time, see Start planning your summer for more ideas.

But don’t despair if you’re only just thinking about your summer. It’s never too late to begin your search and lots of vacancies aren’t advertised until just before they start. With a bit of nous it’s usually possible to find something to boost your bank balance and your CV too.

Decide what’s important

When it comes to summer work, there’s the usual trade off between pay and appeal. The night-shift on a production line may be brain-numbingly dull, but you’ll have more money to show for it than a festival job which pays little more than expenses. Occasionally it’s possible to combine the two, but it may help to break things up. Four weeks paid work to get some cash and two weeks volunteering to support your future career plans can bring you the best of both worlds.

Where to look

There are a number of agencies specialising in seasonal and student jobs – search online for a selection.  Check out your university or college careers office for any last-minute vacancies or in-house opportunities – universities often employ students over the summer period.  Keep an eye on campus notice boards or approach departments such as conferences and hospitality, admissions or alumni to see if they are looking for any support.

Lots of businesses require basic holiday cover so standard employment agencies are your good bet for temping jobs, from office to factory work. Local tourist attractions and leisure facilities often take on additional summer workers, and the events, bar and restaurant trades usually have a demand for casual staff.  Think about what’s near you and ask around.

Another approach is to find work in an area you like. If you love going to gigs, is there any bar work going at your local music venue? If you enjoy the theatre, can you get work as an usher? You won’t get the same experience as that of a paying punter, but an insider’s view and an income can prove a winning combination.

Explore your inner dragon

Can you turn your skills into money-making opportunities? If you’re studying languages, could you offer conversational French classes? If you’re creative, is there anything you can make and sell at a local craft fair or online marketplace? If you’re a digital whizz, could you help someone with their website? Good at writing? What about paid blogging opportunities?

Check out sites like peopleperhour which post a wide range of short-term options.

And finally…make sure you don’t pay too much tax or national insurance and don’t underestimate how one thing can lead to another. Even in the most unlikely situations, you can discover a new skill or passion which paves the way for your future career.

Find out more

The Business Support Helpline can answer simple questions about starting or running a business.

More ideas for summer

Taking a Gap Summer
How volunteering at festivals can help your career
Get volunteering