Although it may sound like more fun to spend the summer soaking up the sun, it’s a good idea to spend the summer soaking up every professional opportunity that’s available. Summer jobs provide a multitude of things that have the potential to increase chances of finding, and loving, a career upon graduation.
Having a job over the summer allows you to expand your skill set. Customer service is the most important component of the basic skill set, because every business needs to maintain and reach new customers to thrive. By exemplifying your customer service skills, employers see that you keep their customers happy so business will continue thriving. Some good positions to gain customer service skills are as a restaurant or café server, receptionist and even a cashier. These jobs may sound unimpressive, but they will help you build your resume.
Leadership is another aspect of the basic skill set, because employers want to see that you can take initiative in appropriate situations and complete tasks. The ability to work on a team is the last component of the basic skill set. Most jobs require collaboration among employees, even those jobs that require mostly independent work. That is why employers need to see that an employee is capable of teamwork before hiring them.
You can expand a specific skill by finding a summer job that correlates with your desired field. For example, if you want to be a culinary artist — aim to find a summer job where you are exposed to the food industry, whether it’s a froster position at a bakery or a kitchen assistant at a local restaurant.
Summer jobs also strengthen your resume. I’ve worked in the restaurant and beverage industry, residential department, marketing for Chipotle and finally landed an internship with a Fortune 500 natural gas company. Although I’ve had many jobs during the school year, those summer jobs are the backbone of my resume.
During the summer months, companies know college students have the ability to work full-time, compared to only working part-time during the school year. As a result, they tend to recruit college students for positions with more complex responsibilities because they know that over the summer they will be able to devote enough time to successfully handle those tasks. Many internships are also willing to pay good money for a student working steady hours over a three-month period.
Getting a summer job is also a great way to discover what type of career you want after college. Just because you like the classes you are taking now doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll enjoy working in that field.
The benefits of a summer job are endless, and it’s up to you to take advantage of it. So build your basic skill set, expand your experiences, strengthen your resume and test out your desired career.
The summer job experience will help you out for seasons to come.