As more adults compete with teens and college students for summer jobs, you need all the help you can get.

person sitting on lifeguard tower near shore
Photo by Diana Lopez

Asking yourself “what type of job should I do for summer only?”

First, did you know…

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There are 4 kinds of summer jobs

Knowing this can open your eyes to options you haven't already thought about.

A summer job can be any of the following:

  • a job that only happens in the summertime
  • a job whose timing this year happens to match up with the coming summer
  • a job related to something that experiences a temporary or regular hiring boom, such as in the summer
  • a regular job that a company temporarily gives to a lower-salaried person until a full-time hire is found, such as a student available in the summer

In other words, if you're NOT a teenager, college student or graduate, most summer jobs will probably not be relevant to your career unless you want to test a new direction or you work in a seasonal industry.

That said, you can use a summer job, or summer internship, as a way to get your foot in the door of a targeted company, and then impress the employer into hiring you full-time.

When do you usually start looking for a summer job?

Free: Download The 50+ Mostly Unusual Places to Find Summer Jobs, a handy checklist to keep track of where you applied for summer jobs.

☀ Hot Summer Jobs Tips That Truly Do Work

Finding part-time or full-time summer jobs near you

Now let's take a look at what's so special about summer job hunting.

Target industries that boom in the summer

Entertainment and tourism-oriented businesses do better in the summer as people go on vacation, everyone knows that, right?

Yet there are lots of other industries that boom in the summer too for less obvious reasons. Read on for ideas below.

Be the first to apply …

Many summer jobs require little to no experience. To save time and money, many employers will hire the first reputable (read: trustworthy) candidates that apply.

… But you don't have to be the first to apply

Many summer job openings are already filled by April, but with all that time until the jobs actually begin, things can come up and plans can change. Candidates may decide they prefer other jobs or not to work at all, and employers may realize they need more help than anticipated.

Treat application forms like resumes

Many summer jobs, such as at fast-food restaurants or retail stores, will want you to submit an application form instead of a resume (which many teens might not have anyway).

Spend the time to complete any forms correctly. If the form needs to be filled in by hand, take a few copies in case you make a mistake you can't correct. Like with a resume, have someone reliable proofread your applications before you submit them.

Stay open to working multiple jobs

If you read my summer job history, you'll notice that during 3 different summers, I worked more than one job. That was never planned in advance – although it could have been – but if you keep your eyes and ears open and stay ready, you can quickly jump to a better job or just another one if your first one ends early.

Experiment and take risks more readily

Are there are any job search tactics you've been too shy to try on your long-term career job search? Give them a shot during the summer when there's less at stake. You'll learn what works for you and what doesn't, and build more confidence for when you really need it.

Play up your specific qualities

If you're a teenager or student, aim for jobs where having a flexible schedule is important, or dealing with other teenagers and students.

If you're an adult, aim for jobs where employers will feel more comfortable by your experience, or where you'll need to work with people who might be uncomfortable dealing with teenagers and students.

Don't start your own business unless…

… you can clearly make money immediately, or you won't need to.

Summer is short and if you try the wrong idea, you might waste the whole summer without any returns for your efforts.

DO start your own business during the summer if you're not desperate for cash right way and are hoping to time things so that earnings will arrive after the summer when you'll need them more.

Aim to return next summer

Especially when it comes to summer jobs for teens or college students: make this your last summer job search by impressing your employer so much they'll want you to come back next summer.

When the summer ends, ask about returning and try to get a date during the year when you can followup for confirmation. But only if you actually liked working there…

☀ Hot Summer Jobs Tips That Truly Do Work

With those tips in mind, here are lots of ideas where to look for summer jobs.

Where to find summer jobs


Previous summer employers – call to see if you can have your old job back or a new one

Your family business

A friend's family business

At home i.e. get paid for chores or odd jobs in your house or in the neighborhood

Get your parents to ask their friends

With your friends who have already lined up summer jobs that might need more people

Student career centers


☀ Hot Summer Jobs Tips That Truly Do Work

Local employment services and bureaus

Store & restaurant windows

Shopping malls / shopping centers

Public bulletin boards, such as at community centers, churches, synagogues and mosques

Ads in local, regional or national newspapers

Classified ads in local, regional or national newspapers


Job boards – search for summer-specific openings

Summer job portals, i.e. summer-only or seasonal job boards – just google “summer jobs”

Online forums where people chat about summer plans

Twitter accounts that list summer jobs

Search Twitter for “interested in a job”

☀ Hot Summer Jobs Tips That Truly Do Work

Facebook groups and pages, both general and those only for summer jobs

Classified ads online, such as on the Craigslist site for your area

Search the websites of local newspapers for articles about companies that are hiring this summer

Businesses that experience a hiring boom in the summertime

As promised, this list should inspire you to find summer jobs that others haven't even imagined:


Summer schools (for teachers)

Summer camps

Schools, camps and programs for special needs kids

Doctors' offices

Medical and/or dental clinics

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Customer service centers / call centers

Companies that offer internships

Software testing (QA) & summer projects at technology companies

Lifeguards at community pools/beaches/gyms/camps

Beaches – selling t-shirts & other gimmicks

Mother's helpers and au pairs

Babysitting as daycare centers close

Pet-sitting and/or walking

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House-sitting as people go on vacation

Ice cream parlors, outdoor cafes and other dessert places

Amusement and theme parks

National parks

Country and state fairs


Stadiums, arenas and other sports event venues

Rental agencies – cars, trailers, boating, apartment rentals

Photo studios, shops and camera stores

Toy stores

Golf courses, tennis courts, parks and anywhere people pay to play sports

Movie theaters

Bars and clubs

Restaurants and fast-food branches



Tourism jobs such as guides, trip organizers, drivers, greeters, museums, guards, flea markets

Annual festivals in your city or region

Businesses that need to prepare for the fall season, like the textile & school supplies industries (shipping departments)

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Question of the article

Are you getting a job unrelated to your degree? Or if you're not currently using your degree in your career, how did that come about? Tell us in the comments.

More summer job search tips

READ NEXT: Where To Quickly Find Student Summer Jobs

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Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Brian Cormack Carr

    Great post – and very timely! I’m in the process of developing an online coaching programme for job-hunters and career-changers, and one of the things I recommend in it is that they find a “practice job”, so that they can have a field trip into a potential new career. Many of these great ideas will apply, so I’ll be sharing this….

  2. John Groth

    Ace the interview for first time job-hunters with no real prior work experience.

    Employers are looking for three things: Will you be on time when scheduled? Will you be disciplined to follow instructions? and Will you be a good team mate?

    Take what you learned from your parents, school and sports to properly answer the questions. Your teenager will get the job while other will moan that they have no experience and can’t get a job.

  3. Kate

    This post makes me happy that I decided to take the summer to spend time with my kids. The fact is that when you’re competing with students, you’re competing for student salaries and showing other employers how little you’ll work for!

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