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Helping Teens and College Students Get Summer Jobs

Helping Teens and College Students Get Summer Jobs

Where Teens can Find Summer Jobs

There are any number of places where you can look for a good summer job:

  • Local merchants: local stores often need good help — and not just in the summer.
  • Small businesses: most towns have a number of small business offices — and your family or friends probably know several owners or office managers.
  • Corporate offices: many have established summer jobs and internship programs, but often these are the most competitive.
  • Stores at the mall: have a favorite store you like to shop at in the mall? Maybe now is the time to get a job there — just be careful not to spend all your earnings buying their products.
  • Hotels and resorts: summer is the busy season for most hotels and resorts.
  • Tourist attractions: even if you don’t live in Florida or California, most states have tourist attractions that especially need help during the busy tourism season.
  • Golf & Tennis clubs: as the weather improves, these clubs are usually looking for part-time help.
  • Grocery stores: maybe not the most exciting jobs, but probably the most convenient — and not just for summer.
  • Fast food and restaurants: local restaurants always need good help — and while not the most glamorous, it’s still a job.
  • Parks and recreation departments: city, state, and national parks and recreation departments often develop special summer programs, and thus have job opportunities.
  • Local government summer job programs: often various government agencies sponsor different kinds of summer youth work programs.
  • Summer camps: okay, you went to camp as a kid — now you can go back as a counselor and get paid while being at camp.
  • Working for yourself: there are all sorts of jobs/businesses you could develop for yourself in your neighborhood.
  • The Web: especially if you want to work outside your neighborhood, or even your state, the Web is the place for you to explore all sorts of summer job opportunities — so go visit

What do Employers Look for in Teens

Employers want motivated teens who are going to arrive to work on time, have a positive attitude, work hard, work well with others, show leadership qualities, work their full shift, and do the best job they can. You need to show your employer that you are a good investment, both for the current position, as well as for any potential future positions.

Final Words of Advice for Job-Hunting Teens

Jobs are jobs. You are going to have to work, no matter how “cool” the job or company, so be prepared for some days to not be as great as others. The keys to remember are that you are earning money, you are gaining experience, and you are making good contacts (and references)!

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  1. Great advice – but when I was an undergrad, I would make it to the interview, they’d hear I was going back to college in August, and the interview would be over. Summer jobs barely exist anymore – and any available are given to out of work adults. I only got a job because my aunt (freshly laid off) agreed to take over for me in the fall.

  2. David’s advice is spot on. However, since it is challenging to put in 8 hours each day looking for work, spend some of that time brainstorming jobs that you can do working for yourself in your community as are suggested in the last two points of the article.

    The main thing is to not feel sorry for yourself and waist time sitting around watching TV or playing on your computer or similar device. You will have plenty of opportunities when you are older to be a “slug”.

    We are in the communication and information age so learn all you can about marketing on the Internet. You just may be surprised at how much you will learn and down the road employers will look at your enterprising summer work as a highly desirable attribute for their company.

  3. My core suggestion to teenagers is the same suggestion I would make to an out-of-work adult… treat looking for a job like a job. Get up every morning ready to pounce on opportunities. Don’t just send out resumes… physically go to each place of business. Particularly since teenagers are seeking non-professional positions, one-on-one, face-to-face engagement is extremely important. And don’t believe that “It’s too late in the season. All the summer positions are taken.” Don’t believe it! People quit or get fired every day. The more doors you knock on, the more chance of getting hired. One final observation from my own teenage experience… factory and warehouse positions pay much more than retail or restaurants. You’ll get your hands dirty and feel like you really earned your pay.

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