The step-by-step plan students can use to find summer jobs

These summer job tips can help you get hired before school is out.

The step-by-step plan students can use to find summer jobs

The clock is ticking to apply to summer jobs.

The countdown to summer has begun, which means you’ll be trading lecture halls for work spaces and go from writing term papers to making paper. The summer jobs countdown clock is ticking—and there are already many of them up for grabs on Monster, but you’ll need to get going. Right now.

Whether you’re hoping to be a lifeguard and work on your suntan or find an internship to gain professional experience, these coveted summer jobs can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months to tie down.

This timeline can help you start planning now, so you can have a summer work gig lined up by the time final exams roll around, and you won’t have to suffer through a last-minute job search from behind the eight ball.

April (first and second weeks)

  • Determine the type of summer job you want. Develop a list of criteria, including:
    • Where you want or need to get a job
    • How much money you'd like to make
    • Key skills to build
    • Areas of interest and/or organizations to explore
  • Assess your current skill set, either by yourself or with a counselor at your school's career center, to determine which key skills an employer might need this summer.
  • With guidance from a campus career counselor, develop a basic resume and cover letter to apply for summer jobs.
  • Begin looking for specific job opportunities using:
    • Online resources like Monster
    • College career fairs on campus
    • Friends, family members, relatives, professors and others who can direct you toward job possibilities
    • City-specific resources

April (third and fourth weeks)

  • Continue looking for job opportunities—check out Monster’s list of top companies hiring entry-level workers.
  • Start applying to summer jobs, being sure to follow the employer's directions. Some companies require a resume and cover letter. Others want you to fill out a company application.
  • Ask professors, previous co-workers and supervisors, and others who know you professionally if they'll serve as references. If possible, have each person write you a one-page letter of recommendation to give to prospective employers.
  • Follow up with companies you've applied to. Make sure your materials have been received and that each company has everything it needs from you.
  • If possible, schedule interviews with companies of interest.
  • Start researching housing options for summer, if applicable.


  • Practice answering job interview questions, either with a friend or a career center counselor at your school. Research companies and jobs before the interview.
  • Finalize summer living arrangements.
  • Schedule job interviews.
  • Go on job interviews and follow up with thank-you notes.
  • If the right job is offered, accept it
  • If you don't have a solid line on summer work, get some help from your school's career center—preferably before spring semester ends if your summer plans will take you away from campus. You can also step up your networking efforts. Ask your parents, friends, professors, and others if they know of available summer jobs.


  • Show up for your first day on time and prepared.
  • Talk to your new supervisor about the skills you'd like to further develop.
  • Go above and beyond to make a good, lasting impression on your supervisor and co-workers.

Get a head start

We know the job search process looks daunting, but the thing is, it works. Really, it does. And the sooner you get started, the better your chances are of landing an awesome job. The one area where people get snagged most is their resume. Could you use some help? Get a free resume evaluation today from the experts at Monster's Resume Writing Service. You'll get detailed feedback in two business days, including a review of your resume's appearance and content, and a prediction of a recruiter's first impression. Think of it as the last bit of homework for the school year—one that rewards you with a paycheck.