Tips for How to Get a Summer Job as a College Graduate

So, you’re having a hard time finding work in your field after graduation. You decide it’s time to set your sights a bit lower for a while just to pay bills. You apply to Walmart, Target, McDonalds, and even (gulp) Taco Bell… Still, no one calls you back. What gives?

Having been there, I feel your pain. What I found is that companies don’t want to spend the time and money it takes to train you knowing that you’re gone the first “real” job offer you get.

Get a part-time job BEFORE you graduate

Obviously, it’s ideal to get a part-time job BEFORE your graduate and BEFORE all the summer jobs are snatched up by teens and other students.

But if you’re like me, you thought you would be getting a “real” job right after graduation and didn’t plan accordingly.

Backup plan (AFTER you graduate)

I’ve found that the quickest, easiest, and highest paying part-time job to get is delivering pizzas. Plus, you feel more in control.

  1. Quickest: Pizza delivery drivers usually have high turnover
  2. Easiest: “Can you drive? You’re hired!”
  3. Highest Paying: Base pay + fee per delivery (gas) + tips (untaxed)

Even after I got a “real” job I delivered pizzas part-time on Friday and Saturday nights to help pay an extra $300 per month on my student loans.


Do NOT put part-time work experience on your resume

It’s best to keep all non-career related work experience (fastfood, lifeguarding, etc.) off your resume.

  1. You want to appear to be currently working in your field
  2. You want a salary offer based on your experience and the job requirements, not your previous salary

Related post: Why You Should NOT Put Part-time Work on Your Resume

Don’t forget to work on your resume

You should have a daily rhythm of applying to three jobs (morning), working a part-time job (afternoon), and reading a biography (evening) but you still need to build in time to improve your image.

Having a gap in your resume looks bad, even if just in comparison to someone without a gap.

So do something! Anything! Know how to code? Help a startup build a Website or app. Teach? Volunteer to teach Sunday School at a church. Are you an engineer? Lead a project for Habitat for Humanity.

Whatever you do, do something! Not only will you look more employable but also have more leverage in negotiations (see how I negotiated $13,000 more on my first job offer).

If you have any tips for how to get a summer or part-time job after college, help a grad out and comment below.


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