Dear Sue: Penniless Pat
Summer break is fast approaching and this will be my first summer after starting college. A lot of my friends already have summer jobs, internships, etc., lined up and I just don’t. I really didn’t work the summer after my senior year because I wanted to enjoy summer, but now it feels like I won’t have a job for the summer and that feels wrong. I need to earn some money to at least buy books for next year, but is it too late to find a job?
Short answer: no, it is not too late by any means to get a minimum wage summer job. It is probably too late to get an internship but you don’t really need one yet considering you’re just finishing your freshman year. Summer jobs are great opportunities to grow as a person, learn leadership skills, build a resume, and of course, get a little extra cash.
Those friends of yours that already have jobs lined up probably worked at some point during or after high school and over other breaks as well. Minimum wage jobs like a grocery cashier or sales associate tend to carry over if you just ask for school leave. Meaning you aren’t behind, they just were a little ahead of the game.
In fact, most small summer jobs aren’t even being posted yet. Employers that are looking to hire summer help aren’t really hiring that far in advance. Just trust me from experience. Sure, you should type up a quick little resume and turn it in a week or so before high schoolers get out for the summer, but that’s about it.
If not, and you want to turn resumes in now and apply for those cashier/server/sales associate, etc. positions, go ahead. They’ll probably keep your resume but you’re going to have to call back in two weeks and remind them and hassle them. They are looking for summer help, not hiring for the big leagues. Now you won’t get every position you apply for, so you do want to beat the other eligible kids to applying and getting out in the beginning of May helps with that.
Apply wherever you think might need summer help (fast food, retail, diners, restaurants, swimming pools) and ask around. You can even Google “summer jobs for college students in____.” It can’t hurt. Good luck with your search and remember that you’re just looking to earn a little cash, not become a millionaire.
Sue Z. Maroon