We’re here to give you the lowdown on the best summer job for students.
For most students, summer is a breath of fresh air. School is out, exams are over and we can all enjoy some much-needed sunshine. However, many also find themselves with, perhaps, a little too much free time on their hands and are in search of a summer job to pass the time and make some extra money.
Money aside, summer jobs are a fantastic opportunity to gain real life experience that will not only look great on your CV, but equip you with new, transferable skills and help you widen your professional network. There’s no doubt that a summer job can make you a more employable individual, and benefit your job prospects long-term!
Graduate or student summer jobs can be highly competitive, and the recruitment process can seem daunting, but there’s no need to worry. We are here to help you prepare and give you a flavour for what opportunities are out there for teens and uni students without much (if any) professional experience.
- How to prepare and apply for summer jobs as a student
- Top 9 best summer jobs for students
- A few words of advice from our recruitment team
How to prepare and apply for summer jobs as a student
When applying for a summer job, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are a few tips you may find helpful when it comes to preparing for job applications:
- Update your CV and make sure it is the best it can be. Read our top tips on writing a CV without experience for more advice.
- Start your job search early to ensure you have plenty of time to find a job before summer starts. Generally, most companies will start hiring for the summer after the Christmas holidays, so make sure you’re ready.
- Some of the best places to look for job listings are Linkedin, Indeed, Fish4Jobs and other job search sites. You can even take a more traditional approach, and scan through newspapers or visit your local jobcentre.
- Most universities will have careers support available, so it could be worth getting in touch with them and seeking help.
- Professional networking has never been more important. Employers are more likely to hire candidates through personal recommendations. That’s why we also recommend you talk to family and friends, as they may be able to refer you.
- You are likely to have to complete a job interview during the application process, so it’s a good idea to get yourself familiar with the types of questions you may need to answer and get some practice in. Read our top tips for video interviews, the STAR method and strength-based interviews for more information.
- Cover letters may also be required as part of the job application process. A cover letter details your suitability for the role and delves a little deeper into your skills and anything you have not included on your CV. Here are some tips on how to write a cover letter to help guide you.
Top 9 Best Summer Jobs for Students
Now that you have a better understanding of where to look for jobs and how to apply to summer jobs, we’ll run you through some of the best jobs for uni students or teens…
1. Summer camp
Taking on a job in a summer camp is ideal for anyone looking to work with children in the future, such as in education or childcare. There are a variety of summer camps across the UK that each specialise in different areas, such as specific sports or hobbies, like football and coding camp.
Why not even venture further afield and give Camp America a try? Working in a summer camp abroad provides the perfect opportunity to expand your horizons and meet new people from all over the globe.
We recommend starting the application process quite early when it comes to summer camps, as they are likely to be popular and require appropriate background checks - even more so for camps abroad, which may require additional paperwork, vaccinations or organisation of living arrangements.
2. Babysitting or nannying
Another option for those who want to work in childcare or education is babysitting or nannying. And, like camp, you can do this abroad for a more enriching experience. Working as a nanny abroad can equip you with a multitude of skills, including learning a new language, becoming more tolerant, overcoming language batteries and improving your communication - to name a few. These are all highly desirable skills that will help your career success going forward.
In many cases, your host family will provide you with accommodation and a salary, meaning you can save or enjoy everything you earn, without blowing it all on accommodation.
3. Festivals and music events
Summer is festival season and with thousands of festival, funfair and concert-goers every year, a high number of staff is needed to run these events. Whether that’s litter picking, event organisation or security, extra hands are always needed.
The great thing about working at a festival is that it is essentially a free entry pass. You get to enjoy your favourite artists, while earning money, or you can get a free ticket in exchange for some volunteering - what a win!
Fundraising is a rewarding job where you can earn a living, whilst giving back to the community. Most fundraising jobs are hands-on, enabling you to work outside, immerse yourself into local communities, meet lots of new people and get involved in some incredible causes. This could be collecting donations or working at charity events, for example.
One thing to note with fundraising jobs is that many are commission-based, which can work in your favour, but is not always reliable for a stable salary!
Tutoring is one of the best paying part time jobs for students in the uk, with some individuals making more than £20 an hour! It is a flexible job that you could even do during term time.
Tutoring is also a great way to reinforce your knowledge in a particular subject. However, if you are tutoring primary or secondary school students, you may need to familiarise yourself with the current curriculum as it could be slightly different to what you know. Alternatively, you could join an agency and receive training and structured learning plans, like Kumon.
Retail is one of the most popular summer jobs for teens leaving school and uni students. Even if you haven’t worked in retail before, you’ll be quick to learn on the job and training will typically be provided once you start. You may even have a trial shift to see if the role is suitable for you.
Working in retail is a fantastic opportunity to brush up on your communication and interpersonal skills in a customer-facing role, which are both highly desirable traits in the workplace.
Summer is a popular season for weddings and parties, which means the hospitality sector is booming and many catering companies and event organisers will be looking for more hands on deck for temporary contracts. Since it is so flexible and only short-term, this type of work is ideal for students looking to make some extra cash during the holidays.
8. Go freelance
Going freelance can be one of the most convenient summer jobs for students, since you get to dictate your hours, how much work you take on and how long you do it for. Freelancing is also a fantastic way to put your self-discipline and time management skills to the test, as you become your own boss and take charge of your workload. These are two key skills to carry with you into your future career, that will look great on your CV and be an interesting talking point for job interviews.
Whether that’s copywriting, transcribing, graphic design or developing, there are plenty of freelance jobs out there, so you can do something you are passionate about and will make you proud. Who knows? This summer job could even evolve into a side hustle that you can bring with you back into the new academic year, alongside your studies.
If you’re not money-oriented and are looking for a summer job to gain industry-specific experience, then an internship could be the perfect arrangement for you. That being said, some internships will be just as well-paid, if not better paid, than a regular summer job!
An internship provides you with first-hand experience in your chosen field, working alongside experts and developing your skills through practice. At FDM, we offer a variety of internship programmes, including Business Analysis, Sales Analysis, Recruitment, HR and more.
A few words of advice from our recruitment team
We’ve put together a few words of wisdom to help students on their job search and get the most out of a temporary job.
- Take the time to work out what you want out of a summer job. Is it a high paying salary? An enjoyable summer? Flexible hours? Once you’ve figured this out, you can narrow down your job search and weed out anything that doesn’t suit you.
- Be flexible to some extent. You may not find a job that fits your criteria to a tee, and that’s normal. After all, it’s only temporary and you’ll be sure to gain some transferable skills no matter what role you end up in!
- Remember to do your research before sending through your application. Make sure you know what the company does, what your role entails and the experience required. This will give you a better understanding of the company and give you a competitive edge during the interview process.
- Be confident and don’t be afraid to reach out to the company before or after your interview. Why not send them a thank you email post-interview? Or a follow-up with additional questions to keep your name fresh in recruiters minds?
- That being said, it’s also a great idea to ask for feedback. If you didn’t make it past the interview stage, ask them why. Find out what you need to improve your CV, cover letter and interview performance, and use your summer job applications as practice for your future job hunt.
- Check the T&Cs and then check them again. This is important for any job, including short-term contacts. You want to be sure that you are not tied into a long contract, that your work is commission-based or any other nasty surprises. It may be a good idea to ask a friend or parent to cast their eyes over your contract before you sign anything as well.
- Make sure you’re paying the correct amount of tax. It is a common misconception that students do not need to pay tax, however, in fact, all employers must use a PAYE (Pay as You Earn) to remunerate their employees, and deduct Income and National Insurance tax from your wages. Yes, you may be able to reclaim your taxes at the end of the financial year, but you need to pay them in to begin with.
If you’re looking for a summer internship, apprenticeship or something more long-term in technology, check out the FDM technical graduate programme for fantastic opportunities working with industry-leading companies.