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Getting a summer job

If you’re in deperate need of cash, getting a part-time job during you’re the summer is a good way to do it.

Although it's tempting to spend lots of your holiday time working and earning money, it's not a good idea to over-commit yourself.

Think about any revision or coursework that you need to do during your time off, any holidays that you have planned or anything else you'd like to do during your break before getting a job.

If you have holiday booked, you must mention this to your potential employer before they offer you a job. Not saying anything until an offer is made can create a difficult situation – not what you want on your first day.

Travelling time is really important, especially if you're going to be using public transport. Think about how you will get to and from work and how long it will take you to travel to your job and back home again.

If you're working during the evening in a restaurant or a bar, some employers may pay for a taxi if you finish late but this is not typical.

A holiday job is likely to be the first job you've had, so you might think that you've got no relevant skills that you can offer an employer. Think about anything that you're interested in outside of school or college, or any particular subjects that you think you're good at and match them to job opportunities. For example:

  • if you're interested in sport, you could work for your local leisure centre 
  • an interest in entertainment could come in useful in a music or DVD store 
  • any activity that you attend regularly shows commitment – a key skill that employers look for

If you know what sort of career you want to follow in the future, it may also be a good idea to look for a job in the same industry. Any experience you can gain may help when you're looking for full-time work in the future. 

If you're out shopping, have a look in shop windows. Lots of stores put adverts up for temporary or weekend staff in their displays. You can also often find a holiday job by simply going into somewhere and asking if they have any temporary work available. Even if they don't they may take your CV and put it on file, meaning that they may contact you if any work comes up in the future.

If you're at sixth form, college or university, keep an eye on any job boards around the building or in your student union. Many colleges and universities also have dedicated job shops with hundreds of part-time vacancies from local employers.

If you're applying for a job, it's likely that you'll be asked to supply a CV and to attend an interview. If you do get asked for either of these, spend some time making sure your CV is well-presented and easy to understand, and practice your interview technique.


  • Date published: 17th May 2013
  • Written by: Bernadette Griffiths