How To Get Your First Summer Job With No Experience


We’ve all been there at some point: As the snow begins to melt, the days last a little longer and the sun shines a bit brighter, we know that summer’s on its way!

We then realize that, with nothing to do for 2 to 4 months, it might be a good idea to take advantage of a summer job. For many, this can cause some concern as many students don’t have any job experience.

However, there is nothing to be worried about; with the right details on your resume, there’s no need to be intimidated. Plus, if you’re smart about where you look for a potential job, you can reap the benefits for years to come!

When I was looking for my first job, I had some concerns. Who would hire me, a high school student, over more qualified workers? Furthermore, how on earth was I supposed to even be considered for any job if I had no work experience?  So, I had to create a resume that showcased what I was capable of, while also eclipsing the fact that I had no actual work experience.

Tip #1: Put other experience on your resume

Just because you know your resume is empty doesn’t mean a potential employer has to as well. Fill it up with relevant volunteer or school experience. List any clubs or teams you may be associated with, and also your role there.  As for references, if you’d like to pre-list them, go ahead and include those teachers and professors who admire your hard work.  These may be skills used in the classroom, but they’re important in a work environment too!

After creating my resume, I remember not knowing exactly where or when to start handing them out.  What kind of job would I like, if I had never had one before, and how early was appropriate to start distributing them?

Tip #2: Start early and don’t give up

Earlier is better, and persistence prevails!  Start distributing your resumes as early as February or March.  Any earlier wouldn’t be in your best interest as many employers, especially those in a mall setting, have just completed their seasonal lay-offs.

Keep in mind, though, that if you leave a resume with a potential employer in February or March, you can’t just leave it there and expect to get the job.  Call back or visit every 2 weeks or so to make sure they have you on file and to see if and when they’re planning on hiring. They will appreciate that you have initiative and are genuinely interested in a job there!

Tip #3: Target employers that offer seasonal work

Aim for a work environment that has high and low seasons. Generally, these types of employers have temporary workers who are laid off after their work period is over. In this case, if you were a temporary summer employee and proved to be a good worker, you could get called back during the winter holiday period as well.  This pattern of summer and winter holiday scheduling could even become a yearly situation. Malls in general have high and low seasons, plus there’s a wide range of stores.

Personally, as a student, I have found the mall atmosphere to be very convenient.  The hours are flexible and I am able to get time off when needed for school purposes or take on more shifts when I’m available.

On a last note, don’t give up your search for that first summer job! It can be tiresome work, however if you stay focused, and committed, and have confidence in yourself, you will definitely find it!  Well, what are you waiting for? Go give it a try, and the best of luck to you in your search!

Photo credit: Foot in the Door Fair 2011 at UIS by Jeremy Wilburn on Flickr
About the author

Natasha Alli is currently in her first year in the Honours Arts and Business Co-op program at the University of Waterloo in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, pursuing a major in French and a minor in Spanish. She enjoys working with children, yet is also very drawn towards the world of business and loves aesthetics, particularly make-up artistry. Upon completion of her program, she hopes to own a cosmetics business,but as the world of business is quite unpredictable, she has an alternative career option of French teaching.