Summer offers college students the kind of flexibility you won’t see during any other season. Condensed courses split into half-semesters means classes can go twice as fast as those offered during fall and spring. Plus, there are fewer students enrolled. Naturally, summer becomes a catchup semester for many students who want to get ahead by a few credits.

Summer can also be your season to gain valuable work experience. If you’re considering working during the summer season, you’re probably bouncing a few questions around in your head.

Full-time or part-time? Intern or volunteer? On-campus or off-campus?

Any summer employment option you choose will benefit your career path in the long run, but to make the most of it, you need to find a balance between your summer course schedule and workload. 

Students using Handshake have a variety of tools at their disposal to find a job that works well for them. In many cases, Handshake partners with your college’s career services center to deliver jobs most relevant to college students. 

Know when to search

If possible, start your job search no later than February. This will give you plenty of time to create and gather the necessary materials (such as resumes, cover letters, etc.) prior to applying. If you’re applying to an internship, there are a few additional dates and milestones you should memorize and meet.

Know how to search

Once you’ve logged into Handshake and navigated to the job search page, just enter “summer” in the search field to view all available seasonal jobs. Employers that are looking for summer talent will make the word “summer” part of the job title. If you want to get more granular, you can also search by “summer job” or “summer internship.” You’ll also notice a field to the right where you can include a desired location.

If you know exactly what you want, go down the list of available filters to fine tune your search. Here are all of the options available to you as a Handshake user:

  • Job type: Full- or part-time, internships, on-campus, paid, etc.
  • Employer preferences: You can filter by employers looking for a high GPA, your school year, and your graduation dates. This could give you an edge if you meet their highest standards.
  • Work authorization: If you’re an international student and require sponsorship or other support, this is where you can indicate as much.
  • Industry: Search for summer opportunities within the industries you want, whether it’s in finance, tech, healthcare, leisure, or any other industry. 
  • Job function: You can filter down to the specific job type you’re looking for. Think about this like you would your job title: if you want a teaching job in the summer, then that is what you should indicate in this field.
  • Major: Plug in your major here if you wish to see the kind of summer jobs available based on your area of study.
  • Employer: If you have an employer you want to work for, make sure to enter the company name in this field.

That’s all you need to know to find the right summer job using Handshake! When applying, make sure to follow up with a career advisor or your career services center to chat about interviewing skills, resume and cover letter writing, balancing work and school, and other career-centered topics. If your university partners with Handshake, you can even upload application documents prior to submitting and someone from your career services center will provide feedback for improvement.