6 Ways College Students Can Find Summer Jobs

It's never too early to start planning for a productive summer--and parents can help, too.

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Finding a job in this economy is difficult for anyone, but some evidence suggests teens are among the hardest hit. If a summer job for yourself or your college student is on your to-do list, consider these ideas to help make it happen.

JULIE:

Wherever mothers gather, there is talk of their kids. In the early days it's feeding schedules, ear infections, and preschools that are discussed. Soon enough, talk turns to soccer teams, sleepaway camp, and homework. And as a mom of both a teen and a young adult, I find my friends now talking about summer jobs for their college students. There's a lot of anxiety about their availability.

[Find out how to make a jobless summer productive.]

Most students want and need a summer job as a way to finance their education. But finding a job isn't as easy as just wanting one. Here are some suggestions of places to start:

1. Contact past employers: Assuming the student has been a good worker in the past, it makes sense to get in touch with those who know this. Even if the job held prior isn't available, some employers will find a position for the right worker.

2. Check university job boards: We've blogged before about how a part-time job at school has some great advantages for students, and there may be summer positions available if the student is free to stay after the semester wraps up.

3. Create a job: I've known several students who have run lucrative summer lawn care businesses. I've known others who have organized informal summer camps for kids. An enterprising student may have better results creating a job than finding one, and the experience can be valuable as well.

[Get six tips for hopeful entrepreneurs.]

LINDSEY:

Right about this time of year, this question begins to circulate among my friends: "What are you doing this summer?" Answers include studying abroad, vacations, and summer classes, but most of my friends will be working full- or part-time jobs.

The lucky ones are returning to a job from last summer, but the rest are left to spend the next several months on the job hunt. Here are some additional strategies to make that search a little easier:

1. Consider a new market: If you're someone who normally goes home for the summer vacation, consider looking for jobs in your college town, which may be relatively deserted over the summer. Conversely, don't rule out potential jobs in your hometown, even if you're used to staying at school for the summer.

2. Use family and friends: Working for a relative or family friend may not be your ideal summer job. If you're struggling to find a job, however, those connections can be a fairly secure option in case something else doesn't come along.

[Find out how to use Facebook to land a job.]

3. Combine multiple positions: If you can't find that one full-time position, try taking more than one part-time job to meet your financial needs. This is especially helpful if your employer ends up needing you for less hours than you expected.

By taking on an extra job, you can maximize your time over the summer to still make the amount of money you want.