Finding Summer Jobs for College Students During a Pandemic
For many students, the sunny months of summer break are an important time to work between semesters. Some extra money from a summer job can help pay off tuition or student loans, and summer work experience can load a resume with great skills.
Finding a summer job during the summer can be a stressful task for many high school and college students, and the coronavirus pandemic has only made it more difficult.
Whether because of financial difficulties or safety concerns, some businesses and organizations do not have the resources to hire new employees and interns.
However, using unconventional methods to find summer jobs for college students, there are still many rewarding opportunities available. From paid to unpaid, remote to local, we’ve rounded up some ideas to help.
How to Get a Summer Job
The process of researching jobs, constructing a resume, applying for jobs, and interviewing for jobs will look different depending on the jobs your child is looking for.
Moneycrashers advises that students should plan around their passions, have their resume critiqued, prepare answers for interview questions, and look into mock interviews.
They should join clubs or societies, talk to upperclassmen at their university about jobs related to their major, attend career fairs, participate in networking groups, research companies, and always follow up with a note thanking the interviewer after an interview.
When Should I Start Applying for Summer Jobs?
According to an article published by The Balance Careers, deadlines for summer employment tend to vary depending on the organization, the industry, and the type of job.
Competitive application deadlines for summer jobs can be as early as November, and typically, companies and organizations hire from November to March.
Of course, the pandemic can affect deadlines for job applicants, and so it’s even more important to stay up-to-date on the hiring process for jobs your child is most interested in.
What Are Good Summer Jobs for College Students?
College Magazine reports that generally, the best summer jobs for college students are in sales, digital media, retail, camp counseling, food service, childcare support, customer service, receptionist work, lifeguarding, and transportation.
What Are Good Summer Jobs for College Students During COVID-19?
The pandemic has made these popular summer jobs and summer internships more limited. The good news is there are many remote jobs that college students can take advantage of, from part-time to freelance work.
Internships Paid and Unpaid
Does your student enjoy science, literature, space, or animals? Has your child ever expressed interest in being a part of the academic research process? Zooniverse is an online platform that “gives people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to participate in real research with over 50 active online citizen science projects,” according to its website.
Is your student interested in art, history, or education? Smithsonian’s digital volunteering program could be a great fit! Smithsonian states that volunteers “take on important assignments to expand access to the Smithsonian’s massive collections, and participate in a variety of research programs. Some roles require special knowledge or skill, but many do not.”
Covintern is a platform specifically for students to gain internship experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. From software engineering to marketing experiences and beyond, both paid and unpaid internships in a variety of fields can be found here. Covintern’s website states that “Covintern connects employers with positions and programs to fill with students from top universities with available time and a desire to learn.”
With UNVolunteers, your student can help change the world via the internet. Your child can use their talents in a variety of disciplines—including writing and editing, art and design, and translation—to contribute to charitable causes. From their website: “Online volunteers, organizations, and partners join the global push toward sustainable development. Volunteers contribute directly to the work of development organizations, working from a computer, tablet or mobile phone anywhere in the world.”
Does your student need a flexible volunteering opportunity this summer? Match their interests, schedule, and talent to an organization that needs help. According to Catchafire’s website, the platform’s mission “is to drive positive world change through giving time and talent, catalyzing a ripple effect of good.”
Does your child speak more than one language fluently? Are they looking to engage in a real-world global language experience this summer? Translators Without Borders states, “whether you are interested in translating medical texts or translating for crisis response, there are engaging projects available to suit all preferences . . . other volunteer roles such as project manager, graphic or web page designers and fundraising are also very valuable to us.”
Is your student passionate about public policy, foreign affairs, or law? Amnesty Decoders is looking for volunteers to help conduct research into violations of global human rights. The organization is an innovative platform for volunteers around the world to use their computers or phones to help researchers sift through pictures, information, and documents.
Is your student interested in digital or social media? Appen helps individuals find flexible, part-time jobs categorizing social media, moderating content, and other paid media-related tasks. You can find long-term and part-time projects, as well as Micro Tasks—smaller projects that can be started right away.
Monster.com is a job board that has plenty of entry-level customer-service jobs listed. Applicants can filter the thousands of available job offers by location, company, and position title. Some of these positions are temporary and some part-time.
There are several websites that connect prospective clients with contractors looking for writers, copyeditors, grammar specialists, and proofreaders. Gramlee, Contena, Upwork, and Wordvice are just a few, and each platform is updated often with new writing and editing jobs that could be perfect for your college student.
LionBridge and Unbabel
Does your child speak more than one language? Platforms like LionBridge and Unbabel can connect them to a variety of language-related jobs. LionBridge connects contractors to jobs in corporate associating, rating, annotating and testing, translating, interpreting, gaming, and more. Unbabel is a leading service for translators.
Scribie is a platform that connects contractors with jobs transcribing audio and video files. To begin working, transcribers submit an application, take an online test, and begin their freelance job earning per audio hour transcribed.
Clickworker, Survey Junkie, UserTesting, Streetbees, Ferpection, TestingTime, Swagbucks and InboxDollars
Is your child open to a variety of task-related work online such as testing apps, participating in surveys, searching and categorizing data, and more? There are many platforms where your child can find tasks to earn some extra cash over the summer.
Swagbucks is a unique platform because it allows individuals to earn gift cards in compensation.
Does your child pride themself on being organized? Maybe being a virtual assistant this summer could be a great fit! My BTLR, VaVa Virtual Assistants, and Upwork are all great resources for finding virtual assisting gigs.
Tutoring can be a great option for college students interested in teaching or simply knowledgeable in a given subject. With the transition to online learning for many students, tutoring is in high demand. Check out websites like Chegg, that connect tutors to tutees of all grade levels if this sounds like a good fit.
Is your child still not seeing a perfect opportunity? Check out platforms like QuadJobs, Backdoor Jobs, Summerjobs.com, CoolWorks, and ZipRecruiter. QuadJobs is a platform that specifically works to connect college students with jobs, and ZipRecruiter allows for a general search for remote jobs. Backdoor Jobs, Summerjobs.com, and CoolWorks also offer short-term job opportunities for a plethora of organizations and causes.
Who Needs Help Right Now?
While everyone has been affected by the global pandemic, there are some businesses and organizations that could really use some extra support right now.
If your child is passionate about ensuring everyone can get the food and resources they need amidst the pandemic, groceries and pharmacies are looking for temporary employees to help stock, and with curbside pickup and delivery. Local restaurants may need help picking up and dropping off orders. Check your local stores, as well as third-party delivery services like DoorDash and Postmates.
Your student can take note of the saying “think globally, act locally” to create positive change this summer.
Community members might be looking for a responsible tutor or babysitter. Neighbors might be looking for animal lovers to help them walk their dogs. Local camps might be looking for counselors who can easily adjust to the COVID-19 guidelines and create a memorable summer for kids.
There are jobs out there, it might just take getting a little bit creative. Encourage your child not to give up. Remember, it only takes one yes to get things rolling.
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