dcsimg
You are here:

Resume tips: How to make your menial summer job sound great

First of all, congratulations on landing a summer job. In today's economy, they're pretty impressive. Still, if all work is honorable, why does your summer job feel like a waste of time? Running a weed eater or busing filthy tables isn't exactly exciting--especially when your friends are at the beach. But don't fret. A job is what you make of it--and how you present it on your resume.

Whatever you do, don't lie. Every recruiter knows that selling magazines door-to-door is NOT "communications management" or "global networking." However, it does reflect experience in outside sales, building leads, closing deals and developing customer relationships. If you wait tables during the summer and were recognized for having the most "upsells," be sure to mention it. Never underestimate the value of sales experience on your resume: Sales translate to money in the marketplace.

Jobs, industries and common skills

Between 2008 and 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts the following new job growth:

  • 4 million in health care
  • 2.6 million in technical and professional services
  • 1.6 million in education
  • 1.4 million in administrative support
  • 800,000 in dining and hospitality
  • 600,000 in retail
  • 300,000 in business and finance
  • 118,000 in information sciences

 

If you're interested in a career in any of these sectors, you can identify applicable skills and experiences from even the most absurd summer job. They're easy to add to a resume without puffing things up.

These 5 skills sets apply to all of the above professions and are key to building your resume:

  1. Communication skills: Employers want to see your aptitude and comfort level in communicating with co-workers and customers. Waitresses, office assistants, call-center workers, cash-register operators and landscapers, all have interactions with customers. Cite your experience dealing with the public, how you solved problems, built sales or handled money. Add these words to your resume: increased, built, developed.

  2.  Technical skills: You're bound to be in front of a computer sometime. Operating software used for sales, office support, setting appointments--even keeping track of kids at a summer camp--involves the use of technology. Building with construction tools, landscaping with gardening equipment, changing oil, and taking a person's blood pressure require technical aptitude. Add these words to your resume: learned, mastered, operated.

     
  3. Team and leadership skills: If you cared about your job, you developed the necessary skills to work well with others, more efficiently. Did you find more effective ways to do your job and earn a nod from your employer? If so, mention it. Add these words to your resume: led, built, managed, achieved.

  4. Research and problem-solving skills: Were you asked to crunch numbers, find solutions to problems, gather or analyze data? Did you reconcile cash drawers and find missing paperwork? Add these words to your resume: developed, increased, built, added, solved or discovered.

  5. Ingenuity and creativity: At some point during the summer, maybe your employer proclaimed that "You rock!" Perhaps you added flair to your service and manner of speaking with customers. Add these words to your resume: enhanced, created or initiated.

Remember, snowballing a recruiter can easily get you avalanched; and showing up on time is more of an expectation than an asset. So review your skills realistically and shape them into language that is both honest and skills-centric. That's how you turn any summer job into a career-building asset.

Don't forget to include skills and experience gained from unpaid internships and volunteer work. Employers want to see initiative, willingness and commitment. When you're young, working for free for a cause that you're passionate about can open doors to opportunities of which you've only dreamt. Whatever you do this summer - give it all you've got.

Search Schools

      
Matching School Ads
  • Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences

    Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

    You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

    Programs

    • MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
    • RN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
    Location:
    Boston: 300 The Fenway,, Boston MA 02115
    Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences Request Info »
  • Regent University

    Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose.

    Programs

    • Master of Arts in Law - Non-Profit Management
    • Bachelor of Arts in English - Self-Designed
    • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Regent University Request Info »
  • Keiser University

    Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education.

    Programs

    • Master of Science in Psychology
    • Education Specialist in Instructional Design and Technology
    • Master of Science in Education
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Keiser University Request Info »
  • USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

    The MSW@USC is the first top-ranked MSW program offered nationally. Many online programs are limited to certain geographic areas or the availability of courses, making it necessary to travel to campus. Our program can be completed from virtually anywhere without the need to relocate to Southern California.

    Programs

    • Master of Social Work
    Location:
    Los Angeles: 3601 Watt Way, GFS-315, Los Angeles CA 90089
    USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Request Info »
  • University of San Francisco

    If you want to make the world a better place, start at the University of San Francisco. Our 21st-century mission to create a more humane and just world comes alive in our diverse learning community and is broadened by our global orientation. You are challenged to reach higher standards and to use your education to promote justice and serve the common good. At the University of San Francisco, youll find the excellence inherent in an institution established over 150 years ago, and inherent in nearly five centuries of Jesuit education.

    Programs

    • Online Associate Degree to Master Degree Nursing program
    • Online Bachelor Degree to Master Degree Nursing program
    • Master of Public Administration
    Location:
    San Francisco: 2130 Fulton St, , San Francisco CA
    University of San Francisco Request Info »
  • Platt College

    Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

    Programs

    • Veterinary Technology Alternate Route - Certificate
    • Respiratory Therapy
    • Veterinary Technology - Associates

    Location: Online

    Platt College Request Info »
  • Miller-Motte College

    Start the next chapter of your life with an Associate or Bachelor degree from Miller-Motte College Online Division.

    Programs

    • Criminal Justice - Associate of Applied Science
    • Electronic Medical Records - Associate of Applied Science
    • IT Support Specialist - Associate of Applied Science
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Miller-Motte College Request Info »
  • Fremont College

    Fremont College traces its roots to Platt College’s founding in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1879, and the Southern California branch campus was established in 1986.

    Programs

    • AA - Healthcare Information Technology
    • Diploma - Massage
    • BA - Business Leadership
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Fremont College Request Info »
  • Capella University

    About Capella University

    Programs

    • DHS - Advanced Program Evaluation & Data Analytics
    • MS - Addiction Studies
    • MS - School Counseling (CACREP-accredited)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Capella University Request Info »
  • Liberty University

    100% Online & No Standardized Testing

    Programs

    • Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
    • Doctor of Ministry: Evangelism & Church Planting
    • M.Div: Homiletics
    • More...
    Location:
    Lynchburg: 1971 University Blvd,, Lynchburg VA 24515
    Liberty University Request Info »
  • Matching School Ads

    Quick School Search

    College & Career Search Tools

    • Careers: Unsure about your career path? Study profiles of hundreds of professions.

    • Interviews: Professors and deans sit down with our team to give you unique insights on college life.

    • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

    • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.