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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Our Lady of the Lake University is a private, Catholic university with a deep connection to the history and community of San Antonio.
- Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree
Located in the breathtaking Sonoran desert of southern Arizona and within an international border region, The University of Arizona is consistently ranked as a top public research university, offering graduate degrees in more than one hundred fields and is widely recognized for its cutting-edge research and innovation.
- Master of Public Health Online
Why Choose Widener University?
At Widener University, we proudly cultivate challenging and culturally diverse learning environments where academics, leadership, and service come first. Our curricula are connected to societal issues and challenge students to take social responsibility for their role in today's global society.
- Masters of Social Work
- Veterinary Assistant
- Certified Dog Trainer Instructor Course
- Grooming Instruction
- Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy
- Master of Science in Nursing - Womens Health Nurse Practitioner
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice More...
Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business is pleased to offer a 100% online MBA.
- Online MBA
Study for your graduate education with University of Illinois at Chicago.
- Master of Science in Health Informatics
Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School has brought the philosophy of business with humanity in mind to a part time format.
- Flexible MBA
- Flexible MBA - Entrepreneurship
- Flexible MBA - Management More...