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
  • Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design

    RMCAD - Where Your Creativity Comes to Life

     

    Programs

    • Graphic Design Online
    • Illustration Online
    • Game Art Online
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design Request Info »
  • Tulane University - School of Social Work

    There is no more exciting time to be part of the renowned Tulane School of Social Work or of the intriguing city of New Orleans than at this moment. 

    Programs

    • Masters in Social Work

    Location: Online

    Tulane University - School of Social Work Request Info »
  • Penn Foster

    Advance your career with our affordable, self-paced, career-focused distance education programs.

    Programs

    • Home Health Aide
    • Security Guard
    • Veterinary Assistant
    • More...
    Location:
    Scranton: , Scranton PA 18515
    Penn Foster Request Info »
  • George Mason University

    Located in Fairfax, Virginia, George Mason University is the largest public research university in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    Programs

    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
    • Master of Business Administration: Business Analytics Specialization
    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • More...

    Location: Online

    George Mason  University Request Info »
  • Ultimate Medical Academy Online

    Ultimate Medical Academy is a nonprofit healthcare career school—and students are at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we offer exclusive student services through your career training and beyond, beginning from the time you enroll online or at our campus in Clearwater, FL. We’ll also guide you toward the right program for your goals, and help you understand the affordability of your career training. So let us know you’re interested, and we’ll discuss how UMA can help you succeed.

     

    Gainful employment information can be found at UltimateMedical.edu/gainful-employment and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement, and occupations.

    Programs

    • A.S. - Healthcare Information Technology
    • Diploma - Medical Administrative Assistant
    • A.S.- Health Sciences (Pharmacy Technician)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Ultimate Medical Academy Online 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 »
  • South University, Online Programs

    As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

    Programs

    • Nurse Educator (PGC)
    • Nursing (RN to BSN)
    • Specialization in Nursing Informatics (RN to MSN)
    • More...
    Location:
    Savannah: 709 Mall Boulevard, Savannah GA 31406
    South University, Online Programs Request Info »
  • Columbia International University

    For nearly a century, Columbia International University has educated people from a biblical worldview to impact the nations with the message of Christ. 

    Programs

    • Bachelor of Science in Business
    • Ph.D. in Educational Leadership
    • Associate of Arts in Business
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Columbia International University Request Info »
  • Washington State University

    Get your career started with training from Washington State University.

    Programs

    • Executive MBA
    • MBA
    Location:
    Pullman: , Pullman WA
    Washington State University Request Info »
  • Capella University

    About Capella University

    Programs

    • DHS - Advanced Program Evaluation & Data Analytics
    • MSN - RN-to-MSN Care Coordination (CCNE-accredited)
    • BS - Human Resource Management (ACBSP-accredited)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Capella 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.