August 14, 2014
By: Morgan Brenner @morganbren
As the self proclaimed queen of minimum wage summer jobs, having had a different one every summer for the last 5 years, I would like to think every job has taught me something. However, if I were to put all of them on my resume most employers would just think I can’t hold a steady job or that I’m not consistent. Three of the places that I worked at shut down and another one turned out to be paying me below minimum wage – but who really wants to explain all that? Summer jobs sometimes clutter a resume and might make it seem more juvenile if you don’t have enough professional experience to outshine the fast food experience. But on the other hand, a summer job can add to a resume if you put the right ones on there. I like to go by a few rules when picking from my lengthy list.
Don’t use more than one or two
Maybe even 3, but that might be pushing it. You don’t want to make it seem like you jump from job to job, even if you were only in high school at the time. It seems that in today’s world an employer wants you to have been professional from the womb to when you’re working under them. If it relates in any way to the job that you are applying for now, then it would be a definite necessity on your resume. Use some of the other tips to figure out which job you want to add.
Use if you’ve held a position
This also works if you’ve gotten a raise, award or were recognized in any way at your job. Being a team leader instead of a cook shows qualities that go beyond what you put in your list of skills. If you were employee of the month or received a raise, it shows that you really cared about the work that you were doing when most other high school employees were only concerned with making money (even if you were too).
Use if your boss loved you
In a few of my jobs I got to know my boss really well. Even if they’re just the general manager of a Five Guys, they could make a great reference. I guess love is a strong word, but if the person you were answering to showed that he or she appreciated the work you were doing over others, then that might be a great job to keep on your resume if only for the reference.
Don’t use if you hated the job
This one could go a few ways. If you get asked about your summer job that you put on your resume, you don’t want to lie and say it was the best experience of your life when it may have been one of your worst. At the same time, even if it was a terrible experience you may have learned a lot that you might want to show off. It also really shows a lot that you stayed and tried to make better of a situation that was not in your favor. But if it was that awful of an experience that you’re only going to say negative things about it then please don’t put it on your resume.
Summer jobs can be a good filler on a resume, but it can’t just be any job. If you haven’t had a summer job that’s been enjoyable or hasn’t taught you any life lessons, that’s ok! Summer jobs are definitely not a must have on your list of achievements. The key to a resume is to highlight the best parts about you, sometimes 3 months of work at Panera Bread doesn’t do that, trust me I know.