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There’s nothing like laying your towel down on the sand, stripping down to your bathing suit, lathering up the sunscreen and spending a day out on the beach. We’ve grown up always loving the freedom that summer brings. But as college kids, it’s become increasingly difficult to hit the beach without feeling incredibly guilty that we don’t have a job. Other college students out there are interning, volunteering in hospitals, or spending long hours in retail stores all summer long, making money and doing something resume worthy… while we’re just chillin’. No more teachers, no more books. Time to get a summer job?

Competition for jobs and work experience is extremely high now; it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. And lets face it, the people that slaved their life away during their summers will be hired for jobs and internships over someone who spent their time getting tan and partying all day. So if you realize that you’re one of these kids chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool over the summer, it’s time to get a job. And it never hurts to make a little spending money for when you head back to school.

I’m sure you’re wondering where do I even start?! Well, here’s a list of 5 great summer jobs for college kids. And trust me, it’s a great feeling being productive. It will boost your confidence when you walk into a post-grad job interview, and the skills that a job can teach you will be skills you can apply to all aspects of your life.

1. Intern

Most internships are unpaid, but that’s okay because interning is about much more than money. Interning at a company is almost a sure way “in” when you later apply at the company as a college graduate. It’s also a rewarding experience in that you learn the invaluable skill of giving away one’s labor in exchange for the promise of advancement (hopefully!) And having an internship on your resume will put you ahead over other applicants. Yes, a college education is crucial and important for your career, but most employers want more than just a degree.

2. Waiter/Waitress

Alright so serving tables is hard.  A job like this requires plenty of people skills and energy. Worried that you’re not the world’s friendliest person? You’ll develop such great people skills by the end, you’ll never want to stop talking to people (okay, maybe a bit of an exaggeration). But the most rewarding part of this job are the cash tips. I know people that have made 500 dollars a night just in tips alone. The money you will make and the skills you’ll learn make a job like this totally worth it. You will learn how to act graceful under pressure and keep a cool head even when everyone else around you is losing theirs, which I’m sure will come in handy down the road for you.

3. Nanny

Parents that work full time year-round are out of luck in the summer. Yes there is day camp, yes there is sleepaway camp, but some parents and kids aren’t into paying that crazy price to keep kids entertained for a few hours. Parents usually pay great rates for a good sitter! Not only will you be paid well (and get a glorified closet and pencil thin bed to call your very own!) but you can also spend your summer reliving your childhood with fun activities.  A good nanny demonstrates creativity and responsibility. Whether you want to be a teacher, a physical therapist, or a doctor, having experience with children is an enticing skill to put on your resume, and it will allow you to interact one-on-one with kids in a relaxed and fun setting.

4. Bartender

Bartending is probably the job of choice for most college students looking for summer employment. It’s the perfect job for those who love the night life, spending time chatting it up with strangers and who operate best at night. While it seems super fun and thrilling, working late hours constantly can become tiresome and it’ll take time to get used to the sleep schedule, so make sure it’s what you really want to do.

5. Fitness Trainer & Instructor

After a semester of sitting down listening to lectures, any college student should make it a priority that they stay active throughout the summer. For those who are fitness enthusiasts, becoming an instructor or trainer is a valid choice. Being in shape and having great stamina can also be considered prerequisites for this type of job. Typically you take a class teaching you the leadership and fitness skills need to train or lead a class and then you can get certified to teach others. Also another great job to throw onto your resume. Leaderships skills are always a plus!

What’s your summer job?