Woman working.

How to find a summer job

Summer vacations are coming up soon, which means it’s time to hunt for a summer job. It may seem daunting at first, but never fear—we've got all the tips you need to look for work this summer!

6 min read

Summer vacations are coming up soon, which means it’s time to hunt for a summer job. It may seem daunting at first, but never fear—we've got all the tips you need to look for work this summer!

What’s a summer job?

A summer job is employment fulfilled by a young person—often a student or school-goer—during the summer break. Legally, this type of employment must be performed under a fixed-term contract or a seasonal contract. While summer jobs don’t usually require qualifications, they can still be a great opportunity to try out the working world—and might even lead to long-term employment down the line.

At what age can you start a summer job?

In France, the legal age to start working is 16 years old, but for summer jobs, you can start working at 14. However, some occupations are subject to restrictions (i.e. heavy labor, night shifts, and jobs in late-night drinking estabilshments are all prohibited) and working hours.

Tips for finding a summer job (even with no experience)

The months of July and August see the seasonal employment market flourish, boosted by summer tourism. However, to find the summer job of your dreams, you must be strategic, and apply to the right places at the right time. 

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To give yourself the best chance of getting a summer job in a popular industry—like a seaside hotel by a sparkling beach—you need to take the initiative, ideally starting in January! So think ahead for summer 2022 and apply at the beginning of the year, especially for the most sought-after positions and locations.

But, don’t lose hope for summer ! Oftentimes the opposite approach can also bring results—if you haven’t found seasonal work yet, it’s not too late to apply. Last-minute job vacancies turn up all the time. And when time is of the essence, the employer may be prepared to hire you quickly.

Which summer jobs are most in-demand? Here are the top five seasonal employment industries and some corresponding jobs:

  • The hotel industry—Receptionist and housekeeper jobs in hotels or campsites, are particularly in demand—ideal if you want to work in a holiday atmosphere.
  • Catering—A job as a server, dishwasher, kitchen porter, or bartender will be right up your alley if you like a fast-paced environment and working varied hours.
  • Retail—Bank employee, cashier, warehouse worker, market stall keeper and gas station attendant are all seasonal retail jobs that are perfect for getting your first experience in sales.
  • Entertainment and leisure—Enjoy working with kids or helping your community? Then seek out positions such as a sports coach, babysitter, or leader of an activity center or summer camp. 
  • Agriculture—If you like nature, then look into fruit picking, vegetable harvesting, or one of the many other jobs offered in the agricultural sector this summer.

Where should you apply for summer work?

You’ll find many specialized online platforms where you can find summer work—in addition to Pôle Emploi, the French public employment service—such as:

Also, talk to those in your network about your search for a summer job. Often, word of mouth can lead you to a seasonal job and personal connection can recommend you for a position.

Our advice—if you have a dream company or job in mind, don’t hesitate to apply directly. Even if you don’t get hired right away, it’s good practice—and a step toward making connections in the future.

Which summer jobs pay the best?

Finding a summer job is great, but getting a summer job that pays well is even better! If your goal is to earn as much money as possible this summer, then check out these four summer jobs:

  • Valet
  • Beach attendant
  • Bartender
  • Grape picker

Finally, don’t forget the jobs where you get free lodging, or even free food—such as a camp leader, receptionist, campground worker, or hotel agent—in addition to your salary.

How do you write a CV for summer work?

The first step to getting a summer job is to write your CV. You’ll be competing with many other applicants, so you’ll want to make sure you stand out! Spark the interest of employers by following these CV recommendations:

  • Put the "professional experience" section after your studies if you don’t have much work experience
  • Highlight skills that are related to the job you are applying for
  • Be specific when listing your skills (for example, use the European framework for languages to qualify your language level)
  • Make sure the title of your CV corresponds to the job you’re applying for (and not just "CV")
  • Write a very brief personal statement, and tailor it to each application

For more information, check out the video tutorials on Jobs-Ete.com. 

Don’t forget to write your cover letter when applying and include the specific dates (or even times) when you are available. If you have no experience, share why you’re interested in the seasonal job, so they know you’re committed to the position.

Last tip—avoid the boring, copy-and-pasted text found in cover letter templates and instead have a good think about what’s truly motivating your application!

Summer work: what salary can you expect?

Working during the summer is a valuable source of income for many students. From the age of 18, any young person working on a seasonal basis must earn at least the minimum wage. The salary for a summer job at age 16 corresponds to the hourly minimum wage reduced by 20%. This reduction is 10% between the ages of 17 and 18. 

The best paid student jobs, such as a valet, bartender, or beach attendant can earn between €2,500 and €3,500 gross/month!

Summer job employees also benefit from a paid vacation allowance corresponding to 10% of total salaries that will be paid to you at the end of the contract. Finally, if the income from a summer job is taxable, keep in mind that there’s a tax exemption corresponding to 3x the gross minimum wage for any student worker up to 25 years old.

What you do with your earnings is up to you, but remember that putting some away in savings is never a bad idea!

Pay in seconds, not days

With instant transfers your money will arrive immediately to any bank account in the SEPA area.
Try instant transfers

N26 makes it easy to get things done this summer

Thanks to the N26 Standard bank account, you can manage your student budget and summer salary without ever going to a bank branch. Not only is the account free, but you can sign up in just a few minutes right from your smartphone, as long as you're 18 years old. The N26 app will also send you instant notifications for each transaction you make or receive—useful for knowing when your paycheck has arrived—and you’ll get a free virtual Mastercard, so you can make purchases with your phone. What are you waiting for? Sign up today!

By N26

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