Summer job alternatives: 10 ways to gain work experience if you didn’t get a job

Volunteering for town beautification

Volunteering for town beautification

Didn’t get a job this summer? There are still plenty of ways to gain work experience and build your resume! We’ve compiled a helpful list of 10 ways college students and recent graduates can constructively spend their free time this summer.

  1. Volunteer:  Whether you have a charity or cause close to your heart, or a community event is in need of additional hands, volunteering produces a feeling of self-worth and fulfills civic duty. Regardless of the capacity in which you choose to volunteer, it will certainly promote good will.
  2. Conduct scientific research:  Research isn’t just for science majors or medical students. A wide array of subjects, like communication, political science and anthropology, call for scientific research and studies. Not only will the experience allow you to reflect on your personal interests and curiosities, it will hone your analytical and critical thinking skills.
  3. Write a business plan:  If starting your own business venture is something you have considered, writing up a business plan is the first step to putting your plan into action. A well thought out plan can give employers insight into your decision making skills. Check out the U.S. Small Business Administration’s guide for writing a business plan to help you get started.
  4. Contribute to a political campaign:  Whether on the local, state or federal level, working on a political campaign is a great way to learn about political issues and policies as well as becoming informed on where candidates and constituents stand on various issues. You can choose from a variety of ways to get involved in a campaign, depending on the skills and areas you want to develop.
  5. Write a blog:  Besides being a therapeutic outlet for sharing your thoughts with others and improving your writing skills, a blog is a great way to find your voice. Both business and personal blogs are commonplace and can range in topics from fashion to finances. Blogging platforms such as Tumblr will host your blog free of charge.
  6. Plant a garden:  There’s no time like the present to embrace nutrition and start a healthy lifestyle, and what better place to start than your own backyard? A garden requires minimal equipment, and everything from vegetable seedlings to fertilizer can be purchased at a hardware or grocery store. You may even find that gardening will become a lifelong hobby.
  7. Take an online class:  As you were reading through job descriptions, you may have been intimidated by the skills and software experience listed as requirements, of which you may be lacking. It often takes on-the-job experience to pick those up, but you can also take online courses to gain the skills you need to match those job requirements. For example, you can take classes in project management, HTML and technical writing at sites like
  8. Mentor an underprivileged child:  Big Brothers Big Sisters is a non-profit organization that helps shape the future of children by empowering them to achieve with the help of a mentor. Participating in an organization like this will not only help a child reach their full potential, but it is also a rewarding way to give back to the community and may teach you a thing or two about yourself as well.
  9. Clean a park:  Cleaning up your neighborhood park is a rewarding project that doesn’t take a large time commitment. Whether you spend a few hours on a Saturday morning or decide to start a volunteer group, cleaning a park has immediate and tangible results that will build community spirit.
  10. Take a trip Eat, Pray, Love style:  Visiting foreign countries is a one-of-a-kind experience and often a life changing event. It allows you to experience different cultures and try new things, as well as letting you get in touch with yourself on a more spiritual level.

Who knows? You may find that one of these experiences is just the thing to make you stand out among other candidates at your next job interview. For more ideas on how to spend your summer vacation, check out our recent blog post, “Questia’s summer reading list and other ways to keep your mind sharp over summer break.”

Posted in College Success Tips | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

One Response to Summer job alternatives: 10 ways to gain work experience if you didn’t get a job

  1. atifimran1 says:

    that’s good but write about the routine of a child in summer vacation?

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