Do short Summer jobs count as experience?

I am currently on Summer break from Uni and I was thinking of getting a Summer job. I know that after I will graduate and I will start applying for jobs, the first thing I will get asked is “what is your experience?”. It is difficult to build up your experience when you have none. For this reason, I was considering getting a very simple job that does not require much experience, like Runner. However, the problem is that Uni starts again in the autumn so I cannot hold to this job for longer than a couple of months. Would this short job count as work experience in my Resume?
 

Maura N.

The Last Black Unicorn
Staff member
Go for it! You might learn a lot of new things and increase your networking! Even if it is a temporary job, every experience helps you.
 
Hallo Amy!
I am also a student and just like you, I am looking to get work experience. I applied for many jobs and I was a bit sad that I got no reply back. I only got the classic "we'll call you back" and that call never came. I saw a post on the network where someone suggested that it would be a good idea to become a volunteer in the organizing team of a film festival so I changed my tactic. I got accepted as a volunteer and now I am working with a team of volunteers and other professionals and it is very fun. I am not getting any money but I am getting to meet a lot of people, have fun and learn new things. As students, we do what we can to learn outside of school. It is not easy because most people ignore us but we can only do so much.
 

EmilyWilkes

Active member
Hallo Amy!
I am also a student and just like you, I am looking to get work experience. I applied for many jobs and I was a bit sad that I got no reply back. I only got the classic "we'll call you back" and that call never came. I saw a post on the network where someone suggested that it would be a good idea to become a volunteer in the organizing team of a film festival so I changed my tactic. I got accepted as a volunteer and now I am working with a team of volunteers and other professionals and it is very fun. I am not getting any money but I am getting to meet a lot of people, have fun and learn new things. As students, we do what we can to learn outside of school. It is not easy because most people ignore us but we can only do so much.
I felt every word you said. Sadly, no matter how good of a student you are and no matter how hard you learn for classes, it is not enough. You also have to start a different hustle to get noticed if you want to have a career in this industry.
 

FredGinsburg

Member
Staff member
I am currently on Summer break from Uni and I was thinking of getting a Summer job. I know that after I will graduate and I will start applying for jobs, the first thing I will get asked is “what is your experience?”. It is difficult to build up your experience when you have none. For this reason, I was considering getting a very simple job that does not require much experience, like Runner. However, the problem is that Uni starts again in the autumn so I cannot hold to this job for longer than a couple of months. Would this short job count as work experience in my Resume?
You are talking about the Production industry... none of us have had jobs lasting more than a a couple months! That is the definition of "free lancing". Everything you do to gain experience is a good thing.... but try to get a job in a specific department that will let you learn practical details. Just being a runner or messenger or PA only means that you know how to park in crowded places and shovel sh*t. Do something with your time that will allow you to shadow the professionals on set, and learn what and how they do.

Learning job skills is more important than earning minimum wage, so volunteering is often more valuable than taking on menial work for peanuts. A great place to gain "hands-on" experience is working for a production crew from a non-profit organization, or a municipal agency. Police departments, fire departments, park services, hospitals, charities. They have video production departments, often staffed by in-house people who moved into A-V after a stint in the trenches. They are often eager to get extra hands that won't break their meager budgets -- and are not unwilling to let a newbie with only college experience actually take on full roles on the set, or in post. They prefer do-ers rather than watchers.
 
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