A summer job is a great way to make money and save for a car, college tuition or a special summer vacation. Finding a job when you are young and may have less experience can be challenging. Use this playbook to help guide your search and give you the greatest chance of scoring that sweet summer job.

Job search checklist

Before you start searching, prepare by gathering references, creating a resume and identifying skills that are valuable to potential employers.

Resume: A resume is a document that you create to highlight your achievements, education, work experience and skills. If this is your first job, look for other experiences, such as volunteering, babysitting or participating in school activities to beef up your resume. While many jobs might only require a job application, a well-crafted resume can set you apart from other job applicants in a tight job market.

References: References are people you identify to vouch for you. Think of people outside your family, such as teachers, ministers, coaches or neighbors who would recommend you to a potential employer. Make sure you ask them for permission before you add them to a resume or job application.

Skills: Employers look for transferable skills — so-called “soft skills” — that apply to many jobs. For instance, if you played a team sport, your ability to think fast and work with a team can translate to working in a fast-paced environment like a restaurant or a fast food kitchen. Identify your skills so when you go after a particular job you can list the ones that apply.

Finding a job

When the job market is tight, you may have to get creative about finding a job. Here are some tips to help you search:

Check out seasonal work. Local parks and pools are great places for students because their work ramps up during the summer. You may be able to find work on golf courses, doing landscaping, being a lifeguard or as a summer camp counselor.

Work where you shop. Look for jobs where you shop or at stores that cater to your interests, like a skate shop or cosmetic store. A retail job can provide great experience and a discount on things you like to buy — just don’t forget to save some of that paycheck!

It’s who you know. Having a connection to a current employee is one of the best ways to find a job. Ask your family and friends if they know of any jobs where they work. If they do, give them a copy of your resume to share with the appropriate person.

Work from home. Virtual jobs expand your job search to anywhere on the internet. Opportunities include becoming a virtual tutor, getting an online internship or setting up an online store to sell handmade goods or used items.

Finding a job is one of the toughest jobs there is, so don’t get discouraged. Once you do score that summer gig, set up a Dinero Teens checking account at Advancial to make the most of your hard-earned cash.