During the summer vacations between first and second year, and second and third year, I worked as a waitress and bartender in a local pub & restaurant which was located beside a canal. The job was hard work, being physically demanding and also stressful during peak times. But the jobs were invaluable experiences. In particular, it boosted my confidence. I had to speak to members of the public, often addressing large groups of customers, speak to (sometimes) angry and stressed chefs, and ask colleagues for advice.
Going into pubs/restaurants and handing out CVs does sound intimidating, but it will be worth it if you get a job, like in my case. The restaurant wasn’t actively advertising roles, so without going in, I would most likely have not had a job that summer nor the next. I had previous experience of working in a restaurant, as before starting my first year, I had worked as a ‘runner’ in a different pub which did not require previous experience.
Summer jobs are great for CVs. They show that you are able to turn up to work, are proactive as you found the job, committed, and you can list many skills you have gained from the job on your CV too. Getting a job in the hospitality industry is a great way to demonstrate customer care, dealing with complaints, coping under pressure, talking to the public etc. I’ve mentioned the roles in numerous job applications.
In addition, having a job will help you out financially during term time, perhaps enabling you to do that extra special something e.g. trips, holidays and going to balls. I also would have been bored at times if I didn’t have my job, as the holidays are almost four months long. It meant that I valued my free time but could always schedule in time with friends. As this was just a summer job, I was on a casual contract so the pub had no obligation to give me work and I was under no obligation to take work (before I accepted it). But luckily there was no shortage of work for me, as this restaurant seemed to be “the place to be!”
Good luck in job searching!