The job market is looking very positive these days, and while you might still be living with your parents when you graduate, jobs are more abundant. But what about students who are still attending school? Everyone needs cash to have fun when studying isn’t on the menu. While learning how to write a resume with no job experience is possible, it’s important to gain as much experience as possible. Many students attend school part time or full time and work one or two part time jobs. Nicole Fallon of Business News Daily noted that “college is a time to prepare for your future career,” implying that finding jobs within your future goal career will boost the performance of your resumé at graduation time. If you haven’t decided on a career yet, what should you do? Here’s some sound advice to guide your job application process.
Chances are you’re fantastic at a few subjects in college, and not so fantastic at others. Why not use the time you save in English, mathematics, or science courses to tutor other students for money? You can even continue after you graduate — while you’re looking for your dream job. It looks great on your resumé, and there are tutoring centers in nearly every college; especially in mathematics, sciences, English, and language departments. This job also has the philanthropic benefit of helping out your fellow students. Varsity Tutors, Wyzant, and Tutor.com allow you to choose your own hours, tutoring style, or how much you charge for your services. So go ahead and reach out; your conscience and your resumé will appreciate it.
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Social Media Coordinator
If you know your way around social media sites (what college student doesn’t), this is a great job for you. Most universities and colleges around the world offer positions like these, which can translate into an excellent first job for a future marketing career. An understanding of content and editing for websites is necessary, but easy to acquire. Knowledge of the language you will be writing in and the ability to communicate clearly and concisely is required. Many campus administrative or office assistant jobs may incorporate social media knowledge, and your future career might as well. Best to get this experience on your resumé before you graduate.
Campus Brand Ambassador or “Campus Rep”
Students who work in this position help with marketing events and programs on campus, hosting workshops or promoting outside business brands for companies. And hey, who doesn’t want to market their products to college students? For that matter, who doesn’t want to hand out “free swag” or promotional boxes to poor, struggling college students? In the process, many brand ambassadors get lots of free swag themselves…you could meet people, make them happy, or get a date out of the whole thing — plus get paid. This job is a stepping stone to business promotion and marketing, and generally allows you to test out your people and persuasive skills in a fun environment. Your campus career services center can help you get started as a campus rep.)Alicia Thomas of Her Campus noted that you can choose your own hours, it looks great on your resumé, and you often get store credit or free products in exchange for promotion. Some examples of companies looking for campus reps are Apple, Disney, Chipotlé, and Victoria’s Secret. Who couldn’t use some free underwear? It can be for you, or for that amazing girl you met while promoting it. Just don’t give it to her on the first date.
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Career Center Counselor
Speaking of career centers, working here is the best way to find the best jobs for college students. Plus you see the listings first, so you have dibs on anything that peaks your interest. A lot of your job will involve helping other students find positions that work with their schedules or career choices, and guiding them when they are a bit lost. This job is an excellent pre-cursor to career counseling, which is a major player in the job industry today. Becoming a career center counselor or assistant to a counselor also has the added benefit of helping you find the perfect on-campus or off-campus job for you; so you’re helping others and helping yourself with this choice.
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College or university science departments have need of research assistants. A job like this can advance your future science career, as research assistant or in entry-level positions at large science organizations like NIST or NCAR, to name a few. Becoming a research assistant for a law firm is a great option, too. Research skills are important in any career, and especially so with the constant information influx from our various devices. Learning today is more the result of excellent resources than we’d like to admit – knowing how to leverage the Internet and academic and journal databases for information is the key to success in academia and business. Becoming a research assistant in your field of choice will allow you to “learn while you earn” according to Mark E. Wojcik or the American Bar Association. You will acquire an excellent reference, and possibly a future position within the department or company you’re working for. In other words, this type of job will really get your foot in the door; so pick your company, professor, or mentor wisely. Other benefits of working as a faculty research assistant are time off for exams and term papers, and a short commute to work.
Pick a major, pick a field, pick a position, and then pick a local business or campus department that can help you get there. Working an entry-level position like office assistant can help you get a better job with a company or brand you want to work for in the future. Most companies hire from within before advertising elsewhere, so this is an important step. As an office manager, you’ll learn the ins and outs of your business or brand, learn software that will add to your experience, and hone your social skills by developing a perky personality.
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Child Care Provider
Care.com is the website for college students who enjoy watching other people’s children, au pairs, or elderly care. It’s kind of like Angie’s List, only it’s solely for personal care. The pay is pretty good for a college student, and au pairs are in demand if you are from a foreign country and at least bilingual. Another option is working with children at the on-campus child care center at your university. You are likely to meet professors, graduate students, and other people in the course of caring for their children. The commute is short, and working with children can bring a joy into your life that can help balance out all that studying.
Teaching Assistants, or “TAs,” are essentially professor assistants. It’s wise to apply for a TA position within your chosen field and with a professor you admire. Meeting one-on-one with your professors might help you find a good fit. TAs assist professors, department chairs, faculty members, and other professional staff members in and out of the classroom. Graduate level TAs perform non-teaching duties such as laboratory research, or teaching of lower level courses, developing teaching materials, writing and giving examinations, and grading. This is a great job to take if you intend to become a professor or research assistant in the future.
There are many writing opportunities on the Internet that are particularly suited to students, as you can make your own hours. Online writing is an excellent opportunity, as long as you are an efficient, accomplished writer and don’t mind putting in some extra hours at the computer. Blogs, online content, news and reporting opportunities, and business writing are some of the areas that recruit college students. Online newsletters or your department’s home office are great places to start or gain some experience. Websites like Elance, FlexJobs, and Indeed.com can help you find writing jobs fast. Polish up your best papers and writing examples, and troll the web for a few days; you’ll be surprised at the opportunities available. Communication is the hallmark of the digital age, so get out there and help humankind grammatically and meaningfully.
Owner of your own startup
Courtney Rubin of US News and World Report noted that nothing beats working for yourself. Right now you’re experiencing new ideas, situations, and information at warp speed; what better time to try out an entrepreneurial idea? Your fellow students will support you if your idea is good, and foundations love to grant money to students. Think of the successful people who have come before you: Mark Zuckerburg (Facebook), Susan Gregg Koger & Eric Koger (Modcloth), and Bill Gates & Paul Allen (Microsoft). Technical startups make the most money out the gate, but according to Business Insider, 2013’s most popular campus startups aren’t so tech-focused. Gymflow tells you when your gym is less crowded; Centricycle creates manually powered sustainable centrifuges for health workers anywhere; and Sepono (Latin for “reserve”) is an on-demand appointment booker for beauty appointments; and FamilyLeaf is similar to Facebook, but for families. So give it go – if you can garner some interest on campus, you can probably get some investors, too.
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