September 20, 2016

Five Tips for Finding a Job in College

My first day back at work was yesterday! I haven't really talked about my job on the blog before. I know I mentioned it here and here, but I've never gone into detail about what my job actually is or how I found it. I'm a tutor for a program called Upward Bound, and I'm employed by my university through a partnership with national math tutoring program America Counts. I spend 9-12 hours per week helping high schoolers who are part of the program with everything from math to essay-writing to PowerPoint projects and college admissions essays.

I went into the program not knowing what to expect, but I thought I'd make a pretty good tutor. All the kids I work with are really sweet and respectful— and the key here is that these "kids" aren't really kids anymore— and my boss and co-workers are all really cool. If you couldn't tell, I kinda love my job. Enough with my personal details; the point of today's post is to help you, presumably a college student, find a job (yay!). Here are a few tips. 

+ Use your school's job-finding resources.

More details about how exactly I found my job in my third tip, but before I did, I utilized my school's job portal, a listing of on and off-campus jobs, some federal work study, some student assistant, and others third party. If you don't have a car to take to work, or if you'd just prefer to work on campus because it would accommodate your class schedule better, there are usually lots of options for on-campus work at every school in every sort of discipline. You can filter search results on my university's portal by school (communication, business, etc.) or skill set, for example. The only real drawbacks to on-campus jobs that I perceive are that they tend to fill up quickly and don't generally pay very much.

+ Use other job-finding resources.

There are tons of job-finding websites out there, but not all of them are worth your time. My personal favorite is Indeed; you can search for jobs by keyword and then filter by relevance/date posted, salary, type of job (part-time, full-time, internship), etc. I've also found two of my three summer jobs on Craigslist, but, as always, be weary of listings on Craigslist: if it doesn't seem legitimate, it probably isn't.

+ Visit the websites of companies you're interested in working for.

I've done this countless times. If there's a record label or entertainment group that I'd love to intern for, I check their website to see if they have any listings. Most sites have a "Careers" or "Jobs" tab somewhere on their page, usually towards the bottom, so explore a bit, and see if you find something! Not every company posts their open job listings on third-party sites (like Indeed), and bonus points if you mention on your application, under the "How did you hear about this job?" section, that you found it on the company's website. 

+ Ask around.

Maybe your friend who has the same major interned for an awesome company last semester, and they're hiring for this semester. Maybe one of your professors has a connection to a business you'd love to work for. See where I'm going with this? I knew about the program that I work for now because one of my friends is also an America Reads tutor. I did a little research and discovered that my school also has a chapter, I applied and interviewed, and the rest is history. 

+ If you can, take a "keeper" job.

I started my current job last spring, and I intend to keep it until I graduate next fall. They want to keep the same tutors on staff because we build relationships with the kids we tutor. This way, we all have consistency. I love knowing that I have a (great) job to come back to every year. But if you do decide to keep one job for your college career, make sure you consider how flexible it is. Last semester, I was able to work 9-12 hours per week and still juggle an internship on the side, so if interning in your field is a priority for you, and your paying job doesn't coincide with your career aspirations, you want to be able to do both.

Any additional tips for finding a job while in college?

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