How Do I Get an On-Campus Job?

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working on campusDaniesha from Kent State University asked:

“I am looking for an on-campus job. What can I do to make myself more marketable? What should I include on my resume?”

Thanks for your question, Daniesha –

First, I would like to commend you on pursuing on-campus employment. Working on campus has numerous benefits and is a great way to gain experience (and extra income) without leaving your immediate community. However, there are many opportunities for on-campus positions at most universities and it can be challenging to know how to go about securing the right opportunity.

I understand where your challenge lies but fortunately, there are some steps you can take to find an on-campus job that you enjoy and one that can be a great resume builder for your future career. If you can find out what you want, get connected and leverage your career center, you will set yourself up for an optimal level of success in your search for on-campus employment.

Find Out What You Want

You asked: What can I do to make myself more marketable? One of the things that makes a candidate attractive in an interview is a clear sense of direction, some S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely), and the ability to articulate how a position will help achieve larger career goals. If you can spend some time finding out exactly what your interests and goals are, you will be able to tailor your search to those positions that appeal to you.

Career Expert Lindsay Pollak offers a few suggestions for finding out what you want (and don’t want) in her book: Getting from College to Career:

  • Make a big list of every career possibility that you can think of
  • Focus on what you want and not on what you “should” want
  • Take a career assessment
  • Define your passion

Once you find out what you want, it’s time to start networking and get connected.

Get Connected

I’ll share a short story: In my junior year at Kansas State University, I decided that I wanted to be a Human Resource Management major, mostly because I had an interest in training others. As I found out what my real passion was, I decided to get connected with one of my previous instructors and offer my tutoring services for free to her students. I had taken a class of hers and had done fairly well so I thought it would be a great way to explore my passion. I did that for a semester and then sought out the local tutoring center on campus to apply for a job. In my interview, I got to share my experience as a free tutor to students and how this tutoring job would help me prepare for a career in training. My interviewer’s response: “I think I’ve seen all I need to see”. I was offered the job on the spot.

If you can get connected with people and places on campus that you are passionate about, you might find yourself in front of an opportunity that could be a good fit for your skills and for your future career!

Leverage Your Career Center

As far as what to include on your resume, I would seek out your career advisor at your career center. Although I could share with you some basic insights on resumes, each university is different in how they recruit for on-campus positions and in many cases, the career center has the most connections when it comes to matching students with jobs. Your career advisor will be able to help you craft a resume and prepare for your interview.

By finding out what you want, getting connected and leveraging your career center, you are most certainly going to put yourself in a position for success!

Good Luck!


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