Campus jobs are an excellent, convenient place to earn money while gaining practical, transferable skills. Here are 4 tips to help you land a great campus job.
Check with your school’s human resources department AND financial aid office AND career services office.
Schools deal with student employment differently. Some have a centralized office, others rely on individual departments to post their opportunities. HR is a good starting place. Financial aid sometimes gets involved depending on your work-study eligibility. Career service may post on-campus jobs along with off-campus opportunities. So ask around to find out how on-campus employment is managed at your school.
Visit departments for which you’d like to work
A lot of college departments hire students. The typical places (library, bookstore, food services, physical plant, admissions, athletics, residence life) may have a standard hiring and training schedule. But many other departments (career services, academic advising, international student services, IT, major-specific departments, business office – just to name a few), may also have opportunities available, but may hire at different times throughout the school year.
Nearly all campus supervisors appreciate that, as a student, your primary responsibility is your academics and can often be very flexible about the hours that you work. At the same time, these departments are still professional environments and perform important roles on campus. Treat your application materials and interview with as much respect as you would any off-campus, professional opportunity. Remember to be polite and professional to any, and all, administrative staff; being rude to the secretary, for example, will not go over well with anyone! Though you may not need to wear full business attire for your interview, dressing up more than usual is still a good idea.
Alert your references
In most cases, departmental supervisors will want to get in touch with at least 1 – 3 references. In many cases, this will be recent faculty members, coaches or work supervisors. If you’re a freshmen, they may ask to speak with a previous teacher, pastor, or other individual who can speak about your fit for the job. Select references carefully; choose people who can vouch for your skills. Before you provide their contact information to your prospective employer, ask your reference if they are comfortable providing you with a strong, positive reference for the jobs you’ve applied for. It’s helpful to give them a copy of the resume or application that you submitted for the job. Whether or not you get the job, be sure to send a thank you to each of your references, and keep them up-to-date on your application progress.
Image source: Wheaton College