Helping Students Pick Part-Time Jobs for the Semester

 In Career Services

With students back on campus after summer vacation, many of them are seeking part-time jobs to help pay their tuition or living expenses. No job that a student has should just be a “job” though, and as a career services professional, you should help students find part-time jobs that will actually benefit their careers in the long run. Help students find the best part-time job by collaborating with them to assess the following.

Will the Job Enhance Hard Skills Relevant to the Student’s Chosen Field?

Naturally, the first part-time jobs a student will want to apply for are jobs that are directly related to their major and chosen professional field. For instance, an accounting major would greatly benefit from finding a part-time job at an accounting firm where they will acquire hard skills to add to their resume. This should be the first factor you assess when helping the student search for part-time jobs – show them how to use the advanced search filters within your CSM system to narrow down jobs and find ones that are directly related to their desired field.

What Soft Skills Will the Job Provide?

In a perfect world, students would all find part-time jobs that were aligned with their professional field of choice. In reality, though, the majority of part-time jobs available to college students are jobs like food service, retail, etc. There’s nothing wrong with a student taking a part-time job in a field that is unrelated to their major as long as the position is promising in terms of helping the student develop important soft skills. Soft skills students could learn at jobs like retail, food service and the like could include customer service skills, communication skills, skills in dealing with a high-stress environment and more. Before a student applies to a job like this, make sure to sit down with them and help them brainstorm the soft skills they think they’ll gain or hope to improve from this experience.

What Networking or Advancement Opportunities Are Possible With the Job?

Some part-time jobs come with more potential for networking and advancement opportunities than others. For example, let’s say a student takes a job as a cafeteria worker at a corporate building that hosts several major companies. The job itself may not be glamorous, but think of all the chances the student will have on a daily basis to meet and connect with people who could very well become great professional connections in the future. Make sure the student is aware of these opportunities and makes a concerted effort to go into that job every day with the goal of enhancing these chances to make valuable connections.

Likewise, a student who takes a job as a part-time administrative assistant at a large company actually has a huge advantage in that they’ll work regularly with people in higher positions at that company who could potentially become mentors – plus, they may even have the chance to apply for other jobs internally if a better, more relevant-to-their-career position opens up.

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