Smart Steps to Student Employment

Smart Steps to Student Employment: Tips for Finding a Job While in School

For many students, a new school year means a new job hunt. While some may have positions waiting for them or they have connections that will most assuredly bring positive results, millions more will be searching for meaningful employment.

That means that not only is there going to be a lot of competition, but the local “pickings” may be as slim as on-campus positions. So, if you’re planning on working this school year or are already on the hunt, you could use all the help you can get.

Take a look at these tips we’ve put together.

Understanding Your Needs and Capabilities

It’s crucial to evaluate your skills and interests. Understanding what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing will help guide your search toward positions that align with these attributes. Whether you’re a natural leader, a great organizer, a cybersecurity graduate, or have a knack for customer service, recognizing these skills can be instrumental during your job search. Similarly, consider your interests. If you love reading, a job at the library may suit you. If you’re passionate about fitness, consider a job at a local gym or recreation center.

Just remember, just like every family you worked with in the past that ran nanny background checks, wherever you apply these days will likely verify everything on your resume. Don’t try to sneak in small “fibs” or resort to embellishing your duties and don’t skip those questions about your Class C Misdemeanor in hopes that they won’t find it.

Always be completely honest.

Building a Compelling Cover Letter & Resume

From aspiring entrepreneurs to wait staff, your cover letter and resume are your first impressions and therefore, it’s crucial to make them impactful. Start by tailoring your cover letter for each application. Employers want to see how your skills and experiences directly link with the role you’re applying for.

Use power verbs like ‘initiated,’ ‘developed,’ or ‘managed’ to highlight your roles and responsibilities. Use a clean layout and ensure there are no grammatical or spelling errors. If you lack work experience, include relevant coursework or projects. Remember, your goal is to convince the employer that you’re the most suitable candidate for the role.

Preparing for Job Interviews

Once your resume and cover letter have been sent out, it’s time to start preparing for job interviews. Refresh yourself on the company you’re interviewing with and be sure to read up on their history and mission statement. This will help you answer questions like “Why do you want to work here?” with confidence.

Some common questions you can expect are:

  • What motivated you to apply for this job?
  • What qualifications make you the best candidate for the role?
  • Describe a time when you demonstrated leadership.
  • What are your salary expectations?

It can be helpful to prepare answers in advance and practice them with a friend or mentor and if you want an extra edge over the competition, consider utilizing professional mock interviews. This will help build confidence and ensure your answers are concise and to the point.

For the physical interview, you need to be sure to dress for success and arrive on time. Leave the backpack at home and utilize a nice case to carry copies of your resume and any relevant documents the interviewer may need to review.

In closing, make sure to follow up after the interview. Not only is this respectful and considered professional etiquette, but it also allows you to demonstrate your interest in the role and reiterate why you would be an excellent fit for the position. Finding a job while in school can be challenging but by following these smart steps, you could land the perfect job this school year.