Best Student Jobs to Prepare for the Real World After College

National Experts in Resume Writing & Career Coaching

Best Student Jobs to Prepare for the Real World After College

Working part-time while you’re still in school is great for additional spending money and to help pay for some college expenses, but the right part-time job can also offer you a valuable experience and connections to help you after graduation. When it’s time to enter the professional world after college, your previous work experience and the strong network of professional contacts you establish can help ease the job search process. There are a variety of part-time job options for college students that will also allow for the balance of school, work, and a social life.

Consider the following types of jobs if you’re a college student looking for work. These can also help you even after college!

Food Industry
If your goal is to enter the food industry after college, there are countless opportunities to work at restaurants where you can experience the inside workings of such an establishment. Many restaurant jobs also provide students with flexible hours to allow for the balance of school and a social life. Positions you may look for include Host/Hostess, Waiter/Waitress, Cook, Cashier, or Delivery Driver. Each of these positions will offer you firsthand experience in dealings with customers or the work that happens behind the scenes at a food establishment.

Retail Industry
If you’re goal is to enter retail, fashion, or marketing after college, a job in retail can provide you with experience in sales, marketing, and/or management. In the retail environment, you can gain customer service experience as well as sales and marketing experience as it relates to targeting specific audiences. These types of experiences are valuable to have across many types of professions. Like the food industry, there is generally more flexibility in the schedule to allow for the balance between time you may need to focus on school work and other aspects of your life. Positions you may look for include Sales Associate, Stock Clerk, Merchandising, or Cashier.

Education Industry
If you’re goal is to teach after college, many after-school programs and centers seek tutors. Build your experience and recommendations by working with students under such a position. Becoming a teacher’s assistant can also provide valuable experience that also looks great on the resume.

Medical Industry
While many studying in the medical field will receive medical training, additional part-time work experience like answering the phone at a doctor’s office can help boost your resume as it relates to workplace experience. Many hospitals are also always looking for volunteers.

Finance Industry
If you’re looking to go into finance after college, start out as a teller at a local bank. It can help you build impressive credentials for the resume. Also, look for opportunities to volunteer your time, especially during tax filing season. Many local and government programs have volunteers working to help the elderly or lower-income families with personal income tax filing needs.

Customer Service Jobs
Apart from specific industry jobs, there are also some jobs that fare well for all college students in general. Jobs related to customer service are particularly fitting for college students to gain experience with managing the demand of different types of customers and personalities.

Tech & Virtual Jobs
Yes, you can earn a paycheck doing work in your pajamas in the dorm room. Thanks to today’s technology, many employers, particularly small businesses are contracting work out for projects like web design, writing, and social media marketing. Use these opportunities to not only earn some extra money in your wallet, but to help build your portfolio. If you’re considering a career as a graphic designer, web developer, or writer, these experiences and the projects you work on will be particularly important for showcasing your capabilities and talent when job hunting after graduation.

On-Campus Jobs
Not only do on-campus jobs save commuting time, but your employer will be entirely understanding of the need for flexibility in your schedule with school in the mix. They will generally work with you to make the work schedule possible. In fact, many on-campus jobs may even allow you to study and do your homework while you’re working the shift. On-campus jobs range from work in the library, technology center, college paper or TV/radio station, career center, to the cafeteria. These jobs are fitting for all college students in general, and they can be particularly beneficial if you are working in your specific field of professional interest.

Work Study Programs
Review programs available through your school for work-study. Some programs may be based on financial need where students are working to earn money to cover education expenses, but the program will also serve as an opportunity to gain valuable experience to help in your professional endeavors.

Volunteer Work
Whether you’re volunteering under a relevant establishment for your future profession or doing relevant work, it is valuable experience to add on the resume. Employers understand that most college graduates aren’t coming to them with a lot of professional experience, but when you can show that you do have it you will appear as the better candidate for the job. Many volunteer opportunities also lead to strong professional relationships with people who can later serve as valuable references when job hunting.

As a college student, finding a job relevant to what you want to pursue after college is ideal. Any work experiences you can gain while in college is better than no work experience at all on the resume.

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