The Best Side Jobs for College Students

What Students Should Look for in a Side Job

As the new school year kicks into gear, many college students are trying to line up part-time jobs or internships to build up their resumes – and their bank accounts – but for anyone stressing out over finding the perfect position, take heart: job experts say the only wrong answer is doing nothing at all. “Any experience students get is helpful on a resume and helps you with networking, time management and teamwork,” says Lindsey Pollak, a Generation Y career expert and author of Getting from College to Career. “You can always make a job into more once you have it. You could work behind the counter at a gas station and talk to every customer who comes in and network that way.” Just by working any job while in school – be it a customer service position or volunteering at a clinic – students can prove to future employers that they are capable of juggling schoolwork with a career and, perhaps as importantly, that they are familiar with the fundamentals of showing up on time and being a team player. This, Pollak says, will give them a leg up on the many students who choose not to work while in school. The factors that matter when accepting a job in college will vary somewhat based on the student’s situation. If the student needs to pay his or her own way through school, the job itself may be less important than the salary, but for those looking to build their resumes, there is one simple rule to follow when job hunting in school. “Think ‘industry first, brand name second and the role you’ll play third’ when you are looking for a job,” says Carolyn Hughes, vice president of people at SimplyHired.com, a job search engine. “It’s the industry you want exposure to that matters most and then the brand name on the resume that will be recognizable to employers in the future, and only then the skills you develop.” MainStreet spoke with several career experts to pick out the side jobs that are the best fit for students of all interests, whether they are looking to build their resumes or their bank accounts, or just to sample possible professions they may be interested in going forward. Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan


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