Holding a job during college can lead to a number of benefits for students, from gaining experience in their fields to earning steady pay for those late-night Raising Cane’s runs.
Chris Timm, the associate director at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Career Services, gave some suggestions on how UNL students can find a job.
According to Timm, it’s important to be able to balance school and work. Timm said many incoming students are surprised when they find out just how heavy the college workload can be. Timm suggested students avoid missing classes, lectures or events simply for the sake of a job. Students should make sure to discuss their class schedules with employers and figure out what work schedules are best for their academic lives.
During the summer, it is important for students interested in work to get ready for any job openings. They should make sure to have proper resumes, cover letters and reference sheets for potential employers. If an employer is currently searching for help, a student should apply right away, as job openings fill up fast.
According to Timm, most high school resumes list off various clubs, past jobs and academic achievements. When transitioning to college, students should trim down the various clubs and focus more on skills and academics.
The cover letter should sell the student to the employer. It should list off his or her positive traits and how the future employer could use these traits to his or her advantage. Employers are aware newer students will most likely have less experience, but students should do their best to inform them of any positive traits that could help down the line.
When listing references, students should include contact information for people who will be able to remark on their character and work ethic. Timm recommends reaching out to former teachers and employers. Students should make sure those who are on the reference sheet have approved the use of their names beforehand. After sending out resumes, students should contact their references to let them know to expect a call from potential employers.
For students looking for work, it is recommended they look at Husker Hire Link or at employers near their college.
Universities typically post information on available jobs that relate to each specialty.
Students should try to find a job that relates to their field of study. While any work experience is beneficial, Timm said jobs that relate to a student’s future career look better on a resume.
“Students across campus, across the community, can do a whole lot of things,” Timm said. “Physical jobs ... administrative ... I just hope what people do is ask, ‘Am I gaining skills for my long range career?’ For example, if a student wants to work with children but has spent all their time working at a restaurant, that’s really not going to help them as much.”