Having an on-campus job can be an excellent way to enhance your resume. Campus employment helps to build career competencies and transferable skills that employers and graduate schools will look for after graduation. Many jobs allow you to explore career options and interests, gain valuable real-world work experience, start building a network, collaborate with others, and become a more well-rounded student and professional. It is important to consider what types of on-campus jobs will fit with your values and interests and what you have to offer each position based on your skills and past experiences.
Securing an on-campus job can be a competitive process. Familiarizing yourself with the application and interview processes will give you an idea of what to expect when you are looking for internships or full-time jobs. Below are some tips and resources to help you find a job on-campus.
- Resumes are required for all level II positions and above. It is important to create a professional looking college- level resume and also tailor it to the on-campus job and office to which you’re applying. Tailoring your resume can impress employers and help your application get noticed. Check out the resume samples and templates provided by the Greene Center.
- Cover letters are short, written letters that serve as your opportunity to connect with an employer to demonstrate enthusiasm, qualifications, and interest. Cover letters allow the reader to get a sense of who you are and what you bring to the table. Cover letters give you the opportunity to discuss what is not in your resume and highlight your transferable skills. Even when not required, it is a good idea to submit a well-written cover letter with your resume.
- Make sure all your materials are polished and error-free! Proofreading and getting feedback on your application materials is very important. The Greene Center offers feedback during drop-in hours (Monday-Friday 1:00pm-4:00pm) and during events posted on Handshake such as resume labs and drive-thrus.
- Getting to know people on-campus and building a network can be very helpful for you to secure a fulfilling on-campus position. If you know which departments interest you, sometimes you can stop by and ask what they are looking for in candidates. Remember to dress and behave professionally!
- Many research positions are not posted online. Reading faculty bios and reaching out directly to express interest in assisting with the research can be crucial to landing a position. The Undergraduate Research Office is a great resource to help you get started.
- Following-up on applications (via email, phone, or in person) can be very helpful in getting your application noticed and shows genuine enthusiasm for the job.
Sample follow-up email:
Dear Employer Name,
I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to reach out to inquire about the status of my application to the Gwen M. Greene Center for Career Education & Connections for the role of Peer Career Advisor. Given my experience as a teaching assistant and internship with Precision Strategies this past summer, I feel that I have the communication skills, innovative problem solving strengths and professionalism to add value to the Greene Center team.
Attached is a copy of my resume and cover letter for your reference. Please let me know if I can provide you with any more information to support my candidacy. I look forward to speaking with you soon!
- An interview gives you the opportunity to convince a potential employer that you fit the organization or office’s culture. To be successful, review the job description, research the employer, and practice what you would like to say about yourself and what skills you can bring to the organization.
- Arrive to the interview at least 10 minutes early. Be sure to research the location so you don’t get lost. You should confirm the time and location in advance. Always dress professionally for an interview. Bring copies of your resume and any other pertinent application materials. Have a list of questions to ask the interviewer about the office or position based on your research.
- Send a polite thank you email to the interviewer within 24 hours of the interview.
- Approach your on-campus job as you would a “career-related” internship or full-time position. Maximize your experience by clarifying expectations, being reliable and on time to work, and being a great team player and collaborator. Developing positive relationships with your co-workers and supervisor are critical. Keep in mind, these people may serve as professional references later on when you want to apply for internships, full-time jobs, or graduate schools.
For more information on how to approach your search, check out the Greene Center toolkit. You can also get in-person assistance by stopping by the Greene Center drop-in hours, Monday- Friday from 1:00pm to 4:00, 4th floor Dewey Hall, or by scheduling a “Getting Started” appointment via Handshake to discuss your on-campus job search. The Greene Center staff can help you reflect on what you would like to gain through an on-campus job and how these experiences help you explore career options, build career competencies, and develop your professional brand and network.