How Students Can Apply for and Land a Great Part-Time Job

By Brittany Hawes on September 28, 2017

Dedicating a set amount of time to do something other than studying and homework is certainly a huge decision for any college student to make. But many students want extra cash, experience, or to build their resume during college.

However, a full-time job can mean 40+ hours a week of hard work. It’s possible to do for some students; but, for a student who has a slammed school schedule and a barrage of extracurricular activities to do, a full-time job might be difficult to add in. This is why some college students choose to apply for part-time positions instead.

Working in a part-time position can be an amazing experience. Your new job will grant you access to some real-world experience outside of your school’s setting – plus you’ll get some extra cash to line your pockets. (No more “Send money!” plea calls to the parents!)

There are a couple of basics that part-time hopefuls need to know so they can put their best self forward during the application process.

The first step in beginning your job hunt is to have a resume prepped and ready to go. In order to get started on the process of making your resume a wonderful one, you can go on your school’s website or call and see if your school offers resume workshops and critiques at their career center.

If so, bring in a printed copy of your resume and ask for help in making it as great as it can be. Make sure your resume contains all of the required elements, such as your current address, a working phone number that you’d like potential employers to call you on, a list of any previous employers, education, and any skills and accomplishments that will set you apart from the other applicants.

For more tips on how to build a standout resume, offers a helpful list on their website.

After you’ve prepared your resume, it’s time to start doing the fun part: searching for the job! You might find that you prefer the old-school way of finding a job: going into the business and inquiring if they’re in need of help. This is a good way to go about finding a job. The employers will have a chance to pair a name with your face and it gives you time to leave a great first impression.

Don’t be downhearted if the employees there simply hand you their business card and tell you to apply online. It’s often easier for employers to sort through electronic applications versus paper applications. There are those few rare stores, however, that will hand you a paper application and allow you to start filling it out right then and there. So, if you think it’s a waste of time going into the business, don’t be too quick to discard the idea.

There’s also the online path of finding a job. Here is a list of free online job boards where you can search through dozens of jobs in your area:

All of these websites offer an easy way to search through job listings that companies post. You can narrow your search by selecting that you only wish to browse through part-time postings. You can also type in a search term after that to specify what kind of job you’re looking for (ex: waiter, hotel, tech, etc.). Once you’ve found a job that you’re interested in, click on the “apply” link and then follow the instructions that the company posted on how to fill out their applications. Most times, you’ll be linked directly to the company’s website where you can apply online. Don’t forget to attach that shiny resume to your application!

The last step is the interview process. If you receive a phone call or an email back from an employer that says they’re interested in hiring you, the next step will be to work out a day where you can meet with them for an interview. Choose a day where you’re not going to have to rush either before or after the scheduled time of meeting. Arrive 15 minutes early, dressed in your best business attire and with printed resume in hand. To avoid wrinkling, a manila file can be used to carry your resume in.

During your interview, make sure to relax and be yourself. Smile, be honest, and maintain eye contact. You’ll be asked questions that allow the employer to find out more about you. Some examples of these questions are:

• What do you consider to be your greatest strength?

• What do you consider your biggest weaknesses?

• What’s your dream job?

• What would you do if you had an angry customer?

• Do you consider yourself a leader?

• Why do you want this job?

• Why should we hire you?

Answer questions like these to the best of your ability. Remember: remain humble and honest but avoid putting yourself in a bad light. Avoid saying your “greatest weakness” is anything that will make employers second-guess if you’re the right choice for the position you are wanting. It usually takes a few days to hear back from the business after the interview. Don’t be nervous; wait patiently and you’ll get that phone call you’re waiting for. If a week or more has passed, it’s alright to call and check on where they’re at in the hiring process. Most employers will appreciate your excitement about the position.

After you land a job, pat yourself on the back! You did a lot of work to secure your new job! Happy job-hunting, everyone!

Hi there! My name's Britt and I'm a senior majoring in English major at Florida State University. I have these crazy, big dreams of traveling the entire world and writing novels in my spare time. I love music, food, and the Japanese culture. I plan on teaching English in Japan upon graduation from Florida State. My first YA novel, Twisted, was published by Deep Sea Publishing Company in 2014. It won a Readers' Favorite Book Award that same year. Alongside schoolwork, I'm working hard on the second book in the Twisted series as well as a number of other novels.

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