April is the time of the school year when job interviews take place most frequently. Applications are spilled all over the Internet and on bulletin boards on college campuses, as eager businesses yearn for young talent.
It’s understandable if you chose not to take a part-time job this year if you are a freshman; some students find the transition easier if they don’t need to work. But as the settling-in process comes to an end, it may be time to think about applying for an on or off-campus job for this coming fall.
Finding out what you would like to do as a job is, without saying, a hugely critical step in the application process. An internship with the town or city hall, writing position with the school newspaper or a cashier gig at a nearby coffee shop are just a few of many possibilities that are at your fingertips.
Once you get your application, whether online or a hard copy, it is time to make yourself appear the best you possibly can on paper. Use high school and college activities you participated in if the application calls for them and don’t forget to mention any previous job positions -- and I mean any, as employers love to see people who dedicate themselves to work whenever possible.
However, realize that employers may not want to read a whole novel of what you did in high school or in your first year on campus. They will want an impressive but concise rundown of what you have done. Facebook is a more appropriate place for listing all of your doings.
Depending on how competitive the job opening is, the interview is really the only part of the application process that you are in almost complete control of. The way you dress will be exponentially important; collared shirt and tie for men, skirt and a blouse for the women. Employers only look at resumes for an average of six seconds before coming to a decision, whereas less time may be allowed to impress to begin the interview. A firm handshake, eye contact and straightforward answers will at least place you in the upper tier of all applicants.
Be ready for questions such as, “What makes you a good ‘team player?’ or, “How do you plan on balancing your work here and your academics?” These questions and several others will be thrown in your general direction to see if you can be a reliable worker and dedicate yourself to multiple obligations. I have heard several employees around campus say that, in their respective interviews, their bosses began to yell at them to see if they could handle it. Those who began to crack obviously did not get the job.
Some pre-requisites for campus jobs may be a certain GPA, what major you are, year in school and what courses you have taken. For example, if you are a prospective student newspaper staff member, you should have taken or be currently enrolled in multiple journalism classes and preferably be in the College of Communication. When looking at campus openings, look carefully to see if you meet all necessary criteria.
Although we students do not have the same work experience as maybe our parents, we all need to start somewhere. Applying for jobs should not be something to scoff at every spring. Take the time to investigate job openings. Even consider jobs that may award you with college credit instead of monetary pay. And also know that is is definitely not the end of the world if the employer decides not to accept you into the business. It allows you the chance to explore more options.
Take the dive this month...you never know where you might land.