TRiO Pathways to Success

Employment

Part-time work is a great way for college students to become familiar with “real-world” experience, and to earn a few extra dollars for your pockets, while complementing your classroom experience.

Here are some tips on how to land your ideal part-time gig!

Knowing What Type of Job to Apply For

Picking a job that is a good match for your lifestyle and schedule is crucial. If you have an aversion to working nights and weekends, do not apply at a work place that is open primarily during those hours (i.e. restaurants, bars, etc.). Apply to jobs where your schedule is compatible.

If looking for a job in retail, it helps to have at least a general appreciation of the product you will be selling. Do not try to get a job as a bartender if you think alcohol is the devil’s orange juice. Managers want someone who can convincingly sell their product. Plus, you will enjoy your job more if it is something you can develop even a small amount of passion for.

The Application Process

  • Even if you are going to pick up an application or to inquire about hiring, dress appropriately. This does not mean you have to wear a suit, but dress respectably.
  • Remember, first impressions are everything. When you pick up an application or turn one in, treat the person who is handing out/accepting your application with respect. They are sometimes the people who will pull your name to the top of the application stack if you make a good impression.
  • Do not fill an application in with anything other than blue or black ink. Also, do not put stickers or drawings on your application; nobody wants to hire a fourth grader.
  • Fill out the application completely. Include all relevant phone numbers, addresses, etc. If the application requires a copy of your resume, be sure to bring it with you.
  • Once you have applied for a job, do not call to check the status of your application unless you are asked to do so. This is especially true for a job that is either food service or retail. The manager will call you if he is interested.

Job Interviews

  • Again, dress appropriately.
  • Be yourself. Do not try to give answers you think the manager wants to hear. Be forthright and honest in your interview.
  • Interviews are not the time to discuss “employee discounts” and benefits. This might make you appear presumptuous and arrogant. These issues can be discussed once you are hired.
  • If you are called for an interview, familiarize yourself with the location.
  • Treat your interviewer with respect. Address him properly, unless he requests that you address him informally.
  • Refrain from using phrases like, “uh,” “dude” and “like whatever.” You may need to stage a few practice interviews to get rid of these off-putting habits.

With today’s tight economy, it is imperative to know how to make a quality impression when looking for part-time work. Do not waste your time or somebody else’s time by not being prepared. Follow these simple guidelines to make yourself more marketable in the job hunt.

Tips adapted from Career Advice @ Suite101.

Last modified: Jul 16, 2012

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