How to Find an On-Campus Job (Before you Get There)

Being a broke college student isn’t an expectation you have to live up to. After tuition, room & board, and other educational expenses, it’s nice to have an extra chunk of change in your pocket. One of the best ways of guaranteeing that is taking advantage of on-campus jobs. On-campus employers are usually accommodating of student schedules and obligations, so you can easily create a flexible, part-time schedule around or between classes.  On-campus jobs are beneficial for freshmen especially, because they’ll allow you to be involved in campus life and make friends and connections. 

April Ludgate This is a nightmare

Career Services Office

Take a visit to your college’s or university’s Career Services website to see if there are any job postings. If possible, try to schedule an in-person visit during orientation; not only will they be able to let you know who’s hiring but they can help you fine tune your resume and cover letter. If you can’t make it in person, reach out by email or phone. Keep your search broad; possibilities include jobs at the campus bookstore, library, university fitness center, computer labs, student life office, writing center, student union, and cafeteria.

Advising Department

On your campus visits and orientation, chat with an advisor, make department contacts, and inquire about job resources. You might be able to find work in a department belonging to your intended major as a receptionist or clerical assistant.

Be Professional

During the application process, have an organized resume and cover letter free of typos, expressing your interest. Once you score an interview, don’t make the mistake of being too informal. It’s the little things that will set you apart from the competition, such as putting effort into looking professional and showing up several minutes early. Student employers want someone reliable and detail-oriented.


After an interview, always send a thank-you note or email and reinforce your interest.  Many on-campus hiring managers have other priorities on their plate, so it’s important to keep in touch so you don’t fall off their radar.

If your search is unsuccessful, jump into volunteer work instead. Volunteer opportunities are always available. Even though the pay-off isn’t monetary, you’ll make a big impact all while developing your time management, communication, and teamwork skills.  Soon enough, you’ll be ready to give your job search another try!


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