Back to School: How to Network for a Campus Job
If you’re in the process of moving back to campus and find yourself unemployed, it can be disheartening. Particularly if your friends wrapped up their employment situation months ago, it can seem as if there are no jobs to be had on campus. However, if you find yourself in such a situation, there’s no need to despair–jobs are out there! Here’s how to network your way to an on-campus job.
Find Jobs That Aren’t Just Work Study: How schools handle work study varies pretty widely, so I can’t give any universal advice on that front. However, there are likely some jobs that are guaranteed for work study students (or for which work study students get preference). If you’re not work study and are just looking for a way to earn some extra change, talk to your older friends or advisor for help figuring out which departments or positions are going to be the most open to you–and learn what non-work study jobs are called (ours are work ship, but your mileage may vary). At Emory, front desk jobs and jobs requiring skill (like computer help desk workers) are often open to everyone, but jobs doing clerical work for an academic department are harder to come bay. Plan accordingly.
Ask Your Friends: If you have friends who are already working on campus, ask them if their bosses are looking for any last-minute workers. I know that at my on-campus job, we’re in the middle of creating the work schedule for the year, and some spots are still empty. This means that we’re making some very last minute hires. Your campus no doubt has some similar issues which can be taken advantage of in order to get a job. The fact that your friend can vouch for you will mean that you’re a more appealing candidate than someone who the employer has no one to vouch for. (Of course, this is contingent on you being a good employee, so don’t just flake out and make your friend look bad.)
Check Campus Message Boards: If your friends turn up no leads, campus message boards are going to be the next place to look. Check both the physical message boards on campus (particularly in administrative buildings) and digital message boards, if your school has them. Classifieds and job postings are often hidden on their own sub-board, so you may have to root around for it. Anything you have to look around for means that their are probably fewer applicants–a good sign.
Do It Now: The key for positioning yourself as a useful new hire is to start feeling around for jobs as soon as you can. You want to be job hunting while everyone else is still unpacking, so you need to start looking before freshman orientation ends (regardless of your class standing–freshmen represent competition). If you wait a week, the jobs you want will likely be filled, and campus staff will have their hands full trying to help the influx of new students.
Do you have any other tips for last-minute employment? Let us know in the comments!