Job-searching tips to help students earn their own way

Whether you’re paying your own way through school or receiving help from your parents, it goes without saying there are a ton of benefits to having a job in college; the ability to pay rent and feed yourself being a biggie. Balancing school and work teaches us valuable skills and responsibilities that we’ll need when it’s time to enter the “real world” everyone keeps telling us about.

A lot of the university students have been delivering pizzas, bagging groceries, stocking shelves or serving coffee since high school. But for some of us who have yet to join the part-time workforce, finding a job can be a daunting task. However, it’s a lot easier if you know where to start. Regardless of what sort of job you’re looking for, there are many different ways to begin your search.

Use the Internet:

Eastern Michigan University provides students with a lot of resources for both their academic and their professional career. EagleCareers is a website that the University Advising and Career Development Center manages to help students find jobs and internships, but it can also help with flexible, part-time work as well.

With one-click search options such as “Jobs near campus (no degree required)” it’s easy to use the website to find nearby part-time jobs that will likely work around your school schedule—and you don’t have to worry about traveling far, either. There are listing for jobs such as Jimmy John’s delivery drivers, part-time babysitters and cashiers.

The job listings on the EagleCareers website include a job description, employee requirements and qualifications and information about how to apply. Users can create a profile and upload their resume, making the application process easy. You can even connect your LinkedIn account to your EagleCareers profile.
You can find the website at, though you will need to contact the UACDC in order to set up an account. It takes less than five minutes to create your account by phone, via the number 734-487-0400.

There are plenty of other online jobs resources as well, though some of them require some really good judgment on your part as job seeker.

Use your friends

Though we’ve learned about networking in the context of the professional world, it can prove fruitful for part-time job searching as well. Chances are most of your friends, family and classmates have jobs of their own and are familiar with the job hunt. Let them know that you’re looking for a job and they’ll almost always tell you about places they know are hiring.

A lot of the time it helps to know someone at the place in which you are interested in applying. Try to use people with a long and positive work history as one of your references. Employers are likely to trust their current employees, so if they put in a good word for you, it can give you an edge.

“I actually got a job this summer through my mom,” EMU junior Dana Afana said. “She knew I’ve been looking for work to help pay for college and she told me a lady that she used to work with was hiring.”

After hearing about the opportunity, Afana applied, interviewed and was hired.

“I think the fact that my mom knows her helped a little,” she said.
Stories like Afana’s are extremely common. If the people in your life know you are in need of a job, they will often keep their eyes and ears open for opportunities for you.

Hit the Pavement

If neither of the above methods has worked for you, you can always
complete your job hunt the old school way: walk in and apply in person. You can look for those tell-tale “Help Wanted” signs hanging in storefront windows or go inside and ask someone if they are accepting applications. The more applications you submit, the better your chances of receiving a call back.

EMU’s campus is located within walking distance to a plethora of businesses that could potentially be looking for new employees. Cross Street is full of restaurants and small shops, including Jimmy John’s and Subway which are both currently hiring. Just a little bit further, there is Depot Town or downtown Ypsilanti.
You could also travel down Washtenaw, which is strewn with shops and fast food chains, to Arborland, where retail stores are often looking for help.

No matter which way you choose to look for a job, persistence is key. Remember to keep submitting and inquiring about applications and preparing for interviews until you’ve officially been hired. Keep your resume up-to-date; you never know when a job opportunity may open up.

Comments powered by Disqus