One of my favorite college professors told me the average person works in seven different industries throughout his or her lifetime. That’s not surprising when students take on odd jobs throughout the summer for spending money. I’ve only worked in two industries outside of writing, but one thing I found is that the skills in both industries were a huge resume booster when I was applying for internships and other jobs. There’s hardly a job you can have where you won’t learn a skill useful for the next job. I’ve compiled a list of five types of college jobs that can help boost your resume regardless of what industry you’re pursuing.
Unless you’re lucky, it’s likely that your first job was at a restaurant where you sweated over the food you were making, kept your anger at bay when dealing with rude customers, and toiled hard to clean up at night. You probably told yourself that you never wanted to work in that industry again. I don’t blame you, but one thing working in a restaurant did offer you was customer service and team playing. While working at a restaurant exposed you to the most insolent customers around, you learned how to deal with people in every capacity. There’s no need to rehash to a future employer the time that one customer almost threatened to throw food in your face, but you can talk about how you used your customer service skills by placating an angry patron.
This job is critical to anyone looking to work in business. Employers are always looking for someone who can tactfully request funds and generate revenue — even from strangers. Working at your university’s call center expands your personal growth as well as your resume. You learn how to engage an audience, think and respond quickly, and successful close a financial deal. Most importantly, you learn how to speak to people with tact and clarity. This type of job is helpful because you learn the importance of word choice and transparency — two skills employers notice in interviews.
Working as tutor enables you to demonstrate your skills in whatever field you tutor. You also get to learn from those you tutor. I tutored writing for three years while I was in college, and it helped me to realize one thing: I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. Tutoring on all levels (from transfer students who couldn’t speak English very well to grad students who knew more about the subject than I did) helped me learn how to tutor writing from the ground up. One thing I always mention in cover letters and interviews is that it helped me learn the mechanics of writing and how to explain it various ways. It also helped hone my writing. Regardless of the subject, a tutoring position helps you become more knowledgeable about the subject. Because of the teacher-student relationship, this type of college job is perfect for future educators.
Student Administrative Assistant
It doesn’t take a genius to answer phones (although admin assistants do much more than this), but not everyone is blessed with great administrative skills. People who work in the administrative field are highly organized and efficient. They always deliver on time. Being an admin assistant for a department at your school gives you the people skills you need as well as the administrative skills. You learn tact, organization skills and how to be deadline oriented. Even if you don’t put this job on your resume, mention it in your cover letter or during your interview. No employer can pass those skills up.
Public speaking skills are key in any industry. Employers want to know that you can relate to others in an effective and respectful manner. As a student senator, you learn the ins and outs of student politics as well as how best to serve and represent the college community. A student senatorial position is great for your resume because it shows you have taken on some sort of leadership position, which is such a big deal to current employers that colleges offer certificate programs in leadership. Boost this position every chance you can when talking to potential employers because it’ll likely separate you from all the other newly degreed job candidates.