Tips for College Students to Gain Experience for Real World Employment

This is a guest post by freelance publisher Becky Wilcox.

Sometimes planning the future is not just about the aftermath of college, but what is accomplished while attending school. Every college student covets their time because it is precious. Between homework, classes, a personal life, and work it is hard to find space in a busy schedule. Squeezing a job into a crazy class schedule is like a juggling act; pick the right classes to fit into degree requirements as well as what is required at work. The cost of college and demands for financial support are the primary reason that students drop out. While college is important, paying the rent becomes a priority.

There are ways for students to gain a reasonable income working part time during school or part time to full time in the summer without putting too much strain on finances or study time. The key is to find a job that is flexible around your schedule instead of the other way around. It may sound impossible, but thousands of students manage it every year. These jobs can create opportunity after college.

Employers look for skill sets more than experience when considering applicants. The top skill sets that any college student can obtain while working flexible hours are:

  1. Time-management
  2. Leadership
  3. Communication
  4. Teamwork
  5. Problem-solving

Gaining reasonable income working part time is important, but finding jobs utilize these skills will help with job placement after graduation.

On Campus Jobs

The best place to start looking is right on campus. Depending on the ratio of the campus size to the student body, jobs can be limited. Avoid losing opportunity by looking for positions about one month before the semester starts. Colleges often have job boards on campus and online that list available positions. This is a great opportunity to gain experience in a field related to your study as well. From tutoring in math, English, science, and other subjects, to working as a lifeguard there are a host of opportunities that can find your needs.

Keep in mind that some departments have paid honors research programs as well. Work for someone in your department assisting them with research and get special grants in exchange. If you don’t know where to start, talk to your adviser. They can point you in the right direction.

A job on campus during college can open up real world opportunities for you after graduation. Finding relevant on-campus jobs to your major that utilize the top 5 skill sets will boost your resume toward the top of the pile.

Become A Self-Starter

There are a number of ways to become a self-starter when it comes to business and still get paid. Find your interest and dig into it. Baby-sitters get paid reasonably well and their work schedule is flexible around their availability. This is a great option for someone looking to get into elementary education or child care. It reflects well on resumes after college. It also allows you to gain some first-hand experience with children before landing the job you want. Who knows, it could turn into a business of its own.

Start working for a company that is known for supporting entrepreneurs and self-starters. There are a surprising number of these opportunities available to college students now. It is great because it helps students fill a demand for flexible work and good income while giving students the experience needed to find real world jobs after college. College Works Painting is a great example of this. The company hires thousands of college students each year. Students gain work experience that focuses on knowledge of industry, time management, leadership, and business practices. Students who work for the company usually use their newly acquired skills to help find jobs after graduation, or turn it into a career.

Work Freelance

Becoming a freelance worker is a great way to maintain flexibility in school, gain work experience, and earn a good income. You become your own boss when it comes to schedule.

Choosing the right freelance job can also tap into the necessary skill sets. Like becoming a self-starter, freelancers obtain leadership, time management, and communication skills that employers look for in graduates. The freelance job does not have to be linked to your major of choice to be relevant, though it will increase your resume placement on their desk.

There are a host of opportunities out there such as:

  • Graphic design
  • Editing/writing/proofreading
  • Online trading (eBay, Amazon, etc)
  • Marketing
  • Programming

Find out more about the top 14 jobs for freelance workers and choose a job that’s right for you.

If graduation has come and gone and you are still having trouble getting a job, consider looking back at your experiences and seeing which ones utilize the necessary skill sets. If none do, take a step back and find jobs that will. Very few graduates get the job of their dreams after graduation. You have to gain relevant experience and skills to make yourself marketable.

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