6 Steps to Get a Job in College

As a college student, you may be looking to get a part-time job to help bring in some money on the side. While fast food and waitressing may seem like the obvious options, there are plenty of other jobs on the campus that you can apply for.

Student workers are an important cog in the machine that makes a campus run smoothly, so there are lots of options to choose from. While every job is important, some of them are certainly better than others. While the first few works in college can seem quite chaotic, especially for those who are also applying for on-campus jobs, being smart about the process can help better your chances of landing a job that not only pays well but also lets you enjoy your time working while in school.

So, here are 6 steps to landing the best job possible in college:

Get Started As Soon As Possible

Similar to your intentions of finding a job in college, there are most probably hundreds of others who want the same. The “better” jobs are undoubtedly going to fill up fast, so it’s important to be the first to the party. This is why you should begin inquiring about the process of applying as soon as you decide that you are going to get a job this semester.

You can call up your college student help center or email them to ask about it. Or you can ask your friends or seniors who’ve previously held campus jobs. It’s best to get started as soon as possible, even before you officially arrive on campus, if possible!

Figure Out Your Income Goal

What jobs you apply for will depend on how many hours you wish to work and how much you are hoping to earn. A good way to figure this out is to draw up a budget. Consider the costs that you anticipate and how much would be left over once your college fund is depleted, be it a loan or if you are getting an allowance from your parents every month.

Then, look through the listings and apply for jobs that will allow you to earn the amount you wish to. You might like the idea of working at the campus library, but if it only offers a few hours in the weekend and you know you need to work 10+ hours a week, then that would not be the right choice for you.

Search the Official Listings

On-campus jobs are usually recorded in official places like the student employment of financial aid office. If your college has a comprehensive website, you may even be able to look there. Getting a list of all the jobs on campus in a central location will help you avoid the hassle of having to go around and check with individual departments as to whether they are hiring.

Talk to Your Peers

One of the best ways to find information about anything is to talk to your peers. The people you meet and talk to in college are the first people in your personal and professional “network”, so don’t be afraid to ask around about job opportunities or their personal experiences. If you know someone who works at a nice place, don’t be shy to ask them to let you know when there is an opening or to help put in a good word for you!


On-campus jobs are much easier to apply for than, say, a job at a large department store or corporate office, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put your best foot forward. Working on campus will require you to interact and work with people of all pedigrees – professors, administrative staff, upper management, other students, and off-campus individuals as well. Therefore, your hirer will want to make sure that you are the right person to represent their office or department. Be professional and positive in your conversations, make sure to return calls and emails on time, be punctual during your interview, and dress appropriately.

Ask Questions

An interview is a two-way process, whether it be a “real life” job or an on-campus job. Realistically, the hirer will be the one asking most of the questions, but that doesn’t mean you should stay quiet either. Make sure to ask them about their expectations, so you can decide whether you would be able to handle the demands along with your education.

Another important thing to ask about is the timeline. Some jobs may be offered on the spot, but certain other jobs, especially those with a little more prestige, may take some time to pick a candidate. However, you don’t want to be the shmuck that forgoes other good jobs waiting for that one specific position that ends up not hiring you!