Student Life

Getting a Part-time Job as a Student

Bailey Vannatta

August 28, 2014

Getting a Part-time Job as a Student
Alongside extracurricular activities, a part-time job can help you appear as a well-rounded student; one that any college would absolutely love to have on their campus.
There are many different reasons as to if why you would want or need a part-time job as a high school student. Maybe your family needs the financial help, you’re saving for college or you just want some extra cash handy. Whatever the reason, getting a part-time job can be very rewarding.
A part-time job shows colleges you understand how the real world works. It also shows that you are responsible and can balance school, work and a job. Alongside extracurricular activities, a part-time job can help you appear as a well-rounded student; one that any college would absolutely love to have on their campus. Speaking from experience, I’m currently a senior in high school who’s held a part-time position as a sales associate at a local retail store for a year.
It may seem as an impossible task to balance school, work, extracurricular activities and friendships, but it’s really easier than you’d think. But how exactly do you go about getting a part-time job in the first place?

1. Look For Job Listings

You can look for local job listings online, in your local newspaper’s classified section, or even inquiring at local stores in person.
If looking at postings, look for key words such as “part-time” and make sure the company is used to having teenagers as employees. Many employers are a bit skeptical when hiring teenagers.
They feel as if they cannot depend on a teenager to be responsible and handle a job as an adult would. Usually the best types of jobs to apply for would be either food service industry (restaurant/fast food jobs), or retail. These businesses are most likely hiring for part-time positions that pay minimum wage. It’s the bottom of the totem pole, but you have to start somewhere. Personally, I went with retail just because I thought I would enjoy it more, but many times students are limited when applying for a job. If you get an offer for an interview, do not give up the opportunity just because you think you may not enjoy working there – you may be surprised..

2. The Interview Process

Once you have applied to a business, they will review your application. If they like what they see, they will call you in for an interview. This can (and most likely will) be very intimidating, but there is nothing to worry about. Don’t panic! You’ll do fine. Make sure you dress appropriately! I cannot stress this enough. Employers want to know that no matter what the job is, even if it is taking out the trash, that you are serious about the job. This means that you should dress professionally for an interview, regardless of the job title you’re interviewing for. For ladies, slacks or a skirt and a nice blouse is appropriate. For men, slacks and a nice polo or a button down. Your attire will prove to the employer that, even though you are a student, you know and have what it takes to be a successful, hardworking employee at their company. Prepare your answers to questions before the interview. Employers don’t like it when you sound too rehearsed, so make sure that when they ask questions that you don’t respond too quickly, but it also isn’t good if you sit there and saying things like, “umm” or stare off into space. There are many basic questions that employers frequently ask in interviews such as, “Why do you want to work for us?” or, “What are your goals for the future?” Employers don’t want you to respond with a recited, impressive answer but rather, more realistic honest ones (as long as your form of honesty is appropriate – be careful of being too honest). Just be yourself and the interview will be a breeze.

3. The Follow Up

Being that you are a student, you want to show employers that you are the best candidate for the job even though you are young. After your interview, make sure you always follow up. Following up would be thanking them for the opportunity by sending a handwritten thank you note. Refer to what you discussed in the interview and thank them for taking time out of their busy schedule to speak with you. This shows employers that not only are you a hardworking, diligent student, but that you are very serious about the position. If you had any personal discussions, found you had anything in common or joked about anything – now is the time to mention it briefly in your note. This will help the interviewer relate to you on a personal level and will likely give you a leg up above the competition because he or she is more likely to remember you. Not only can a part-time job help you look better to colleges, it can also help you develop lifelong responsibility and leadership skills. Remember, part-time jobs are easier to obtain than you think, you just have to put some effort into it!

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