Using College Jobs as Leverage for PostGraduate Careers

Students at colleges throughout the United Kingdom and Europe hold positions to pay their bills while they study for a better job after college. Positions in retail, phone sales and front office work help students learn the ins and outs of the working world while they earn a pay check. You may not think fondly of college jobs as you walk across the stage at graduation but these jobs offer future employers an insight into your potential as an employee.

One of the reasons why employers look at college jobs when hiring an entry level professional is the juggling act that a student needs to perform when working. Students have coursework, extracurricular activities and a job to manage in a finite period of time. Employers speak with former supervisors to determine how an applicant handled this pressure during their employment period. Your commitment to working a college job while dealing with term papers and other stresses can reap rewards for you in the future.

Your work at a menial college job can help you in your search for post-graduate jobs if the job was part of an industry that you are interested in. Students that work for an engineering firm as an administrative assistant while they study green engineering can speak about the daily life of engineers to potential employers. Human resources professionals look for keywords in a cover letter and resume which makes familiar words helpful to getting your application in front of the right set of eyes. The benefits of a college job in your search for a professional position can only be realised if you know how to highlight these jobs in your CV. A simple list of job responsibilities without consideration of keywords and specific tasks needed by an employer can leave your resume on a stack of rejected applications.

A good way to focus on the skills you have learned in college jobs is to compare your CV to the job responsibilities laid out in a job listing. You can place a printout of both documents on your desk and ask yourself if your listing of college jobs answers the demands made by an employer. Your use of a job listing as a set of questions that must be answered by your CV can help you maximise the hard work you put in as a university student. Once you have completed your revised job listings, ask a friend to review the CV to determine if your skills and past responsibilities are presented in a clear and concise manner.

Mike Sandiford is the Sales Manager at JustClick, who are a leading source of Graduate Jobs and Graduate Careers, also offering a Graduate Lifestyles portal with news and reviews on current affairs.

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