Your babysitting experience could make you stand out to employers in certain areas such as education, childcare or even medical fields.
Babysitting, ringing groceries, waiting tables and selling ice cream; as a college student, most of my jobs had nothing to do with my English degree-in-progress or career goals. Many college students work part-time jobs for the sole reason of earning cash for spending money, paying bills, funding tuition or saving for post-graduate life. Sadly, a lot of jobs for which a nametag or hairnet is standard attire never make it onto a resume because they are seemingly unrelated to students’ coursework or employment ambitions.
However, with a little work and some creativity, part-time gigs can bolster a fledgling resume. Below is a list of jobs that are commonly held by college students, and suggestions for how to fit them into your resume for use when applying to real-world jobs.
Retail: Retail is a common choice for college students. Flexible scheduling and merchandise discounts are just some of the perks, but the experience can lend some mileage to a graduate’s resume, too. Customer service, scheduling, training new employees, cash management, record keeping and marketing tasks are all great skills that you can show off to prospective employers.
Childcare: While chasing toddlers and changing diapers don’t seem to be special skills, babysitting and nannying positions are the ultimate training grounds for students who wish to work in the education, childcare or even medical fields after graduation. Time management, adaptability, emergency preparedness, allergy awareness and knowledge of behavioral issues are common skills that will really stand out to future employers.
Restaurant: Restaurant workers must be fast-paced, think-on-their-feet multitaskers with excellent memories and great people skills. Servers, cooks and hosts have lots to brag about on their resumes, even when they’re looking to trade the dining room setting for something more corporate.
RA: RAs are unique among on-campus workers. Charged with upholding a school’s reputation and regulations 24/7, RAs are carefully selected and screened, and often the compensation is stellar (room and board plus a stipend). The competition for these positions is fierce. As such, being an RA is very prestigious. It is an especially good idea to highlight leadership experience, program coordination, working under pressure, record-keeping responsibilities and any special RA training received.
Entry administrative: Front-desk jobs and answering phones may not be glamorous or garner much respect, but they do force workers to develop skills that will benefit a future business leader; courtesy, attention to detail and light office management are just a few of the skills that administrative workers develop.
Work study: Many work study positions are great first jobs for students, offering initial exposure to general office procedures and equipment. Filing and faxing, though basic duties, are the building blocks to a successful office presence and are skills that future employers will be grateful they won’t need to train you on. Such familiarity is definitely worth mentioning.
It’s important to remember that you should tailor your resume and cover letter for each job you apply to. In some cases, that will mean completely eliminating a past position that won’t make sense to prospective employers. A summer job as a nanny will make more sense in a resume for a prospective preschool teacher than for someone looking for a job in finance. Before considering whether or not to keep a position listed, determine whether or not it has any relevance or relationship to the prospective employer and how the strengths you cultivated during that experience could be highlighted to fortify your candidacy.
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