Finding a Back-to-School Job

Teenage waitress preparing coffee in cafe kitchen
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When school is in session, it's a good time for both high school and college students to start looking for work. Many students only work during the summer, meaning that a lot of jobs may open up once the new semester starts. Job seekers seeking employment during the school year may find themselves with a wide variety of options for part-time work.

Do you live in a college town? If so, note that employers will soon be ramping up their hiring as students return to campus for the new semester. But even if you live outside of college areas, you have plenty of options for employment. Many summer employees are headed back to school and will have to leave their seasonal jobs, which may mean more job openings for you.

Tips for Finding a Back to School Job

Snagajob, the leading hourly job site for job seekers and employers, has spent a lot of time speaking with employers and hearing from Snagajob Hired members about what’s working and what’s not. They've picked up some insider tips to help you land a job, no matter where you live or what you’d like to do for work.

Kim Costa, Snagajob Job Search Coach, has some advice for workers who are searching for that perfect back-to-school job.

1) Be Proactive

Chances are that you know of a business that is either losing employees to school or that will be ramping up hiring for the fall. Online job search engines can help you locate opportunities in your geographic area. If you happen to be in a store or restaurant that you wouldn't mind working for, it doesn't hurt to ask if they need any extra help.

Start networking by telling your friends and family that you are looking for a job and ask that they keep an eye out for you. It helps if you can be specific about what you're looking for, and don't stop looking until you get a job.

As a job seeker, don't make the mistake of applying to a few jobs and then waiting to hear back before starting to search again. Keep going until you get job offers, and then choose the one that best fits your criteria.

Don’t put your job search on hold while assuming that one of the applications you’ve already submitted will result in you getting the job. Keep applying to other positions so that you won't miss out on an opportunity while waiting to hear back on something else that may or may not happen.

2) Check with Your School

If you are in high school or college, think about using your school as a resource to see who is hiring. There may be jobs on campus that are a great fit for your busy fall schedule.

Your guidance counselor may also have a connection to a local business that hires students. Going to school and having a job can be a balancing act, and jobs that have a connection to your school are experienced in helping you maintain that balance.

3) Think Outside the Norm

Restaurant and retail jobs will most likely have fall openings that are great for students with flexible hours. But, there are other industries out there that will be ramping up their hiring for the school year. Check out daycares and back-to-school programs. Think about services and organizations that are likely to be busier now that school is back in session, and target those companies in your search.

Many of these places will be seeing their summer employees leave or will need some extra help in anticipation of new students. Also, check out hotels and tourist attractions in college towns. They may have seen business slow down in the summer when school was out of session, but they may need extra help to handle not only the students going back to school but also all of the families coming to visit.

4) Persistence Pays

With new jobs opening up for the school year, there will be competition for those positions. Your best bet is to do what you can to stand out to the employers. After you apply, go in person to follow up on the position.

Ask for the hiring manager and if they aren’t there, come back when they are. When you get a chance to talk to the decision-makers, make sure you stand out for the right reasons. Go in dressed professionally with copies of your resume and visit during non-peak times. For restaurants and retail, try going between 2 and 4 p.m. on weekdays. Who knows, you may get an interview on the spot!