By Tiffany Longcor
A major concern for all college students is earning money. Many students receive financial aid that does not cover all the costs of living, so they need to find a part-time job to supplement the expenses. However, finding jobs in a college town is not as easy as it sounds.
Students can apply to jobs for months with no luck, much like the case of Jennie Riggs, 26, a senior communication major.
Riggs has been applying for jobs in the Humboldt area since August 2012, and despite her nine years of experience in customer service and public relations she has had no success in finding a job. She estimates that she has applied to well over 30 different positions. She has looked on Facebook, Springboard and Craigslist to find job openings in the area.
“There seems to be jobs here, but they are hard to get because they don’t work with my school schedule,” Riggs said.
Ian Cochran, 19, sophomore journalism major, has also been searching for a job. His job search began this fall semester. Cochran has applied to five places on campus and around Arcata since he began his search. He found the job listings on Springboard and Craigslist.
“You’d think there would be more opportunities to get jobs because they can pay college students dirt,” Cochran said.
Resources at Humboldt State, like the Career Center, can help students find jobs. The Career Center posts jobs, recruits, sets up information sessions and occasionally coordinates interviews.
Students are the number one priority to the Career Center, according to Loren Collins, a career adviser who has been involved in employment services for six years, three of them in the HSU Career Center. The Career Center aids students in anything they need to find and get a job or internship, from finding places to apply, to writing a resume, to doing an interview.
There are a few different places a student can look for a job. The first is Springboard, which is a site that is connected to the Career Center website. Springboard posts job and internship listings, and also gives dates for workshops, job fairs, and other activities.
The Job Skills List in the Career Center is good for students trying to gain some work experience. It contains 10 different lists where students can put their information so they can get skills in anything from gardening, to moving, to babysitting. Community members can then contact the office to request a list of students, and then choose the one they think would be the best fit.
Collins suggests that students look at jobs in a variety of places, and not just the obvious resources like Springboard, Craigslist, and newspaper ads.
“According to the Harvard School of Business Review, basically 65 percent of jobs never actually make it to ads,” Collins said. He suggested that students go in and talk with employers when they are looking for a job, whether or not they have posted an ad for an opening. He explained that creating relationships with the employers is key for getting job interviews. If an employer knows who you are, you are much more likely to be trusted and be a high priority when the job becomes available.
Collins also explained that simply dropping off a resume does not equate to applying for a job. Applying for a job means that you have talked to an employer and handed them your resume personally, otherwise it is very likely that it will get forgotten and thrown in the trash.
Resumes are an intrinsic part of applying for a job. Collins said there are a few things that will automatically turn an employer off to a resume. The major mistakes to avoid in a resume are poor formatting, having wrinkled or messy pages, following a template, and not selling your experience to the best of your abilities.
“Resumes need to be well formatted and well edited,” Collins said. “They need to be tailored to a particular employer to catch their eye.”
Most students have not tailor made a resume for each job. Collins and employers know that it takes extra time to fit a resume to a particular job, but that could make the difference between getting an interview or having your resume thrown in the trash.
For more information on jobs, internships, resumes, and other career related materials visit the Career Center in Gist Hall 114 or online at humboldt.edu/career.