Competition to get into any college, let alone the school of your dreams, is fierce. For those hoping to push their application to the top of the ever-growing heap, prior work experience can be a big plus. The right job history can up any candidate’s profile and turn hopeful applicants into freshmen. Wondering what type of job will make you stand out? Here are five to consider.
Medical Office or Hospital Worker
For those hoping to pursue a medical career, landing a part-time job in a hospital or medical facility can provide hands-on experience in working with patients and dealing with family members, as well as facilitating a comfort level with medical jargon, protocols and procedures. Look for non-union jobs, such as office receptionist, hospital gift shop clerk or cafeteria cashier. Many hospitals offer stipend-based employment to students in their research laboratories, or as patient transporters. Dental, pediatric and podiatry offices also provide excellent opportunities for employment, as do chiropractic clinics. These types of jobs indicate a linear path as well as seriousness and commitment to your future profession, a huge plus in the eyes of college admissions departments.
Fast Food Jobs & Restaurants
Don’t pass by the help wanted sign at your local fast food joint or Italian restaurant. College administrators are impressed with applicants who put snobbery aside and are willing to work hard and do what it takes in the trenches. Not only will these types of jobs hone up your customer-service skills, they also provide an opportunity to acquire financial and managerial experience. Rising through the ranks at McDonald’s or Burger King may not be a boon for your waistline, but can do wonders for your college application, even if you have your heart set on the Ivy League.
From filing to data entry, an office job can expand your skill set, support your time management abilities and teach you the ropes about specific industries. If you already have a major in mind, choose a company you would ultimately hope to work for and be prepared to say why on your application. Fashion companies, advertising agencies, financial institutions and small businesses of all kinds look for part-time and summer workers who are eager to learn as well as work hard.
Nanny or Mother’s Helper
Not just the purview of 14 year olds, babysitting or any child-related job can boost the college application of future teachers. Reach out to local nursery schools and day care centers as well as your neighbors to see if work is available. If you are CPR-certified, or can reference job-related skills that made you especially useful in your job, such as being bi-lingual or knowing American Sign Language, that may also elevate your resume significantly.
Being able to tout your expertise in a specific subject or variety of subjects and make a job out of it provides an opportunity for hopeful college applicants to elaborate upon their willingness to work hard, go the extra mile and share what they have learned with others. Sought-after tutors display patience as well as prowess so if you list tutoring as part of your work-experience profile, be sure to include at least one letter of recommendation from a happy parent or fellow student who couldn’t have done it without you.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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