Ahh, Summer — the perfect blend of intense heat, long days, and Summer Jobs. You know the kind of job I’m talking about: A part-time position that keeps you busy between semesters but isn’t always directly related to your major.

Whether it’s retail, customer service, or some other day-to-day grind, you’re probably asking yourself how something like this will relate to your cumulative experience and how you can use some of these temporary jobs to support future applications toward positions that are (to put it blunt): Bigger and Better.

Remember that you can use Career Services when looking for Part-Time Work.

Connecting the Dots

Your work history isn’t going to change. The positions you’ve taken throughout your career have each been a part of your professional experience and (ideally) have had some impact on shaping who you currently are.

And let’s be clear: That’s not a negative thing.

Look backward at the positions you’ve taken (both big and small) and think about how they play into the story of you. There are certain positions you can strategically omit (depending on the number of experiences you’ve had) but think outside the box when connecting the dots: Your goal is to speak to the outcomes of these positions less than their connection to your industry.

Talk About the Product, Not the Process

Don’t downplay the value of a part-time job. Many of you are in the same boat: You have some form of experience that’s not entirely connected to your target industry but has been instrumental in teaching you something about the workplace. And, in many cases, you spent some deal of time in a part-time role whether it’s a position you’ve been in for multiple years or a quick Summer gig to pay the bills.

Frame your experience as… well… experience.

Sure, you may have had some less than glamorous tasks but every job contributes something to your overall experience. Frame that job behind the register less as some annoying experience and present it more as part of your developing sales experience. Talk about outcomes as much as possible — show employers why these experiences matter and use them to add to your personal story!

Because let’s be honest: Even if you’re ashamed of the work you may have done, it does not do you any good to talk it down or present it as anything less than it was. Your time at a position produced something whether it as time management skills, savings for school, or a customer services-oriented attitude.

Use Your Resources

Hey, remember where you’re reading this: Career Services is here to help!

Our Career Counselors can walk you through the steps of putting together a knock-out resume that helps tell your story. Just schedule an appointment with our office and you’ll already be taking a massive step in the right direction.

But remember that your resume should work alongside your cover letter. Resumes are a good way to outline your experience but cover letters give you a chance to put that experience into context and to explain how a job that appears unrelated to your career actually played a major part in helping you become the outstanding candidate you are today.

So definitely check out our options for appointments and be sure to consult our Resource Library this Summer as you think more about your part-time experience but always remember…

All of your experiences are connected by one fantastic thread: You and your experience!

Categories: Resources