5. Waiter or waitress: Some students make the mistake of thinking this doesn't look good on a résumé, but it's all about how you spin your experience. "[Don't] say, 'I served burgers and fries,' " says Syracuse University's Klamm. "It's all in thinking about the skills you learned in the position as opposed to the day-to-day actions that you took." Look for opportunities to show how you developed customer-service or team-building skills, he says. Restaurant jobs offer a decent paycheck, and many employers will work around your school schedule. Even better, you can often return to a restaurant after taking time off, and consistency looks good to a hiring manager. Admittedly, other jobs may offer experience that's more relevant to your future career, so don't dive into a server position just because the burger joint is where everyone else is working—but don't write it off, either.
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6. Writer: If you're headed for a career that involves communications—and most do—you may gain advantages by working as a writer. Look for work with the school paper or other campus publications or with an off-campus marketing agency. Many marketing firms and local or online publications can't afford to hire full-time writers, so they depend on freelancers to fill the gaps, says Emily Bennington, who helps college graduates transition into careers through her company, Professional Studio 365. Rather than wait for a job posting, you're better off contacting the firm or publication you want to write for and asking whether they hire freelancers, she says.
7. On-campus career services: It isn't easy for college students to learn the ins and outs of the professional world while keeping up their grades. Working in career services can help you become familiar with the job-hunting process and comfortable talking with employers and recruiters. At some schools, student employees may also hear about internship opportunities and networking events they may have otherwise overlooked.
8. Bank teller: About 1 in 4 tellers work part time, so college students might find flexibility in a bank job. This position will help you gain experience with customer service, and if you're moving toward a career in finance, it may be a good way to get your feet wet. But don't limit yourself to being a teller—even if that's what you're paid for, says Tom Fitch, assistant dean for commerce career services at the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce. Instead, look to gain experience offering loans or opening accounts so you leave the job with more transferable skills.
9. Working for yourself: Regardless of the product or service you're selling, starting a business may appeal to entrepreneurial-minded students. If you can pull this off, you'll be able to set your own schedule, choose your clients, and possibly make contacts in an industry that interests you. Kevin Nall, associate director of Baylor University Career Services, says he's seen students start businesses, from laundry services that deliver clean, folded clothes to your dorm room to a system that allows students and faculty to easily pay all of their bills online. "They are obviously learning things by doing that and working out the kinks in a relatively low-risk environment," Nall says. And that entrepreneurial spirit is sure to help you down the line. "Any business, [whether] it's your own start-up company or an existing business, [is] looking for people who are considered innovative."