From Zebras to Bacon&Everything In Between: Student Jobs

As we all know, college isn't free and we all take different approaches to manage our financial responsibilities. Some work multiple jobs or at a high wage job during the summer, some enroll in the military or national guard, some work throughout the year, or maybe they do something totally different, or a combination of the above. One way or another, once you become a college student the independence we like to enjoy comes with a lot of responsibilities, and managing your own finance is an important part of it.

I know what some of you are thinking... "I'll just take out student loans. no worries!" Trust me, that's not the answer. Yes, the majority of the population has student loan debt by the time they graduate from college, but just because everyone else has it, doesn't mean it's the wise choice to make. So what should you do? Taking loans out isn't a bad thing. Just have a plan on how you're going to pay it back. You should never take out more than you need. And get a job! Try to pay back your loans a little bit at a time before they start collecting interest. (it's not illegal. i promise). If you manage to pay back your loans while you're in college, that's Super Awesome! and it is possible. My roommate has been doing pretty awesome at it, she's expecting no student loan debt when she graduates.

Anyways, back to the main topic of getting a student job. Any job is great, but student jobs have some notable perks, especially for full time students.

Advantages Of Being A Student Employee
  1. Flexibility: You get to set your own work schedule. (of course within office hours) and if you need time off to catch up on school work, your supervisor will understand and be reasonable with you.
  2. Encouragement: I'm sure you've heard this phrase before... "You're a student first." They expect you to do good in school, or you can't work. Which means you have an internal and external motivator to do good in school.
  3. Care: The University really values their student workers. At the Wood Center, they are really good at making student employees feel appreciated and I've heard great things about how other departments treat their student employees too. Students are almost always happy with their campus job.
  4. Convenience: When you're a full time student, it's pretty hard trying to find time to put in hours and even the commute to work can be a hassle. well with a student job, you never have to worry about the commute since you're already on campus!
  5. Connections: You're going to meet so many people and you will work with a variety of departments around campus. Especially if you are an Awesome person, people are going to want to help you when you need something and it can make certain class projects easier. ;)
  6. Sense of Belonging: One of the important factors to being successful in college is that you feel that you belong here. The more involved you are, you're going to want to do better. A great way to create that sense of belonging is to work on campus. The more you know, you're going to feel comfortable being here.
I'm sure there are tons more perks to being a student employee, but we will leave it at where it is for now. I bet you're thinking, "Well how do I get a job on campus?" Let me take you through the applying process.

How To Get A Student Job
  1. Go to
  2. In the upper left hand side, you'll see Create Job Profile. Click on it.
  3. Fill out your information.
  4. Now, I did mine a few years ago so I'm not sure where you end up, but once you're done creating a profile get back to the HOME page of uakjobs.
  5. Click on Student Jobs.
  6. The uakjobs website posts jobs for all UA campuses (Fairbanks, Anchorage, Southeast, and all rural campuses) so scroll to the bottom and switch the job locations from "Any" to "Fairbanks." and click Search.
  7. You should now be able to see all job posting in Fairbanks. So click on view, under the title and look around and see if you like any of them.
  8. Once you've found the job you like, click on Apply for this Posting.
  9. Sometimes there will be a few questions you have to answer before you can upload your resume, cover letter, and references.
  10. And now it's kind of a waiting game until you hear back from the department.
Tips On How To Make Your Resume & Cover Letter Better
  • Have a bomb-a** resume! Seriously. I don't mean the content has to be super-duper impressive. I am no means an expert in the area, but make sure you meet at least these criteria:
-Make sure you're name is clear. and have your contact information at the top where it's easy to see.
-Proofread!! like 10 times. for reals. If you have a typo on your resume, it can cost you the job. Have other people look at it too!
-Have your work history and skills. They don't have to be lumped together but it's important that you show off what you are capable of.
-Organization! the more organized your resume is and neatly displayed the better!
-Keep it to 1page. and use the whole page!
-Don't use online templates. I've seen resume's where the person used a template and it definitely didn't look as nice as other peoples. If you find a format you really like, it's okay to use the same format, but remember you do want to stand out, in a good way.
  • Have a bomb-a** cover letter! Some people say the cover letter is more important than the resume, because it's the first thing the employer looks at, and if you don't make an impression they won't even look at your resume. When I write a cover letter, I try to think of it as more of an opportunity to highlight/elaborate on the top two, maybe three, reasons why I would be awesome at the job. So what are some of the basic criteria of an awesome cover letter?
-Similar to the resume, make sure your name and contact information is available at the top of the page where it's easy to find.
-Make sure to address which job you're applying for. Don't forget that! especially when the job posting has several jobs listed it's important to address what position you're applying for.
-Tell them why you want the job. What about the job interests you. Show some of your personality.
-Make sure you tell them why you deserve the job. What can you do? and be specific! give examples.
-It may seem silly, but ask for an interview at the end.
-Let's not forget to thank them at the end either.

More Tips
Here's a few more tips I thought you should know and also tips my friend Sarah Belmont, who's a student employee at Human Resources, gave me that I want to share with everyone.
  1. Before you put someone down for a reference, make sure they know. Your reference will appreciate that. A LOT! and that way you can ask them to speak about a certain experience with or quality about you. You have to work the system to your advantage;)
  2. Even if it's past the review date, just submit your application materials anyways. There's no rule that says you can't submit it, nor that the employer can't look at them. Chances are, the employer will review your materials.
  3. "pooled" positions mean more than one department will have access to your application materials. On top of that, they can access to it anytime. Pool positions are often posted for departments that tend to have vacancies, frequently. which brings us to the next point
  4. Don't be discouraged if your application is "In progress" and doesn't seem to be going anywhere. It might just be that the job isn't open just yet.
  5. Only use professional references. Don't use family members or friends unless you really don't have anyone else.
  6. Feel free to contact Sarah anytime. her work number is (907)474-5563. She can help you with any questions you may have about uakjobs and she can look over your resume, along with her co-workers, and help you revise it. (the Writing Center and Career Services are also great resources if you need resume help)
Good luck everyone on finding an awesome job!

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