The easiest commute you’ll ever have is just a few steps away.
A quarter of Chapman’s 8,542 students have on-campus jobs, according to the Student Employment Office. These jobs may pay above minimum wage, are conveniently located within minutes of classes, and provide opportunities to form connections with other students and professors. To land one of these competitive and coveted positions, read on.
1. Use Your Connections
If you know anyone who is a current or former employee or student at Chapman, reach out to them. “I contacted a family friend who works at Chapman. He told me they were looking for a new student worker and within the first week of school I had an interview and was hired on spot,” said Sophia Fisher, a student manager of men’s basketball at Chapman. Other common jobs on campus include a student grader and teacher’s assistant. Reach out to your professors to see if they have any job positions available. You won’t have to compete with other applicants and you build a stronger relationship with your professor.
2. Always Look for New Postings
New on-campus job postings go up frequently, so check for new postings on the daily. The earlier you apply, the better chance you have of securing an interview. Employers get swarmed with applications within the first few days of a job posting. If you are one of the first to apply, you’re ahead of the competition. To get an advantage over other fall semester applicants, look for jobs during your summer vacation, which is when many employers are looking to hire so as to have hires in place for fall.
3. Apply to Jobs Within Your Specific College
“Sharing a floor with faculty members at your college gives you professional insight,” and offers the opportunity to network with administrators and professors,” said Preston Tholan, a front office assistant at the Dodge College admissions office. Colleges look for students with extensive knowledge of their college, programs and operations. If you are already a student within the school or college, you have a leg up on the other candidates. “Whether it be directly or indirectly, I definitely think being a Dodge student helped me get my job at Dodge because I already had previous knowledge of the school,” said Tholan.
4. Design Your Own Resume
Your first instinct is to pull up Google Docs and click on the “resume” template. Resist this urge. On-campus employers are accustomed to seeing the same resume template time and time again. Be unique with a custom-designed resume (we recommend Canva!). Also, stop by the Chapman Career and Professional Development Center for free advice on your resume. Its walk-in hours are 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.
5. A Cover Letter is NOT Optional
A cover letter is listed as optional on several on-campus job postings. With many applicants per job, set yourself apart by turning in a customized cover letter that contains specific evidence as to why you are the perfect candidate for the position. Mention any skills you have (a second language? a knowledge of Excel?) that will be of use in the position.
6. Apply to as Many Jobs as Possible
When we say a lot, we mean a lot. Some jobs get so many applications that you won’t hear back for months, or you won’t hear back at all. “I applied to upwards of 15 jobs the summer before my fall semester and only heard back from two,” said Cynthia Wang, a student worker at the Office of the Provost. When searching through Chapman job postings, flag any that interest you. Increasing the number of jobs you apply to betters your chance of securing at least one interview. But be sure to include a custom cover letter with each one.
7. Write a Thank You Note After the Interview
Whew! You’ve finished the interview. If you’ve done research on interviewing, you know to send a follow-up email. BUT, you can do better! Write a handwritten note thanking your interviewers and reference specifics in your conversation. Also, mention any of the strengths, skills and qualifications you may have forgotten to mention in your cover letter or during your interview. Drop if off within a day. This shows employers that you don’t take their interest in you for granted, and care about their time and the position.
8. Skip the Beach, Get on Your Grind
Summer break! While many students are on the beach the rest of Chapman remains in operation. If you are available to work in the summer, you have an edge in landing an on-campus jobs. Summer months are slow for Chapman – which means you may even have time to study between answering phone calls.
9. Stick Around for Interterm
Chapman also operates through interterm in December and January. Cut a few weeks off your winter break and work at Chapman.“My boss would frequently contact me asking for help in the office,” said Fisher. If many students don’t stay for interterm, chances are you will get scheduled for more hours. Get another course out of the way while raking in the cash.
10. Be Patient
You’ve applied to multiple jobs, but haven’t heard back from any. It can be frustrating. Keep persisting and applying. “A job I’ve been interested in closed last semester, but I found out from a friend that it recently opened up again since her co-workers will be studying abroad or leaving next semester,” said Kate Cheong, a student now trying to land it. Seniors graduate every year, leaving their on-campus jobs behind.