College students often make the mistake of thinking that the only jobs they can do while taking classes are in retail, where they can schedule flexibly around their coursework and classes. The result is often a bunch of jobs that are irrelevant to your career and do little to fill out your resume.

Here are some jobs that will let you pad your resume while taking classes.

Campus ambassador

A wildly popular job option for college students, working as a campus ambassador you can set your own schedule and work on your own terms. From giant brands like Red Bull and Pepsi to startups and tech companies like Prezi and Yelp, the opportunity to become an ambassador that connects these companies to your fellow students is highly valuable. Companies that take on campus ambassadors give them goals to reach each month and metrics to report on, but other than that, there is no strict structure or hourly requirement. As long as you hit or exceed your goals, it doesn’t matter if you work only on the weekends or one or two hours each day. Note that many of these opportunities pay based on how well you do each month. You’ll never not get paid for your work, but you’ll often make an amount equivalent to the metrics you hit.

Social media manager

A lot of small brands, local shops, and growing websites want to utilize social media as a growth mechanic but simply don’t have the time to put in the effort themselves. They’re often run by busy owners who want to focus on other parts of the business, which is why they hire part time social media managers to expand their online presence. The nice thing about these roles is that you don’t have to be switched on for hours on end. Instead, you can work on brand promotion on your free time, whether it’s between classes, on a commute, or even during a boring lecture. Reach out to local businesses or websites and offer your help as a social media manager. It’s particularly helpful if you target ones that are relevant to your interests (love soccer? Find a local soccer shop or a cool soccer blog!). Some will offer to pay you, others won’t. If money is an issue, keep looking until you find one that will. If not, any work you do and the results you achieve will look great on your resume.


Research assistant

College professors need a ton of help but often neglect to ask for it. They have research budgets that they don’t use. They have projects, papers, and even books that they need help with but they still end up doing too much of the work on their own. This is why you should learn about your professors, find out what they’re working on, and ask them about it in their office hours. Offer your help in doing the research work necessary for their next book project. Ask about an opportunity to learn from them while contributing to their projects. If they do need your help, you’ll often get to work on crucial parts of their next publication, and you can even get paid to do it. And the best part is, even if a professor you reach out to doesn’t need help, they have colleagues that do, and you can be assured that they’ll connect you with them. After all, they want you to succeed, and they want their colleagues to succeed as well.

Freelance anything

If you really want to work on your own time, a great thing to try is freelancing. You might have skills that someone else in the world needs, whether it’s writing, drawing, photography, design, coding, business planning - the list goes on and on. And it’s easier than ever to be discovered as a freelancer with communities like Reddit and platforms like Elance and Working as a freelancer will allow you to take on only the amount of work you can handle at any given time. It will allow you to own the work process from beginning to end and create products for businesses and individuals that need them. It will enable you to build up a portfolio of work that you can display to potential future employers, all at your own pace. And you can make a bit of money on the side. Just make sure you track your income - freelance workers still have to pay taxes!

Your college job doesn’t have to suck, and it doesn’t have to be excluded from your resume. There are plenty of options that will allow you to grow as a professional, market yourself better to future employers, make a bit of money on the side, and balance your classes along the way. All you need to do is look in the right places and reach out to people and businesses that need your help.

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