Finding on-campus jobs in the U.S.? These tips might come in handy!
Getting Started Living Abroad

Finding on-campus jobs in the U.S.? These tips might come in handy!

Manisha Ramawat

Table of Contents

One of the first things international students want to tick in their checklist as soon as they settle in their university is to hunt for on-campus jobs. That’s because studying in a U.S. university does not come cheap.

Apart from tuition fees, there are tons of other expenses like rent, food, clothing, traveling that one needs to factor in. Sadly, if you’re a first-year international student, you can’t work outside the campus because of the U.S. immigration rules.

Good news? There is another way of managing all these expenses: on-campus jobs.

The best part - they only take up a small fraction of your time and allow you to focus on your studies as well. But, before we dive into the tips, it’s a good idea to know all the requirements you need to meet to acquire an on-campus job in the U.S.

Requirements to get an on-campus job in the U.S.

Before you actively search for a job vacancy in your university, check if you can tick off the below list of conditions:

  • You must maintain a valid F1 visa (also known as student visa) status by fulfilling all the requirements established by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • As a student, you can work up to 20 hours per week while the school/university is in session. However, the limit of 20 hours per week isn’t applicable when you are working full-time during vacations.
  • You can only work on-campus till the degree conferral date.
  • You can work full-time during holidays and vacations, given that you come back the next semester.
  • Your employment on-campus does not take away the job of a U.S. resident.

Alrighty then! Now that the requirements are dealt with, let’s focus on the main stuff. We understand that getting an on-campus job isn’t exactly a cakewalk. Worry not! These few tips might make this search easier for you.

Tips To Find On-Campus Jobs in the U.S.

Let that resume shine!

Multiple students will be competing for the same job you have your eyes on! One trick to stand out from the clutter is by ensuring that your resume has relevant skills and experience that vibe right in with the application.

Even if you have no working experience in the field, do not shy away from showing off extracurricular activities that highlight some of your skills. They can earn you some brownie points during interviews.

Example: If you are an MBA student and have been a part of the basketball team, then you may add skills like a team player and a quick thinker in your resume.

Leave no stone unturned; just keep searching!

You never know when and where a job vacancy might open up! So keep an eye on various online and offline sources publishing on-campus part-time jobs for Indian students in the USA. It can be career pages, career service centers, department notice boards, etc.

Alternatively, approaching different university departments with a killer resume can also be a super idea to land you a rewarding job.

References can chip in a good word

Don’t belittle the power of word of mouth! Many-a-times, people rely on references provided by peers as that showcases trust and capabilities in a candidate. If you’re actively searching for an on-campus opportunity in your university, you should consider finding clubs or societies that are your cup of tea and help you connect with people who share similar interests.

Bonding with such groups and communities lets you mingle with like-minded individuals and cultivate great relationships. Since these folks are acquainted with the university, they can tell you about the right people to contact and the right things to say at job interviews. And, if you’re in luck, you might get jobs through their references as well.

Break a sweat, do some volunteering!

Watch out for departments having low budgets as they usually offer volunteering options. Do not hesitate to take those up. You’ll build connections with seniors and teachers and prove your potential to people at senior positions. So whenever a paid opportunity appears, they might consider hiring you.

Don’t give up too soon...

Not everyone manages to find a job at the beginning of the semester.
And that is completely fine.  

Some students may get started in the middle semester. Some of the positions open after the classes are due. Keep looking even after the semester begins. You never know when your dream job may show up on the vacancy column of the Careers page.

You may think getting on-campus jobs is a little tricky because many other international students are also actively applying. However, a little patience and good legwork will surely land you up on a great offer sooner or later. We hope that the above tips help you get an edge over other applicants.

Happy job hunting!