Work Experience

I am wondering if having unrelated work experience will help you get a job after college or even an internship. For example, on campus jobs that are student assistant, meaning you'll usually will be doing a lot of office duties, library assistant, or front desk, and customer service. My plan was to stack up on those until I can get a computer science and engineering internship and get involved in club projects.

One rule of thumb is to keep college and high school jobs on your resume until you are about two years out of college. I started working at a preschool at 13, and though elementary education has nothing to do with my chosen career path, showing that I stayed with the same employer for five years was a testament to my determination and loyalty. You definitely want to include the experience that you have, and you could break your resume up into "relevant experience" and "additional experience."

Oh, for what it's worth, I work at LinkedIn and we tell people to put their entire career history on their profile if it adds valuable color. I include my summer camp and preschool jobs on my profile. For a LinkedIn profile compared to a resume, you have the opportunity to tell more of a story about each of these jobs and connect them to the job that you'd like.

I agree with the previous posts. However, I would try to be as targeted as possible in terms of which jobs you should take. I would prioritize positions that will allow you to use or build specific skills that will be valuable to your goal profession.

Additionally, in every job you take, think about if there is a way to showcase those skills. For example, as a student assistant, is there any way that you can use your programming skills to automize certain duties?

Thanks Kevin for your feedback.

Being a student assistant and taking on other campus jobs are actually excellent ways to prepare yourself for post-grad internships and a full-time career job. You're using and building a host of skills working these on-campus jobs, and you can showcase your experience and the responsibilities you had on your resume. Think your plan of stacking up on on-campus jobs and going after a computer science internship sounds really solid. Can you join the computer science club now? That might be something to prioritize over an on-campus gig since it's directly relevant to your desired career direction...

Thanks Michelle for your input.

When you're in college, take on as many jobs as possible. It'll help flesh out your resume and give you projects to talk about during an interview. Most importantly, it means you'll have more references than just your friends when you're reaching the final rounds of your first serious job.

Thanks James for the input.