Working in retail is undoubtedly one of the more popular options for college students looking to make extra cash, and there's certainly no shortage of them. SimplyHired alone currently has more than 300,000 listings for retail sales associates, far more than any other position that commonly hires college students.Retail positions often come with flexible schedules and decent salaries that can cover much of a student's living expenses for the year, but the benefits of working retail go above and beyond the money. "Many of the recruiters I know think it's very important, no matter the job, for the candidate to have retail and customer service experience," Pollak says. "A lot of students have never worked before and do not know how to have a boss and deal with colleagues." Beyond this, just working in retail can get students in the habit of having a real job and making money, not to mention learning how to manage that money. Restaurants
After retail sales associates, restaurant workers have the second most listings of any job on SimplyHired.com that is geared toward college students, with more than 150,000 postings for hosts, waiters and bartenders. And like retail jobs, the leading incentive for college students to work in restaurants is the flexible schedule and the potential to make a lot of money very quickly, depending on the tips.For restaurant jobs -- and indeed for all positions on this list -- experts say it's important to strive to make the best impression possible, even if you have no intention staying in that job or even the industry in the long term, because it may come back to haunt you. After all, today's waiter may just become the hiring manager at your dream company down the road. Virtual Jobs
As Pollak and others point out, the beauty of being a student today is that it's easier than ever to find work that you can do from the comfort of your own dorm with a more flexible schedule, if you know what to look for.Graphic designers can offer to do freelance Web design work, writers can blog for online publications and if you're great with foreign languages or another subject, you can make a little extra money by tutoring students online. What's more, any student comfortable with Facebook and Twitter -- which we're going to assume is most of them -- can reach out to small businesses and offer to help them with their social media efforts.
Campus jobs have been harder to come by in recent semesters as college funding hasn't been able to keep pace with the growing number of students looking for these positions. Still, these jobs are a great bet for students looking to sample different careers."If you're interested in publishing, get a job at the alumni magazine. If you're interested in film, work at the campus movie theater and if you are thinking about law school, get a job in the university's general counsel's office answering phones," Pollak says. Each of these positions provide students with a taste of what the profession is like, offer networking opportunities with college faculty and alumni, and since they are handled through the college, the schedule and expectations are geared specifically toward students. Many of these jobs are intended for students who receive financial aid, but not all. Consult your campus career services department to find the positions that are available for you. Low-Level Jobs in Your Profession
If there are no jobs available on campus, students can emulate this strategy off campus by searching for entry-level opportunities in their industry, no matter how menial the positions may be.Those interested in pursuing medicine can answer phones at the doctor's office. Likewise, aspiring lawyers can get their foot in the door by answering phones at the firm. If you're interested in going into finance, you might try working as a teller at a bank. Volunteering and working internships at companies is another way to accomplish this, but in each case students should be mindful of one concern. "Social jobs will have much more value to your career than task-oriented jobs," says SimplyHired's Hughes. "You should always opt for a job that lets you be out on the floor and lets you build up your network." For this reason, she suggests avoiding jobs that place you in the corner and ask you to do filing all day, since it will make it that much harder to create strong relationships with people in the industry. Work Sharing The tough economy has forced many companies to cut back their payrolls, but in the process, it has led to a unique opportunity for younger employees and college students.
In addition to all the other job opportunities out there, students should always be on the lookout for any odd jobs that may be available in their community to make some extra money.John Challenger, CEO of the career research firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, suggests students consider babysitting and caddying as ways to make money quickly on a flexible schedule. Aside from this, tech-savvy students can also consider doing tech support for neighbors and small businesses that may not be as good with computers and electronics. In this way, students can put their strengths to good use and make good connections as well. Readers Also Like: >> 10 Careers Where Graduate School Is Worth It