Home » Study in USA » Student Life » How to get On-Campus job in US Universities as an International Student ?

How to get On-Campus job in US Universities as an International Student ?

One of the most important things many international students look for in their first semester or few weeks is to find ways to support them financially by some part time jobs. All international students enrolled full time on F1 visa are eligible for working in On campus jobs. For more info on this read On Campus Vs Off-Campus Jobs – How much money can you make ? Finding an on-campus job can be very difficult as many students compete for the same. You need to be creative in looking for an on-campus job. In this article we will cover all those details on how to get one, including what you need before you apply.

First step, prepare a one or two page resume. Let’s look at that.

Prepare Resume to apply for On Campus job

Most of the on-campus jobs require you to submit a resume. Even if you do not have any experience working in your country, you still need to create a resume that has details about you and your education, your accomplishments, maybe your courses and other info as needed.

If you are an international student doing MS or MBA, you list your undergraduate(Bachelors degree) GPA or Marks and list some of your projects done in Bachelors. If you have worked, list it under work experience. Try to highlight your student involvement in your undergraduate like any student activities you have done, clubs you have been part of, etc.

Most of the jobs on campus focus on good customer interaction skills. Focus your resume on highlighting your customer facing experience. If you held any position in a Student Org, list the same. If you were captain of any sports team like Cricket, Soccer, you can list the same. If you have any awards or accomplishments like top in class, college, highlight them. Scholarships, etc.

If you have done anything in society like red cross or blood donation, focus on them.  Overall, the goal should be to highlight your people skills. If you do not have any, try to get involved in community  now so that you can put in resume when you come up here. You may not need a resume in some situations like if you get by reference. But, it is good to have one. For more, read How to prepare a resume for On campus Jobs

Option 1 – Easy way using Reference

The easiest way to get an On campus job is to ask your seniors. Most of the jobs are given to juniors that they know. Seniors, when they graduate, they would refer someone and leave. Of course, there could be lot of internal politics involved here, nevertheless still the easiest and best way to get a job on campus. If you think, there is too much politics, do not waste your time trying to kiss someone’s … There are better ways 🙂 If you do not know anyone, try to build your network by talking to seniors.

Option 2 – On campus job using Career Center

One of the most common ways to apply for an on-campus job is to go to Career Services Center and apply for an open position there. Some of the on-campus jobs are posted in Career center website or posted physically using a flyer at Career center. Not all on-campus jobs maybe posted on career center website. Guess what? Everyone knows this option and there is high competition to get a job using this option. You may or may not get lucky, if there are too many applicants.

Option 3 – Network with Student Organizations

A very creative way to get an on campus job is to join a bunch of student organizations and network with people. Of course, it cannot be just for job purpose. The idea is to get to know more people genuinely and then seek help. Ask your student organization friends or members where they work on campus and build network. This can be quick and effective. You will have to be committed to student orgs. Do not join something just to get job. Join to get to know people and be involved. Job will follow you based on your work.

Option 4 – Volunteering to get On-campus Job

Many offices in the Universities offer some sort of volunteering option, when they are short on budget. You can sign up for any volunteering opportunity in Student life office or any office that is in Student Union.  If you volunteer, you get to know the bosses of the offices. You can ask them if there are any openings. They see you volunteering and guess what, you may be the next one to get a job. You can check other locations like International Student office as well.

Option 5 – Knocking the door by Visiting many offices

If none of the above options help you to get an on campus job, this is the final approach you can take. You need to print out a big bunch of resume copies and knock every single door in the Student Union and Academic offices. When you go to an office, usually at the front desk, you can ask if there are any on-campus jobs available for students. The odds are at least one in ten offices, you will get some leads to get a job. It is a very polite way to ask for a job and they appreciate your hard work and effort to boldly knock and ask them. This will get you job, if other fail ! Key is not to give up.

List of On-Campus Jobs – Where all can you work ?

Most of the on-campus jobs are very generic in nature and they involve supporting activities related to an office like front desk, research, support or any other activities. Most of these will be located in Student Union or Academic departments. Ideally, you can knock any office door and ask them. You lose nothing ! Below is an extensive list of on-campus offices and kinds of jobs that students work.

  1. Library
    • Circulation Dept
    •  Inter library loan dept
    •  Archives Dept
    • Sorting and Shelving
    • Computer Labs
  2. Computer Labs ( IT/lab technician jobs )
  3. University Computing department  ( More IT jobs)
  4. Student Life Office
  5. Student Leadership office.
  6. Dean of Students office.
  7. Student Government Office
  8. Cafeteria
  9. University Stadiums :Basketball, Football, etc
  10. University Fitness Center or Gym
  11. University Information Center
  12. International Students office
  13. Financial Aid office
  14. Writing Center
  15. First year or Mentoring center for Students
  16. Career Services
  17. Counselling Services
  18. Cashier’s office
  19. Adult Education center.
  20. Student Activities office.
  21. University Recreation Center.
  22. University Coffee shops
  23. Student Union.
  24. Parking services
  25. Visitor information center.
  26. University Book Store
  27. Athletics and Intra murals office

Apart from the above, you can also go to every Academic Department / School and ask there too like below.

  • School of Business
  • School of Arts
  • School of Music
  • School of Sciences

It could be frustrating to get a job sometimes because there are too many international students. Guess what, if you try all of the above options, you have very high chances of getting a job. In fact, I have used almost all of them in some way or other to get different jobs and also helped my friends in getting jobs through references. I know, they work !

What has been your experience looking for an on-campus job ?

Image Credit : http://www.armstrong.edu/images/housing/jobs_on_campus.jpg


Other Articles


    • Pandu,
      Sometimes, it is just that there may be more supply than demand in terms of students, so you may not get immediately. It is very common to wait for a semester and then get it. Make sure, you followup with all the offices once every couple of months and ask them, if something would open up for next semester like Summer or Fall and then ask for the details to apply.

  1. can an undergraduate international students earn enough money to cover all of his tuition fees and living costs?
    It would be great help for me if you give information on this?

    • Ganesh,
      Well, it may be very tough, unless you get full tuition scholarship and some sort of stipend or assistantship. It is not impossible, it is just that there are few such scholarships and assistantships. You will need to check with the school you plan to apply to get details, if such things are offered in that school you plan to apply.

  2. Can I part time work for a software company or an analytics firm while doing my doctorate??? What are the legalities and illegalities attached to it???

    • Anvesh, It varies by school and the part time job you do. It usually can vary anywhere from $7 ( or the minimum wage in that state ) to $15 per hour. You can work for 20 hours when school is in session and 40 hrs a week in Summer session. You can do the math on how much a student makes…

  3. what will be the total cost to study ba in us including boarding etc ???? can we do any part time other out side the campus ?? Some students may also come to do their ms or mba as they have confidence that there are lots of part time jobs so one can earn and they can reduce some cost in tution or living expenses..

  4. Hey sonya wat if someone dnt have good fund to carry with them n neither do they. Hv any scholership…do u hv ani solution to sch students.. do write bck i wl b waiting…

  5. hi,
    this article is completely worthless.most universities in the US do not want international students to work for them ,the reason is simple,they want more money into their country.if students work,they somehow supplement a portion of their living cost which the government can earn if the job is not given to this student.and even if they do,most jobs would earn less than $8 bucks/hr and loads of work and work related stress.best thing is to come to USA on full funding or scholarship so that the student can relax and hav fun while going to college and perform best in their academics,because thats the ultimate goal

  6. You have the best answers to my Question 🙂
    This comment really suits u kumar.
    This and all other posts frm u are really very useful.


Leave a Comment