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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at LMU chapter.

Here’s the lowdown on how to get paid or build your resume, or both. 

So you’re new on campus, or back on campus, and trying to hit your stride. If money or career is on your radar, this is your step-by-step guide of what I wish I’d figured out earlier.

Before you dive in headfirst to the first opportunity that crosses your path, stop to consider your options. Non-career oriented jobs can provide important skills, build confidence, and rake in some money. Internships can build your resume, give you field experience, and bring you connections. These are not mutually exclusive by any means, but can be a good framework for figuring out what you want to pursue. Another consideration is finances—are you in a field where unpaid internships are common? Will getting an unpaid internship be a financial hardship? LMU has grants for this, but mainly during the summer. These are all factors to take into consideration before deciding what you want to do.


  1. Think about what kind of experience you want. A smaller company can provide a more versatile experience than a larger one, but big companies have their own perks as well. Do you have time for an internship during the school year, or is summer better for you?
  2. Get your application materials in shape. First tackle resumes. Think you don’t have experience? Think again. Group projects, classes, and non-career oriented jobs can all be put on a resume. It’s never too early to finalize a polished version—you never know when someone will ask you for a copy offhand or you’ll find the perfect job listing. Career and Professional Development (CPD) has sample resumes for each school/major to model your own after, and go on Handshake to easily book a consultation with a career advisor. Then the cover letter—what the heck is a cover letter? It’s a place for you to explain exactly how your skills are applicable to the job you’re applying for. Go to CPD if you’re lost or ask a friend for a cover letter model. Also, practice your interviewing chops! CPD has meetings for this too.
  3. Canvas job listings. Go to the Handshake website, as well as LinkedIn and Indeed, for relevant postings. Your school/major may also have a career page for LMU students on Facebook. Some jobs only list postings on their specific websites: if there’s a company you really want to work for, peruse their website for opportunities.
  4. Outreach. You never know who may be helpful! Professors and fellow students are resources for learning about the practical aspects of your industry, as well as the more academic sides. Professors have vast connections in their fields, and many older students will be asked to recommend someone for internships after they vacate. Take it one step further by reaching out to someone you want to work for or whose career you admire. If you’re polite and phrase it right, you may get a response, and the worst thing that could happen is getting left on read. Once you get an internship, be certain to utilize your coworkers/supervisors as resources as well—they have lots of knowledge about their industries as well as lots of connections.
  5. Lastly, this is a privileged conversation to have: unpaid internships are disproportionately unfair to low-income students and impossible for international students and especially undocumented/mixed-status students. For students without the financial means to pursue unpaid internships, LMU’s unpaid internship grants may be able to help! If unpaid internships are undesirable or infeasible, research is a good opportunity to get field experience while getting paid via grants. Many younger students think of research as science-related, but research can be any field. Additionally, resources like Boundless LMU can help undocumented/mixed-status students get paid jobs and internships.


  1. Throw yourself a couple questions about the kind of job that might fit your life. What kind of time can you commit to a job? What do your transportation options look like? Do you have work-study? Where are your strengths, and what would you like to be paid?
  2. If you want a lower-commitment, infrequent job, moonlighting as a babysitter could be ideal for you. Join LMU Babysitters on Facebook to check out posts from parents in need of sitters. This will be lower commitment, but may involve working nights or weekends. The site also has more regular gigs if you’re up for a higher-commitment position.
  3. If you want to stay on campus with fewer hours but a consistent schedule week-to-week, work-study could be for you. Apply online or in person, and if you have friends with jobs, see if they might recommend you. Tour guiding is an option for T-work, which means you do not get paid via work study.
  4. If you want to work off-campus, check out restaurants around campus or stores in the surrounding neighborhoods. Restaurants or coffee shops with tips can result in higher wages, but also higher time commitments. Tutoring is a great option for higher-paid, lower-commitment work.
  5. Most of all, be realistic with yourself about your bandwidth, and know when to give yourself a break.
💌 Related: “Did You Find A Job Yet?”
Jade Young

Loyola '22

Screenwriting major from Seattle.