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8 skill-building job ideas for college-bound students

A 2015 CareerBuilder Survey about the job landscape for college grads demonstrates a great opportunity for the college-bound via working over school breaks. While the survey showed grads have the brightest employment outlook since 2007, it also pointed out some employers are still concerned these job applicants will lack certain skills necessary for the workplace. Teens can split time off from relaxing and refreshing to hone the soft skills employers continue to crave. According to career research as well, eight jobs are tailor-made for the college-bound to gain soft skills, maybe earn some extra money, and build a resume for future careers to impress employers.

The survey, conducted between February and March, “included a representative sample of 2,175 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes,” according to CareerBuilder. Respondents cited the following skills as lacking in recent graduates:

  • Interpersonal or people skills: 52 percent
  • Problem-solving skills: 46 percent
  • Oral communication: 41 percent
  • Leadership: 40 percent
  • Written communication: 38 percent
  • Teamwork: 37 percent
  • Creative thinking: 36 percent
  • Project management: 26 percent
  • Research and analysis: 16 percent
  • Math: 15 percent
  • Computer and Technical: 13 percent

The following jobs address the skills noted in the survey. They also go beyond by
developing a work ethic, time management and self-marketing skills. Plus, the
college-bound can end up with a list of future references. Please share your views in the comments section about these eight skill-building job ideas for college-bound students:

  1. Tutor Depending on the subject taught and method used, teaching someone else skills students’ possess can show every single one employers want but are worried recent graduates won’t have. When deciding what field to tutor in, students can look to their expertise, talents, and abilities in academics, music, the arts, sports and hobbies.
  2. Scholarship searcher College experts often describe searching for college scholarships as a part time job so why not formalize the process? Finding and applying for scholarships can involve all the skills employers seek except teamwork. That can be added if parents join the effort, for example, by helping organize and keep track of deadlines.
  3. Local employee As an employee of a local store, office or camp, students need to use all the skills employers most desire, depending on their job responsibilities. To find a job, network by asking guidance counselors and parents, look in local papers, and walk into a favorite frequented place with a resume and a matching elevator speech.
  4. Entrepreneur Starting a business can display all the most sought-after skills in one fell swoop. From manual labor to crafting, students can try their hands at making and selling something.
  5. Volunteer Every community has needs and usually a lack of volunteers to meet them. Either by going solo and spearheading a project or joining an existing group, students can gain experience in all skill areas, depending on the tasks involved.
  6. Intern Paid or unpaid, learning while doing is a great opportunity to gain the skills employers want to see in their employees. Students should focus on internships in fields of interest.
  7. Student One of the best ways to gain skills employers want is to learn more. Either online or in a brick and mortar building, students can do the job of being a student to broaden and strengthen abilities.
  8. Researcher Depending on the undertaking, students assisting in or creating their own research project can perform the skills employers crave most. The research can be part of an internship or job, lead to a scholarship, or be part of a class assignment.

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