Reporter: Allison Perkins
As summer break comes to an end, students are polishing up their resumés and preparing for job interviews. Thousands are surfing the web and putting on the charm for local employers, hoping to get hired for the fall semester.
“I made a trip up [to Fayetteville] early because I know if you wait too long then they will fill up,” junior Katie Harris said. “U of A has such a huge campus and Fayetteville’s big, but it’s not that big.”
Harris began her search online, visiting job-search websites and filling out virtual applications.
“I’d like to be kind of specific about what I want, and I think applying online first is the best way to do that,” Harris said. “You can always go into the places that you want to, but they’re not necessarily always hiring.”
“Most of the way that we advertise is through corporate and Craigslist and stuff like that, so we get a lot of random people that apply,” said Jessica Durisseau, studio manager at Sears Portrait Studio. “We get a lot of young people of course… it’s the mall!”
Ozark Natural Foods attracts a lot of young applicants as well, and they set up a special system for summer interviews. Every Thursday between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. the store accepts interviews on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Being early about it is the best way to ensure that you will get hired,” Harris said. “Students trying to find jobs to help pay for school are pretty competitive about job hunting.”
Facebook can also be a big help for job-seekers, particularly those that are members of the Fayetteville network.
“There’s this marketplace website on Facebook where you can go and find where people are hiring and add your friends,” Harris said.
Her past experience has taught her that being persistent and following-up are important aspects to job hunting, especially when there is a lot of competition.
“You go and your goal is to like meet the manager and talk to them about what the job is and act really interested,” Harris said. “I think that people will hire you if they can see that you are really trying.”
According to the store manager at Rick’s Bakery, sometimes local businesses are more receptive of students and young people looking for part-time jobs.
“I think that the local places that people are running by themselves are going to be more helpful,” Harris said. “Even if they don’t have a job for you, they might help you find other places and talk to you about other ways you can find jobs.”
That was exactly what happened for Harris when she was looking for a job last summer.
“I talked to this girl who worked at a local coffee shop and she went through the whole thing with me,” she said. “ She gave me her number and everything, it was really helpful.”
With the huge number of incoming freshmen this year, students can use all the help they can get when it comes to finding employment.
“They’re putting a cap on how many freshman can come in this year because last year was the most freshman that ever entered the U of A,” Harris said. “That’s still a lot of people and they’re probably looking for jobs. So it’s good to start early, and that’s what I’m doing.”