By Meghen Jones
When you’re busy, inexperienced, and cash-strapped (in other words, a college student), a side hustle is the perfect gig. No college student in their right mind would turn down the opportunity to make some extra income—especially when you get to make your own hours and can work from anywhere.
But for those who are keeping a watchful eye on their future career, there are some side hustles that stand above the rest. If you want a gig that will earn you some much needed funds and serve as valuable experience on your resume, these 3 side hustles are rock-solid options. Sure, odds are that none of these gigs are going to make you a millionaire overnight, but they can earn you a few bucks and help you lay the groundwork for that rock star six-figure resume.
Tutoring is the original side-hustle. No matter which subject is your strong suit, there is always a huge market for sharing your academic know-how. You can easily find work if you are ready to help with high school math, English 101, or prepping students for SATs—and thanks to the Internet you can find mentoring gigs with just a few clicks of your mouse. There are tons of online resources that you can use to connect with students, and sites like Chegg Tutors, Cambly, and Enroll.com cater specifically to college students looking to get their side hustle off the ground with entry-level tutoring gigs.
There is good money to be made as an online tutor, and the title can be a powerful bullet point on your resume as well. Being patient and responsive to the needs of your students are musts to make your tutoring gig work, and those two characteristics happen to be sought-after employee traits in the job market. Tutoring experience proves to potential employers that you know how to explain your thoughts and ideas as clearly as possible, which will boost your appeal as you enter the gruelingly competitive job market.
Start an Online Shop
Ebay, Etsy, Poshmark—the list goes on and on. With so many niche shopping sites available these days, it is easier than ever to start your own online retail business. Whether you aim to sell your artistic creations or want to make some cash while you purge your closet, eager entrepreneurs can easily begin an online side hustle. Due to the convenience that digital channels and social media provide, everything from basic operations to marketing your online shop can be done on a low budget, and after the transaction fees that most online retail platforms collect, the profits you make would go straight into your pocket.
But building, managing, and running a successful online shop is more than just a self-made side hustle—it is essentially a DIY Business Administration internship that looks great on your resume. Starting an e-commerce store puts you in charge, which can be daunting for a college student just starting out, but committing to your online business can really pay off in the long run. Not only can your online shop potentially grow to become more than just a side hustle, but the business experience you gain through your own ventures is a gold star on your resume for any employer or future investor of your product.
If you are pursuing a degree in the arts, creative freelance gigs are profitable, flexible, and useful ways to earn money on the side. There are plenty of companies offering contract-based work for a wide range of skillsets, and gig-searching sites like Upwork, Indeed, and Behance.net are packed with job postings for blogging, design, illustration, software development, and more. The professional and practical experience to be gained from freelance work is a win-win opportunity for college students, and the project-by-project freedom can fit perfectly into your study schedule.
As a student with a freelance side hustle, you get a head start in the career field of your choice without the total commitment of a full-time career position. Every assignment, project, and one-time gig you are hired for is yet another skill-building notch on your resume, and most importantly, it is a crash-course in the art of networking.
Freelancing is akin to managing your own business; you have to delegate your time and effort, create working relationships with contracting clients and sell your services effectively. Being able to sell something is an invaluable skill that comes in handy no matter what business you are in—after all, you’re ultimately trying to sell yourself on your resume, and a portfolio of freelance work can seal the deal with a potential employer.
Finding the best side hustle that fits your schedule, financial needs, and career goals is a decision that only you can make. But no matter which of these 3 resume-boosting side hustles you choose, you will be setting yourself up for future success in the job market, whether you continue to work for yourself or join an already established company!