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As my first job, I have been working at a respected restaurant company as a busboy since July of 2015. The employer, when I went to the interview, asked if I could work weekends, which would be considered part time. I obviously accepted the position. However I only really wanted to work there since I could gain valuable work experience along with a good resume builder for when I move to a better job. I have worked well with the management and coworkers there since I have been there.

I am also working on my computer science degree from my local university with about another 1 to 2 years before I graduate.

Here are some questions I have:

1.) In July of 2016 when one year comes, can I put down that I worked 1 year for a company, even though I was part time? **

2.) Could future employers at an interview, when they see my resume and my previous work experience, ask me the hours I worked per week and use that information against me by denying me a job even if I explain that I was asked to be part time for my previous job because I was in school?

3.) When one year does come around and I want to further build my resume with work experience for a career related to my major, should I consider getting an internship as soon as I can or is one year of work experience for a first job, even with a degree within reach in 2 years not enough for an internship position?

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    Better than nothing... – keshlam Feb 11 '16 at 21:30
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First, good on you for thinking about your resume and employability well ahead of time. You should be able to build a solid resume to job search with by the time you graduate.

Now, let's clear up some terms and misconceptions. A service industry job like the one you did part-time is what you'd call pink-collar work. As a future Computer Science graduate your career will be that of a white-collar office worker. The issue with pink-collar experience is that it simply doesn't translate into office experience because there aren't a lot of transferable skills. It does show that you're employable, meaning that you can be expected to behave professionally and responsibly in the workplace. What it boils down to is that this kind of experience is a great differentiator when you're in a pool of candidates with no work experience but candidates that have white-collar experience will have a strictly better profile than you. Now, because you'd be applying to entry level positions, that shouldn't matter as much because the people applying for those typically also don't have office experience. Sadly, today's job market means that job openings often have a lot of (over)qualified candidates.

That brings me to something else I wanted to correct: hiring managers don't "deny" you a job. They have a responsibility to hire the best person they can find for the job and that means that the only way to get hired is to be that person. There are no tricks and shortcuts, the key differentiators are work experience, cultural/social fit and skill. The way to land interviews where you can showcase these things is by applying for positions that match your resume and writing great cover letters.

In your position, you'll want to apply for any student internships you can get that involve office work. Check with your college for on-campus jobs if you can't find any other leads, but ideally you'll want to find part-time work or a summer job in the private sector. If possible you want that job to be IT-related. Consider your busboy experience your first step into the professional world and use it to land a job or internship closer to your interests and industry. By the time you graduate you should have a few years of part-time work on your resume that will hopefully include office experience and with that you should be in a great position to apply for entry-level IT positions.


Now, for your questions:

1) Can I put down that I have 1 year of work experience?

Yes, but you'd list it as part-time. To do otherwise is tantamount to lying which is a great way to remain unemployed. Unless specified, jobs listed on a resume are expected to be full-time or close to it (3/5, 4/5ths).

2) Can a hiring manager reject me after discovering that I lied on my resume?

Yes, obviously. I'm aware that this isn't what you wrote but that's basically what it comes down to. Don't ever misrepresent yourself on your resume.

3) Should I consider getting an internship as soon as I can?

As I mentioned above, you should apply for internships as soon as possible. Internships come in all shapes and sizes. Your goal should be to try to build professional office experience with your internships or part-time work so that you can land a full-time paid entry-level job the moment you graduate.

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Short answer: Everything is valid experience!

I would absolutely put that year on your CV. However, to prevent confusion, it would be sensible to record is something like:

Busboy

(company name)

July 2015 - present (Part time)

  • Duty 1
  • Duty 2
  • ...

That way it's clear that you did work for that period, and that it was part time. No argument, no trying to misrepresent. Then when asked, you can tell them your circumstances that you were at school, working part time while studying.

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    "Then when asked, you can tell them your circumstances that you were at school". Don't wait until asked. Put your university experience on your CV as well, and the reader will probably guess that the restaurant position is part time due to the overlapping time period. – Brandin Feb 12 '16 at 9:35
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1.) In July of 2016 when one year comes, can I put down that I worked 1 year for a company, even though I was part time? **

Yes! Not sure why you even have to wait one year, technically one day is experience and can be counted, although if it was that short you would have other issues.

2.) Could future employers at an interview, when they see my resume and my previous work experience, ask me the hours I worked per week and use that information against me by denying me a job even if I explain that I was asked to be part time for my previous job because I was in school?

Yes, they can ask you this, and depending on the country you live in, there is no legal reason why they couldn't use your answers against you, however I'm not sure why they would. Having a part time job while in school is a good thing. Having a part time job when you're out of school and not trying for a full time one is a red flag. I can't think of any legitimate reason why the number of hours you worked at a previous job would be basis for denial, unless you can't work the hours you are interviewing for.

3.) When one year does come around and I want to further build my resume with work experience for a career related to my major, should I consider getting an internship as soon as I can or is one year of work experience for a first job, even with a degree within reach in 2 years not enough for an internship position?

Again, why a year? But yes, consider getting a job related to your field of study as soon as possible. Even if you do it now and it means working part time at a help desk, this is better on a resume to a potential post-graduate employer than "bus boy".

Don't think of time working as the thing your employer wants, they want to see relevant experience. Even if that means joining groups like programming/electronics clubs or volunteering on open source projects. Get involved now.

  • So basically what your saying is that I dont have to work a whole year in order to at least put the experience on a resume? – Nathan Feb 11 '16 at 22:59
  • @Nathan Absolutely not. You can put three months experience if that's all you have. I think I alluded to that with my "July 2015 - present". – Jane S Feb 11 '16 at 23:24

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