4 Tips on How to Become a Resident Advisor

Perhaps you’re looking for a job on campus or maybe you’ve been admiring the work your friends have been doing. Whatever the reason, if you’re interested in becoming a resident advisor at your college, this is the information you need to get the job. If you just happened to stumble upon this post, check out this article on why you should become a resident advisor. Once you’ve learned the why, here is the how.

For the five steps to making it happen:

1. Make yourself a stand-out.

If you’re able to live on campus before applying as a resident assistant, do so. Being familiar with the building, other RAs and students, and how things work, will make you seem like a seamless fit. If you already live on-campus, then have an active presence. Attend workshops, movie nights, and floor discussions. Show that you care about the betterment of everyone’s experience. You never know, you may get a recommendation out of it.

2. Obtain and fill out an application form.

Now, for the formalities! Contact your school’s Office of Housing and Residence Life for an application. Sometimes these can be found online and printed at home, as well. At this time you can ask about any on-campus job openings or other questions you may have about the selection process. Keep the conversation professional, and be sure to leave your name with the receptionist.

Application tips:

  • Try to sound confident, excited, and optimistic.
  • Focus on relevant skills like leadership and communication abilities. If you’re a quick learner, let them know.
  • Highlight involvement on campus or in previous activities. (If you haven’t been very socially active in the past, don’t hide the fact. Instead, highlight how you plan to change that and why you want to.)
  • Provide reliable references—perhaps a current RA who knows you well—who can vouch for you on a personal or professional level.
  • Write about your passions and show appreciation for your school and what it provides.
  • If you’re trained in first aid or CPR, now is a great time to say it.

More tips for filling out an application.

3. Go on interviews.

During this process you will likely be asked to introduce yourself and to interact with other potential candidates at a group interview. Frequently, activities are observed at this time to see how you handle problem-solving and social interaction. During this process, it’s best to appear confident, social, cooperative, and helpful. Be sure to show off your listening skills and ability to resolve conflict. Also, have fun and put your unique personality on display. A solo interview is usually scheduled once you’ve gotten through the first round. If you make it this far, you should feel good about your chances. Let the person conducting the interview know that you will take the job seriously and that you have just the right amount of potential to…

4. Be the best resident advisor ever!

Once you get the job, pat yourself on the back. Though it’s a job that can provide some fun perks like reduced room and board and dining, you will have your work cut out for you. Remember to enforce the rules while remaining a confidant to your group of residents. Plan fun events and ask around for ideas about what students want to do during the semester. This can be an unforgettable time for you and your residents, so make the most of it by being a kind, strong force.

I hope you found this advice helpful. Remember, even if you don’t get the job the first time, you can always try again another semester. In the meantime,

For more posts by Sara Kosmyna.

Did you find this post helpful? Are there any other tips you’d like to share? Leave them below.

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