How to secure part-time work at university

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How to secure part-time work at university

A part-time job seems almost imperative nowadays if you are a student, especially with the recent eradication of the maintenance grant.

With a job you have the opportunity to earn extra money and gain first-hand experience in the working world, which is invaluable in itself.

A lot of other students will be in the same boat as you in terms of wanting a job, so it is really important to put some effort into the overall process of getting a role.

Your CV needs to sell you

For every retail role there are approximately 27 applications, so it is essential that your CV sells you for the amazing person you are.

The content of a CV is paramount, although people underestimate how important layout, the style and size of font are for formulating a great CV. Take a look at our CV example for inspiration.

The majority of part-time jobs are within the hospitality or retail sector, so you will need to be a people person. Within the profile section, give a short summary of your strengths and the job sector you are looking for work in.

This is the first part of your CV that employers see, so it has to be concise and entice them to read further.

Make sure your CV is slim line so it is under two pages. There is no need to list every single GCSE you have either, simply stating eight A*-C grades is perfectly fine.

A rock solid cover letter

By writing a cover letter you are showing the employer your intent for the position. It is so easy to apply for jobs with only your CV, but a cover letter gives you the edge as it allows you to expand on statements within your CV.

Where possible, it is always better to address your cover letter to a named person rather than ‘Dear Sir/Madam’.

The reason for this is that it is more personal and demonstrates that you can use your initiative (especially if you had to do research to find their name).

So, what makes a great cover letter?

Less than a page! Make your cover letter easy to read by dissecting it into sections.

The first section should state the job you are applying for and a short statement about why you are interested in the role.

In the next section, you ought to state any previous experience you have had and why it would be relevant for the role. Within the final section, mention what days you are available for work, thank them for reading your application and mention that you hope to hear from them soon.

Research the company

The question ‘Why do you want to work here?’ is one of the most popular interview questions. Companies want you to have done some research to find out about their core values, how long they have been operating for and who their competitors are.

You can then use this information to align your goals with the companies and show why you want to work for them.

Interview time, wahoo!

Well done you, for making it to the interview stage.

Be prepared, get up early and make sure you give yourself enough time to get to the location. Being late is never good and puts you on the back foot for the rest of the interview.

Take a copy of the notes you have made about the company, you can look over these on your way.

Play it safe. It is always better to overdress than under. Guys can wear a shirt and trousers, or a suit if you really want to impress. Girls can wear a blouse and skirt with tights.

Before answering each question, think carefully so that you can construct a detailed response. It is okay to ask for more time or to ask for the question to be repeated.

Make sure that you sit up straight, as there is nothing worse than slouching. It makes you seem uninterested. Hands on the table, too. (I once got told off in an interview for this).

Make sure you ask questions

Whenever you go to an interview it is important to ask questions, as it shows you are genuinely interested in the position. Common questions to ask are: ‘What do you think are the best and worst aspects of this role?’

This shows that you like to know what kind of challenge you are up against and that you want to prepare in advance. Another question could be ‘When can I expect to hear from you?’ By asking this, it demonstrates that you are keen and enthusiastic about the role.

That’s all it takes to secure part-time work folks, good luck!

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