Whilst it is important to concentrate on your studies, money can be an issue when you are a student. Getting a part-time job not only gives you the opportunity to earn some extra money, it can also help you build your CV, form business relationships and get useful job referrals and references.
Here are some useful tips on how to find such a job.
1. Gather a list of employers who are currently hiring.
Whether you are in school or just looking for a part-time opportunity, there are plenty of places to find openings. Look around online, at your school, or even enquire in person.
- Be sure that the employer is hiring for immediate placement and not just taking your application.
- Look for jobs that both interest you and hire people like you. If you are a student, a lot of part time jobs can be found in the retail and service industry. These types of jobs are typically good for a flexible schedule and do not always require a lot of experience.
- Go to a job fair at your school or look on your school’s website. Many universities have a jobs section where employers can post part time jobs for students.
- Search online for jobs. There are many job sites like Monster.com and Indeed.com listing part-time opportunities, whilst websites like Upwork.com, Fiverr.com, and FlexJobs.com are good for remote or freelance work
- You can also go into a shop or restaurant and ask if they are hiring. Sometimes you can fill out an application on the spot.
- Ask your friends about any employment opportunities. Sometimes you may know someone who is already employed and who can help you get a job.
2. Make sure you can commit to a part-time job
Look at your current and upcoming schedule and, before applying, ask if you have the time to commit properly to a part-time role. You need to make sure that you can handle both college and the job.
- Most applications will ask for your availability. Supply this information with accuracy. You do not want to lie about how much you can work. If you get hired because you say you can work more than you can, then you risk losing your job. Additionally, ending a job on a bad note with your employer can affect how easily you get your next job.
- Prepare yourself if your employer needs you to work at a specific time. If you already have a set schedule for college, manage your time slots to ensure education and work does not collide and interfere with each other. A job should not interfere with your studies, but, equally, if you have given your word to an employer, they expect you to turn up as scheduled, and will not look favourably on an unexpected absence because of some crisis with your course work.
3. Get your information in order
Before applying to any job, make sure that your CV/resume and any references are up to date and ready
Read over any requirements for the job (like certain grade requirements from university, or minimum years of experience). Make sure to include this information in your CV.
Prepare your CV or resume (here is a guide as to how to complete this), and emphasise any past achievements that are similar to the job for which you area applying.
If you have any references, make sure that those people are still happy for their names to be used with any job applications.
4. Establish and clean-up your online social presence
Make sure that your online presence does not contain anything that could discourage a potential employer. Go through your profiles and delete posts, videos, and photos of you that might hurt you getting a job. A good rule of thumb is to not have anything your grandmother would not like to see or read about you. Remember employers can and do check social media, so, if in doubt, cut it out.
Add more positive content online as well. Create a LinkedIn profile. Write blog posts that showcase your writing talents, or create a website that shows off your portfolio, if you have one, and your skills. A personal website can act like a digital resume.
5. Apply for jobs
Research the company: Before applying to join any company, get as much information about it first. Read about the company, how it got started, who is in charge, and what its main products and services are, as well as if there are any recent news or developments surrounding it.
Application forms: Fill out any information your potential employer requires, whether through an online form on paper. Employers are aware of the limited work experience many high school and college students have, so do not worry about possessing each requirement.
Letters of recommendation: Ask for a letter of recommendation from a teacher or someone who can offer your employer examples of your work habits. If you are unable to reach someone, briefly describe your work ethics to your employer. Always be as honest as possible; “stretching the truth” will not have much of an advantage.
Cover letter: If you are asked for a cover letter, write one specifically for the job to which you are applying.
6. Proactively manage applications
Always keep track of all applications you submit. Ask for feedback or confirmation from your employer about the application; be courteous and show initiative toward your interest for the job.
After you have applied to a job, wait a few days and then call. Unless specifically instructed not to reach out, following up shows you are proactive and can put you on top of the list. When you call, introduce yourself and ask to speak to the hiring manager. Tell the manager that you recently applied to the job and that you are still interested in employment. Ask if the position is still open and if the company will be conducting interviews.
You can also follow up via email, or sometimes in person, depending on how you first applied.
Remember that if you need a part time job fast, prioritise employers who are hiring immediately from the employers who are only accepting applications. If priority information is not provided, ask the employer.
7. Prepare properly for all job interviews
Before you get called for your first interview, develop responses for common interview questions, and then practice them — ideally using the mock-interviewing technique with a friend, network contact, or family member. As with most things in life, the more prepared you are for an interview, the more comfortable you will be, and the greater the chance of success,
8. Adopt the right interview behaviours
If you are called for an interview make sure you practice the right behaviours. These include researching the employer and the interviewers, knowing your route for getting to the interview, dressing appropriately, arriving about 10 minutes early (to compose yourself, observe your settings, complete any paperwork), greeting everyone warmly (from receptionist to hiring manager), using positive body language (firm handshake, strong eye contact, attentive posture, and friendly smile), confidently responding to interview questions, showing enthusiasm, asking questions of the interviewer(s), and closing the interview with appreciation and a request for information about next steps in the process.
9. Send a thank you note to all interviewers
A quick email note of thanks after an interview emphasises your interest, and whilst it will not get you a job offer, it will help make you stand out from the majority of jobseekers who do not bother with this simple act of courtesy.
10. Continue to follow-up with hiring managers
If you have not had feedback after an interview, polite follow-ups with the hiring manager show your interest and enthusiasm for the job. However, be careful and do not overdo it, or you will give the impression of being needy.