There are a number of reasons why university students take it upon themselves to find part-time work.
The opportunity to earn some extra money, topping up that student loan, provides you with the added security and peace of mind that you need not fear any nasty shocks when you visit a cash machine or gingerly check your bank balance online.
The chance to gain invaluable experience of the hustle and bustle of working life, with all of its challenges and responsibilities, gives you some priceless life skills and prepares you for the full-time employment that awaits you further down the line.
And even using a part-time job as a new way of meeting new people is not something to be sniffed at. Some of the closest friendships one can form are built in the workplace, and if your university commitments have taken you to a new and unfamiliar city, you will be inclined to pursue every different way of introducing yourself to those who live and work in the area.
Here are five top tips to help you prepare and search for part-time employment:
Assess your priorities before applying
It is a wise move to take the time to determine why exactly you want to get a job. If the main motivation is money, then spend a couple of hours working out all of your outgoings. Once you have budgeted accurately, you will know exactly how much money you need to earn. This may sound like one big yawnfest, but it will save you time and hassle when you begin your job search, because you will go into it with a clear indication of the minimum salary you desire.
If you are more interested in getting into part-time work because you want to improve your long-term career prospects, have a think about whether you want to find a role that fits in with your career ambitions, or whether you want to do something completely detached from your future job plans. If you decide you want to find something totally different, that is a good opportunity to look more versatile on your CV. If you want to pursue something similar to the job you intend to do in the future, it might be an idea to check out work experience placements first.
Speak to your university
Your university will not have a problem with you working part-time, but it is advisable to speak to university staff about your intentions before securing a job. They will be able to guide you on what they deem to be an appropriate amount of hours you should be working.
It is important to pay close attention to their advice, because they are familiar with the intricacies of your courses and know exactly how much time and energy is required to make your university experience a fruitful one. Getting some extra money in your pocket and skills on your CV is all well and good, but it is not worth it if you burn out because your studies – and ultimately your career prospects – will suffer in the process.
Spruce up your CV
It is essential that your CV is presentable and error-free. If you are one of 25 applicants, you need to stand out from the crowd and also be honest – don’t tell any fibs because they come back to haunt you!
Any kind of obvious error will lead to a rejection from the employer. They hate spelling or grammatical mistakes, because it gives them the impression that you didn’t take the time to read through the document before hitting the ‘send’ button. It does not take a great deal of time or effort to proof read your work and carry out a spellcheck search. If it’s not your strong point, ask for help from someone you know who is good at this kind of thing!
Get some experience
Showing a potential employer that you are willing, eager and determined is half the battle won. You can give yourself an edge over the competition by entering the application process with some experience under your belt.
A ‘quick win’ way of doing this is to do some volunteering. While it is not financially rewarding, it does give you the opportunity to experience the world of employment, which in turn provides you with the confidence and skills to thrive once you start your part-time job.
Get your geography right!
Don’t give yourself a mountain to climb by getting a part-time job that is too far away. The role might sound ideal, but if you have to get a train and two buses, or have to drive for two hours to get there, you will soon run out of steam and your motivation will dwindle rapidly.
That is why finding the right student accommodation is so important to making your university experience an enjoyable and rewarding one. Living somewhere close to university, work, local amenities and social hot spots puts you in a great position to get the most out of an exciting few years.
Homes for Students is one of the UK’s leading providers of student accommodation, working in partnership with universities and student unions in order to deliver the best possible student experience.
Offering a range of student accommodation across the UK with shared and en-suite bathrooms, cluster apartments and studios, deluxe rooms and student houses, Homes of Students provides properties which have the student’s needs in mind.