So, you’re looking for a part-time job? Looking for employment can be daunting and stressful, especially if it’s your first time. However, as a result of the effort you put into looking for a new job, you will earn extra money and gain other benefits. This article will show you where to look for jobs, how to apply and point you to available support.
Remember, there are certain things you’ll need to know about working part-time if you’re an international student.
If you’re a postgraduate researcher, then you may want to speak to your supervisor if you’re looking to work.
1. Where to look for part-time jobs?
· There are many ways you can look for jobs. The LUU on-campus and online service Joblink advertises positions suitable for students. It is also worth checking the University of Leeds vacancies website. You can often find part-time roles there, such as a Library customer services assistant, or internships available only to current students and recent graduates.
· If there is any particular industry you’d be interested in, you can try to find groups on Facebook that advertise jobs in this industry in the area, for example, Leeds Bar Grafters if you’re looking for a job in the hospitality industry.
· If you have friends who are already working, make sure they know you’re looking for a job so that they can let you know when they find out about an opening in the company they work for.
2. Applying for a job.
· When you find a few jobs you’re interested in, it’s time to polish your CV. Targeting a CV to the job you’re applying for is essential. It doesn’t mean you have to write a new CV from scratch every time you want to apply for a vacancy, but you should think about what specific skills and experience the employer are looking for (you should find that in the job description). So, for example, if the employer is looking for communication skills, make sure you mention the presentation you gave at your seminar or how you interacted with clients while working in customer service to understand their needs.
· Double check your details and check for typos. A small typo won’t make or break your application (although you might come up as less credible if you put ‘attention to detail’ as one of your skills), a few will make your CV look unprofessional. Of course, giving the wrong details means the potential employer won’t be able to contact you. It’s a mundane task, but it’s worth to spent some time on it. You could use writing assistants like Grammarly to make it a little faster.
· Send a short cover letter even if you’re not asked to do it. You don’t have to create a separate document for it; you could add a couple of words about why you are the perfect candidate for the job in the email with your CV attached. It shows the employer that you really want the job and allows you to highlight your skills even more.
· If you are asked to provide a cover letter, or you need to fill out an application form that includes a section outlining how you meet the person specification, use a STAR method. The STAR method is a structured way of describing your behaviour in a particular situation to demonstrate your skills. In short, you tell a story showing your experience or skill following the Situation, Task, Action, Result format. You can learn more about the STAR method here.
· MyCareer website offers access to a personalised CV checker in its resources section (in the upper right corner). Make use of that!
· You can also book an Application Support appointment with the Career Centre at the University. The experienced career advisers will check your CV or application and help you polish it so that you’ve got a higher chance of securing a job.
3. You were invited for an interview? Great!
· Research, the company. It will help provide context to your conversation and allow you to ask interesting questions at the end of the interview. If the company has a value page, look at it and ensure you include it in your responses.
· Research the role and prepare answers to common questions. If you don’t know what to expect, you can find typical interview questions and questions specific to a particular role/ industry online and adapt your responses to the job and your experience. Remember to refer to the job description, which tells you a lot about what sort of person the employer is looking for. You don’t need to be very creative here; repeating the person specifications with examples from your life is what the recruiters are looking for. Of course, you never know what questions you will be asked, but preparing for the interview should make you more familiar with the company and help you extract your strengths and experiences from your CV, even if initially you don’t think you’ve got any.
· The same as when writing your cover letter, use a STAR method to answer the interview questions.
· Practice your responses. You can ask a friend to assist you. You can also use Shortlist.me resource on MyCareer, or book a one-to-one appointment at the Career Centre to build your confidence and perfect your answers. It is strongly recommended.
You should be prepared for a long process, but hopefully, following this advice, you will be able to secure a job quickly. Moreover, learning how to write a good CV and application letter and practising your interview skills, even if it isn’t for your dream job, will be helpful when you apply for graduate roles.