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Life In London

Getting a part-time job

By Konrad 26 Sep 2023

'Being a student' is somewhat a synonym for 'being on a budget'.

It's not going to be the most glamorous time in your life, but it will still be one of the best times, guaranteed! 

Making ends meet could be challenging and making sure you stick to your budget could be hard to accomplish. Of course, there is a way to deal with this; by getting a part-time job.

Having a job does not only give you extra money in your pocket and a little bit more freedom in experience to make social connections outside of your university environment.

So, where should you start?

Check with the Student Union.

A lot of employers might have existing relationships with universities where they get their temporary or seasonal staff from. Regularly check with the Student Union at your college/university.

There are a few websites you can use to find a temporary job. This is just to get you started:

In the UK, you don't have to pay to register with any job agencies. Sometimes there might be costs involved with securing other documentation, like criminal checks when working with vulnerable adults and minors. There is no rule who should pick up the bill for those, but you don't have to worry about that until you actually get a job. Do not go and meet anyone for a job interview in obscure places, always check Google Maps where you're going. 

For more academic-oriented jobs make sure to check Although part-time roles might not be the biggest category out there, you might be lucky and land yourself a job that is related to your field of study too. 

Top tip: Always be on the ball when finding a job. Don't assume that once you've registered with a website or a recruitment agency the offers will start pouring in. 

Have your eyes wide open as advertising in shop windows is still a thing, especially in small independent cafés and restaurants. For bigger restaurant chains and shops, it's best to check online. 

Most students will end up working during their studies, so don't feel like you're the only one. Yes, it's not great to go to work when some of your friends are doing something else, but the benefit of extra money that you can then spend the way you want to is a great perk! Plus, no matter what job you end up doing, it is great experience that will look good on your CV - you know, time management and prioritising will be at least 2 of the wide array of skills that you'll perfect while juggling uni and work. 

A few words about CVs...

A CV should include a personal statement, your education history and qualifications, and a list of relevant previous positions (written with the most recent coming first). As with any CV, what you write should also be clear, concise, and easy to read. You may also want to remove any previous positions that do not help sell yourself to the role you're applying for. Any more than two pages long, and the employer might start to lose interest. 

Stick to a basic Word or PDF format. Make sure all your fonts are the same and don’t deviate too much from a standard font style. Your CV should focus on those skills and experiences most relevant to your target employer. Your aim is to ensure that, after a 20-second scan, the employer can pick out evidence that you have exactly the skills and experience they are looking for.

... and interviews!

  1. Never underestimate the importance of preparation. It can be as simple as researching the company and the marketplace, but that alone can be the difference between success and failure.
  2. Look smart and professional. If you’re not sure what to wear, it is safer to look too formal than informal.
  3. First impressions are vital. The interview starts as soon as you enter the building, so be polite and professional from the start. Use open body language to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role.
  4. Pay attention. Once the interview starts, make sure you pay attention to what they’re asking and only answer the question they ask, not the one you wish they had asked.
  5. When you answer a question, speak slowly and clearly. Ask for a moment if you need time to think and ask for clarification if you do not understand the question.
  6. Don’t give yes or no responses, but avoid giving unnecessary detail. The body language of the interviewer can often tell you whether you need to expand or bring an answer to a close.
  7. Always be truthful but positive. If you have to present negative information (e.g. failure or a weakness), say how you learned from or overcame it.

Good luck!