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How to get a student job that suits you

Jobs and students may not obviously go together! But you may now be considering it after you have been at university for a few months and realising blowing your student loan in the first week wasn’t such a good idea after all.

One question you need to ask yourself is, would a part time job be right for you at this moment and for what reasons would you like a job for - whether it’s because you could do with some extra dollar, to bulk up your CV or you just want to meet new people. All of the above reasons are very valid.

If you are doing it to gain some extra money while studying, although it appears to be boring and every student hates the budgeting conversation, it is very relevant. Take time to work out your budget and how much you are spending and how much money you need to make.

Doing a part time job while you’re at university will look great on your CV as well - gaining some very valuable work experience this will come in handy when you have finished your degree and you are looking for a full time job.

It is important to work out how much time you will dedicate to your job and to your studies, so that you are able to manage both. Most universities advise no more than 15 hours a week. You just have to find the right balance and what you think is capable to manage easily.

Part time jobs you might want to consider are…

  1. Retail – Best for: Earning that extra money

Working in retail can include clothes stores, supermarkets or customer service roles. Retail is a great way to meet new people and really come out of your shell. It is also one of the easier jobs to go for, if you don’t have much work experience as most of the job is talking to people, helping and smiling.

Retail shops are always recruiting new people around Christmas or need temporary work, so now would be a great time to apply to make sure you get in early! Some universities have their own shops that you could also work in.

2. Service industry – Best for: flexibility

This includes everything from waiting tables to front of house at restaurants and fast food outlets. The main skills for this job is taking food orders and waiting on tables. Plus, there is a likely chance that you will get free food! It’s obvious why this job is so popular with students. Some universities also have their own restaurants on site in unions – so check out if yours has any jobs going.

3. Bar work – Best for: Meeting new people

Bar staff duties includes making drinks, taking drink orders, glass clearing and event promotions. This is a great chance to meet new people and new friends. Virtually every university will have a local bar or Student Union that you could work in, too.

4. Receptionist – Best for: Handy CV skills

A receptionist is normally on the front office desk of an organisation or business. The duties include greeting any visitors, patients, or clients, answering telephone calls, emails and booking appointments.

The best ways to see if these jobs are available and recruiting is going in and asking, make sure you take a copy of your CV to hand in, even if they are not recruiting at this time, leave them with a copy and if they are in the future they will have your CV on file. Some jobs are advertised online through job sites/boards, in local newspapers or in shop windows.

If you are lucky enough to get an interview remember to arrive with plenty of time, dress smartly and make sure you have some questions to ask at the end of the interview, as this shows you have listened and you’re interested in the job. First impressions are so important so make sure you leave a good impression.

Good luck job hunting!​

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