Moving away from home, becoming independent and exploring beyond the confines of your comfort zone are all important steps in starting your life as a University student. Part of the journey to this newfound independence is financial responsibility. For some students, calculating their weekly expenses is enough to ensure that all their requirements are met, but for most of us this is not the case. Whether it is because of student debt, the need for monetary emancipation, bad spending habits, skillset building, real-world job experience or just because you can’t afford drinks at your favourite bar anymore; don’t fret because we have the panacea: Finding a part-time job.
The Part-Time Job.
Also known as the student job, it is best approached with confidence (and humility), friendliness (and professionalism), patience (seriously, buckets of it) and tenacity (perseverance works too).
Top CV Tip: Play to your strengths
Always have your strongest section (Skills, Languages or Volunteering) at the top of your page alongside your contact details. Don’t use flashy CV templates, a simple design with a dash of colour in the title background will make you stand out. Make sure it’s legible and clear so that employers can scan it quickly and pick out the essentials. Bullet points are your best friend to keeping things brief.
The best places for finding student jobs in Stirling is through online platforms such as Indeed and the University’s Careers and Employability Services. Asking your friends if they have heard of any job openings is great but don’t underestimate going into town and actually inquiring shop and café staff if they are hiring, having your CV at hand will speed up the process.
Although most part-time jobs in retail and hospitality have a great many transferable skills (Performance under Pressure, Team Building and Problem-Solving), finding one in your degree field is a gold mine for building your skillset.
Can’t think of any skills? Not to worry!
Make a LinkedIn profile and go to the Skills section, they will provide you with suggestions. Most likely you already have Communication, Leadership and Team Building skills if you have done public speaking or have been part of a sports club or society. Learning how to balance University life and a part-time job will provide you with Organisational and Time-Management skills as well.
All my part-time jobs where not even remotely related my degree or the field I’m going into: Conservation. So how do you use your past job experiences when applying for your post-graduation, real-world, full-time job? Imagination (and transferable skills).
Vulnerability is Courage.
Don’t be afraid to answer honestly to questions such as ‘What was your biggest failure’ or ‘How can the company improve?’. Conclude your answers on a positive note.
You need to find the skills which link your old part-time job to the new full-time job you’re applying for. My part-time supermarket attendant, bar and hotel work all gave me strong basic transferable skills. But not all part-time jobs are created equal. Becoming a student ambassador allowed me to choose tasks which were compatible with my busy study schedule. What it lacks in steady income it makes up for in versatility.The Student Ambassador Scheme is the perfect playground to test out new skills. Open Days helped my communication and presentation skills, aiding in the recruitment processes provided me with an employers’ insight during interviews as well as a place to and writing this very blog allowed me to practice my somewhat rusty penmanship.
Always end an interview with a question.
You can prepare some beforehand or think of one during the interview. This shows that you have read or listened to what the employers have said and that you are engaged and interested in learning more about the job.
Fore more info on finding a job while at university, why not check out our Careers and Employability Service here