It’s pretty difficult to be a full-time student and make ends meet – the costs of living just keeps on rising. According to research by Save the Student, in 2019, the average monthly living costs for students have reached a staggering £807.00. Unfortunately, there’s only so much a student loan can cover, and it’s normally gone with the blink of an eye.
This is why part-time and temp jobs are ideal. They can work around your class schedules and give students the opportunity to build some CV experience, before graduating and searching for that dream full-time position.
However, because part-time jobs are in such high demand for students, there’s pretty stiff competition for most vacancies. It’s estimated 77% of students have a part-time job, so finding ways to stand out from the crowd is essential if you want to land those flexible work hours and a decent pay packet.
Lucky for you, we have a list of six tactics you can try to help land your perfect student job.
1. Start Looking Early
It’s never too early to start inquiring. You’ll likely need to move away for university and will have to explore your new home for the next few years to see what opportunities exist. If you’re serious about getting a job then it can help to know who is hiring well in advance of when you first move into your student halls.
The important thing to remember is that come September, everyone will be either rushing to try and find a job or taking a few months to settle, and by Christmas everyone who’d been away is going to be back for the holidays and will likely also need to find part time work – so it’s imperative you get a good head start and get in there early.
For example, searching for Christmas temp work in October is a good way to start. Once you get your foot in the door you can work through Christmas and then transition to part-time work through the year if the business has vacancies once you’re done.
2. Double Check your Details
When you’re applying for work, be it full or part-time, it is absolutely imperative that you check your CV. Nothing will ruin your prospects faster than a CV with incorrect details. If you’re including an e-mail, make sure you use one that looks professional and make extra certain your phone number is correct. This also applies when you’re looking for a job after graduating, so get into these good habits early on.
A number of recruitment sites, such as Monster have free screening services that review CVs to ensure they’re presented in the best possible manner and avoiding any fundamental mistakes.
3. Get a Driver’s License
Sadly, a lot of employers see a driver’s license as a deal breaker for job applicants – in fact, one in six UK job adverts now require a full driver’s license, even if the position doesn’t actually entail driving.
As good as it sounds to get a job that’s just down the street, you would need to be quite lucky to land that job. And if you’re looking further afield, relying solely on public transport can severely restrict your options and make you appear unreliable in terms of working hours.
A driver’s license is a sure way to broaden your job hunting prospects as it proves to employers that you can get to and from work easily. Beyond this, it’ll show you’re flexible, motivated and can travel further afield if required to meet demands – all very strong selling points during the recruitment process and certainly something worth obtaining before you begin searching for a graduate role.
However, learning to drive through weekly lessons can be a lengthy process for time-poor students – less than ideal if you’re also desperately job hunting. This is why many opt for an intensive driving course to pass their test in a smaller timeframe; meaning you can begin your search right away before heading back for next term. And more often than not, intensive driving courses work out substantially cheaper compared to traditional instructor lessons, an added bonus for cutting expenses.
4. Customise that Cover Letter
A great way to stand out from the pack is to include a cover letter. It demonstrates that you know who you’re talking to and shows your interest in their company is genuine. It can be tempting to just send the same CV to everyone who’s hiring with the same introduction giving your name, skills and aiming for a mass market appeal. But if you include a few details about the business and can show that you’re familiar with them and their service, then it marks you as different from the pack. As with checking the CV’s details, you can also use recruitment websites to give you a steer on writing a cover letter. Key things to remember:
- Be concise and to-the-point, using an easy-to-read font.
- Don’t just rewrite your CV – mention why you’re getting touch, why you’re suitable for the job and what you can bring to the company.
- Research the company thoroughly and demonstrate so in your cover letter.
- Write a new one for each job, you need to be specific to each role you’re applying for.
5. Check your Social Media Settings
A very modern-day problem which not everyone will consider – you should also make sure that your social media is set up professionally before applying for a job. Remember, it’s very easy to look up someone’s social media history and see their activity. According to a pool by job-hunt.org, 80% of employers will partake in some Googling of job candidates when sifting through applications.
So, if your social media settings aren’t set to private, a potential employer could easily be put off of hiring you after seeing you’ve said or done something in the past that they don’t wish to have associated with their company. This is even more important when you’re searching for jobs after you graduate so keeping a careful eye on your social media presence is important.
6. Acing the Interview
Practice makes perfect and after you’ve landed an interview, rehearsing your responses and making sure you have an answer ready for any question is vital to try and improve your chances of success.
Having someone act as an interviewer is a good way to ensure your rehearse will be effective. There are a number of online resources that you can use to help prepare for the interview in general. Just make sure that any preparation you do is geared towards the business interviewing you – if you can demonstrate you’re passionate about their business, you are more likely to be seen as a good hire. Some key interview points to remember:
- As with your cover letter, background research is key to make sure you can answer the questions about the company.
- Some studies show the interview outcome is decided in the first five minutes so make sure you make a good first impression.
- Bring your CV to every interview, alongside a notepad and pen – it helps you appear motivated and organised!
- Think of a few smart questions you could also ask the interviewee, e.g. “how would my performance be measured in this role”?
- Prepare answers for some common interview questions.
- Make sure you mention all of your selling points, aim for three-five.
Think you have any extra hints that can help someone land a job while a student? Let us know about it so we can enrich the list!