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How to Find a Student Job: Part-Time Ideas


Your maintenance loan might cover all the university essentials, but you may not have much left afterward. A part-time student job will ensure you always have extra cash to hand. So whether you need to cover an emergency, or you just want to treat yourself, you’ll be sorted.

A student job will also look great on your CV. Even if the job you get has nothing to do with your degree, it will demonstrate that you’re good at communicating, at working as part of a team, and at juggling numerous tasks and responsibilities. These are all skills that employers value. So when it comes time to graduate, your work experience could give you an edge.

In this post we’ll explore some things you can try to help you find a student job.

How Many Students Have Part Time Jobs?

Many students work jobs to supplement their student loans. One study revealed that as many of 66% of UK students are currently working part-time.

Can I Get a Job as a Student?

Some universities might not like it if you start working full-time hours, as this would certainly interfere with your studies. Indeed, some universities do not permit their students to work at all during term time. Others recommend you work no more than 10 hours a week. Talk to your personal tutor, or your student union, for more information about the rules where you study.

In any case, your job should not interfere with your studies. Your course should always take priority, and your employer should understand and respect this.

How Many Hours a Week Should A Student Work?

Think about your workload – not just the lectures and seminars you attend, but also the time you spend outside of these hours reading and writing.

How much time do you think you’d be able to work, on top of this university work? Would an extra 10 hours a week be more than enough? Or would you be able to stretch to 15 or 20 hours?

How to Get a Job as a Student With No Experience

You can’t just decide, one day, that you’d like a job, and then start working a job. Finding a job takes a lot of effort – particularly if you have little to no experience.

So how can you get a job as a student with no experience? We won’t lie to you – it won’t be easy. But it’s not impossible. Here are some things that might help:

  • Make sure your CV’s up to scratch. Perfectly presented, beautifully written, with up-to-date contact details and no spelling or grammatical errors. Here’s a great collection of student CV examples and writing tips.
  • Set social to private. Employers might check your social media profiles before they call you. If they don’t like what they see, then they won’t call you. You should be careful about the things you share on social media in any case. But you can stop potential employees from getting the wrong idea about you by setting your profiles to private.
  • Do as much as you can. We’re talking extra-curricular activities here. If you don’t have any past jobs to put on your CV, you can draw from your many interests and hobbies to highlight your skills and experience.
  • Charities are always looking for volunteers, and their volunteering placements are a great way for you to build up transferable skills and experience. Want retail experience? Volunteer in a charity shop. Want office experience? Volunteer with a charity’s fundraising or marketing team. You could also try contacting private sector organisations, asking if you can volunteer to help build up experience.

How to Find a Student Job: Where to Look

The best jobs for students are those you can easily balance with your studies. This might be evening, weekend, or holiday work, or just a job with shifts you can work around your university commitments.

Your first port of call should be your student union. They’ll probably have a careers officer who may be able to help you find part-time work in your area. Some student unions also hire students to run their bars and shops – so your part-time job might be closer than you think!

Here are some other areas you can explore:

Job Agencies

Register with a job agency, and they’ll help you find casual work in a range of fields.

This can be a short placement, such as a catering role at an event lasting just a few hours, or a longer placement lasting a few weeks.

Most agencies provide training, so you won’t have to worry about your lack of experience. Unfortunately some agencies may be strict about their placements, and will expect you to prioritise their shifts over your studies.

Different agencies operate in different cities across the UK.  You can use the powerful search tool on the Agency Central site to find opportunities near you.

Shops, Bars and Restaurants

Students often work at bars and restaurants, as it’s quite easy to fit an evening or weekend shift around your studies. Plus, some bars and restaurants are willing to take on less-experienced workers.

Shops are less ideal, as it’s more common for the working hours to overlap with your studying hours. But you could always work weekends, and those days of the week when you have no lectures or seminars.

Think of a major high street chain. Visit their website. If they have any opportunities in your area, they’ll list them on the “careers” section.

But your best bet is to make your CV as dazzling as possible, print as many copies as you can, and take to the streets!

Some places will advertise their vacancies in the window. But even if they don’t, it won’t hurt to pop in, introduce yourself, explain that you’re looking for work, and hand over your CV.

Some places will turn you down. Others will thank you, and promise to get in touch if anything comes up. But the point is that, the more places you do this, the greater your chances of success. So stay positive and don’t give up!

Online Job Listings

Sign up to as many online job listing sites as you can, and they’ll routinely email you with appropriate vacancies in your area.

Some job sites even list student placements. Take a look at the latest placements for students on Job Rapido, for example.

The only downside is that lots of people use these sites, so there’s likely to be a lot of competition for every job that comes up. You may have to apply for many, many jobs before you get an interview. So once again, it’s vital that you stay positive and persevere.

Seasonal Work

Some companies hire extra help during busy seasons. For retail stores and companies like the Post Office, this will be the festive period. For theme parks and other tourist attractions, this will be the summer holidays.

For this temporary seasonal work, companies often stipulate that there’s “no experience necessary”. They’ll give you all the training you need.

They may expect you to work full-time hours for a set period of weeks. So long as it’s outside of term-time, this shouldn’t be a problem for you. But this is something you should bear in mind if you were planning on using your Christmas or Summer Holidays to travel, or to rest and recuperate.

Some companies will advertise this seasonal work on online job sites. Or you may see adverts elsewhere – in newspapers, on billboards, on website banners, or even in your campus. So pay attention, ask around, and see what you can find!

Need Some Extra Support?

You can also read our guide to saving money as a student.

Posted 03.11.22
Ed Henderson
News & Blog

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