Finding part-time work
What do you want from your part-time job?
Answering this question early on will ensure that you can find a job that really matches your needs. This can save you time and effort during your initial job search, and can lead to a more rewarding experience at work. So begin by deciding what those needs are.
Here are some questions to get you thinking...
What are your reasons for finding part-time work?
For many students this will be to earn money to meet living costs, for others it may be to have extra spending money, or it could be for the social side of working. A part-time job can also offer valuable work experience, if this is a priority for you think about the jobs that may involve the skills and experiences that you would like to develop. For more information please see the work experience pages. You will most likely have more than one reason for looking for a part-time job, if this is the case it is helpful to prioritise these.
What locations are suitable?
Do you have your own transport? What would be the costs of travelling to work by bus? If you finish late at night would you have to pay for a taxi? With these thoughts in mind decide which areas of Bristol are suitable before you start your search.
- First Bus have bus timetables and fares online.
- National Rail have train information. From the local train station, Clifton Down, you can easily reach Avonmouth, Temple Meads and Lawrence Hill
- Visit Bristol has information on Bristol, including maps.
When can you work?
This will depend on your lecture timetable and other commitments. Will you be able to work during the day, in the evening, or at weekends? Will you remain in Bristol over the vacations? Employers will want a clear idea of when you will be available and it can be helpful to let them have this information at the application stage. JobShop also recommends that you work no more than 15 hours per week during term-time, this is to ensure that you have sufficient time for your studies.
What experience do you already have?
Part-time employers are the same as any other, they like to see that you have the necessary skills and experience for the post and most importantly that you have an interest in the work and the company. Once you have decided upon the type of work that you will search for, take the time to tailor your CV. Think about the work, study and extra-curricular experiences that you have, and highlight the relevant skills and experiences that you have developed. Ensure that your CV demonstrates where, when and how you have used skills that are relevant to the company's work. Remember to include transferable skills, for example customer service experience developed in one job will be useful in any customer facing role.
The job search!
With the above points in mind, now try to shortlist the types of work and the locations that you would like to work in. Use a range of methods to find the right job for you. Search the JobShop vacancy listings, other online vacancy sites, regional newspapers and publications. For a list of useful resources please see the South West jobhunting page. If you have specific employers in mind, then the speculative approach can be very useful. Make initial contact by phone or in person, follow up with a targeted CV & covering letter and then make a follow up call. The Careers Service provides more information about making applications, speculative applications & CVs.
- If you are looking for Retail, Hospitality or Catering work then the best approach can be to visit the employer in person to hand in your CV or application. Don't be put off if they don't have an advert in the window, always ask if they have any upcoming vacancies.
- Part-time employers often have peak trading periods when they will require more casual staff. Think about when these periods will be, for example in the run up to Christmas, and ensure that you target these companies at the right time of year.
- When delivering a CV directly to a business, ask to speak to someone who has responsibility for recruitment, this is your opportunity to ask some questions about the role and make a great first impression!
Advice & support
To contact the JobShop Officer, or for help with your CV, application, and more, please see the Information & Advice section or call in to see us on Tyndall Avenue.