While academics are always important, money can be an issue when it comes to a full schedule. Getting a part time job is a great way to build your resume, form business relationships, get referrals, and earn money. You can find part time jobs through school, online, or in person. Once you update your resume and apply, you may be asked to interview. Always be honest about your qualifications, show up early for interviews, and dress the part.
Finding Job Listings
Gather a list of employers who are hiring at the present. Whether you’re in school or just looking for a part time job, there are plenty of places to find openings. Look around online, at your school, or even inquire in person.
Be sure that the employer is hiring for immediate placement and not just taking your application.
Look for jobs that both interest you and hire people like you. If you are a student, a lot of part time jobs can be found in the retail and service industry. These types of jobs are typically good for a flexible schedule and don’t always require a lot of experience.
Go to a job fair at your school or look on your school’s website. Many universities have a jobs section where employers can post part time jobs for students.
Search online for jobs. You can find part time jobs through sites like Monster.com, Jobvite.com, Indeed.com, and even Craigslist.com. Other sites like Upwork.com, Fiverr.com, and FlexJobs.com are good for remote or freelance work. With sites like Craigslist, you can even post a “work wanted” ad with your skills and experience to get employers to contact you.
You can also go into a store or restaurant and ask if the establishment is hiring. Sometimes you can fill out an application on the spot.
Ask your friends. Ask your friends about any employment opportunities. Sometimes you may know someone who is already employed and who can help you get a job.
Make a list of your favorite potential jobs. Once you’ve gathered a list of employers who are hiring, make a smaller list of your favorites. Though you may need a job to pay the bills, you shouldn’t have to hate the job you have. Write down your favorite ones.
After you have your list, do a little bit of research. Find out what the job functions and requirements are. Check to see if you know anyone who works there. These people can give you insight on the job and help you get an interview.
After generating an adequate list of employers, your next step is to figure out what your commitment level to each job will be.
Make sure you can manage a part time job. Look at your current and upcoming schedule. Before applying, ask yourself if you can realistically perform well at this job. If you’re in school, you need to make sure that you can handle both school and the job.
Aim to have perfect attendance, as absences seem magnified when you’re only working part time.
Most applications will ask for your availability. Supply this information with accuracy. You don’t want to lie about how much you can work. If you get hired because you say you can work more than you can, then you risk losing your job. Additionally, ending a job on a bad note with your employer can affect how easily you get your next job.
Prepare yourself if your employer needs you to work at a specific time. If you already have a set schedule for school, manage your time slots to ensure education and work do not collide and interfere with each other. You don’t want a job that will disrupt your studies and attendance. Employers do not want to hire someone who is not responsible.
Get your information in order. Before applying to any job, make sure that your resume and any references are up to date and ready for you to pass out.
Read over any requirements for the job (like certain grade requirements from university, or minimum years of experience). Make sure to include this information in your resume.
Read over your resume and make sure that everything is spelled correctly and updated. If you don’t have a lot on your resume, that’s okay, make sure you emphasize your results. In whatever job you had before, potential employers want to see how you made the business better.
Try to emphasize past achievements that are parallel to the job you are applying for. If you had a camp counselor job and are applying for a retail job, you can talk about your people skills.
If you have any references, make sure that those people are still ok with you putting those names down on an application.
If you don’t have references, ask some people you have worked for before if you can use that person as one. Even if you mowed lawns for your neighbor, that neighbor can be a reference. You can also ask teachers who like you to be references.
Applying to Jobs
Research the company. Whether you find the job posting online, on paper, or in person, research the company.
Online applications make it easy to get information on what is required of the job, and to look at the company’s information. Look around the website and see what the company’s personality is. Read about the company, how it got started, who is in charge, etc.
Even if you don’t apply online, you can still search for the company online. You want to know as much about the company as you can. This knowledge can help you on your application, in the interview, and even deciding if this job is something you want. Search for reviews about the position to which you are applying. See what others have said. You can read reviews from current and past employees on what the job is like.
Make sure your online presence is professional. Just as you are researching your potential employer, be prepared for your potential employer to research you. Clean up your online presence. A bad online presence can prevent you from getting hired.
This goes beyond simply making your social profiles private. While making your profiles private to unwanted visitors is within your rights and should be exercised, some employers become wary of this and suspect you are hiding something.
Google yourself and see what kind of information comes up. If you find information you don’t like, you can contact the publisher of that information and request it be taken down. However, this approach isn’t always effective.
Go through your profiles and delete posts, videos, and photos of you that might hurt you getting a job. A good rule of thumb is to not have anything your grandmother wouldn’t like. This may be tedious, but it can be the difference between paying rent and having no job.
Add more positive content. You can also add content to your online presence that may help you land a job. Create a LinkedIn profile. Write blog posts that showcase your writing talents, or create a website that shows off your portfolio, if you have one, and your skills. A personal website can act like a digital resume.
Begin to apply. Fill out any information your potential employer requires, whether through an online form on paper. Employers are aware of the limited work experience many high school and college students have, so do not worry about possessing each requirement. Since you’ve researched the job, your resume will be updated to reflect your best skills and experience for the job.
Provide as much information as you can. If you are applying on paper, write legibly to avoid confusion for your employer. It is highly recommended that you attach a resume to the application. Your resume will provide your employer with a thorough overview of your traits and credentials. If you are applying online, submit your resume as an attachment; ensure the document is legible and provides relevant information for your employer to review.
Ask for a letter of recommendation from a teacher or someone who can offer your employer examples of your work habits. Ensure when requesting a letter of recommendation that the person knows you well enough to provide qualitative information. If you are unable to reach someone, briefly describe your work ethics to your employer. Always be as honest as possible; “stretching the truth” will not have much of an advantage.
If you are asked for a cover letter, write one specifically for the job to which you are applying. Don’t submit a standard cover letter. In your cover letter, include why you will be a benefit to the company, cite examples from your resume, and be professional. You don’t need a long cover letter that explains everything you’ve done. You want to keep it short and sweet, briefly explaining how you are the best fit.
If you are applying in person. Have your schedule ready and bring your resume and a pen. Though the employer may have a pen for you to use, being prepared with one just in case shows initiative.
Follow up with your applications. Always keep track of all applications you submit. Ask for feedback or confirmation from your employer about the application; be courteous and show initiative toward your interest for the job.
After you’ve applied to a job, wait a few days and then call. Unless specifically instructed not to reach out, following up shows you are proactive and can put you on top of the list. When you call, introduce yourself and ask to speak to the hiring manager. Tell the manager that you recently applied to the job and that you are still interested in employment. Ask if the position is still open and if the company will be conducting interviews. You don’t want to be nosy or presumptuous and ask when you can come in. You simply want to let the manager know you are still available and would like to move to the next step.
You can also follow up via email, or sometimes in person, depending on how you first applied.
Remember that if you need a part time job fast, prioritize employers who are hiring immediately from the employers who are only accepting applications. If priority information is not provided, ask the employer.
Interviewing and Landing the Job
Dress the part. If you land an interview, this is your next step to getting hired. When the employer contacts you for an interview, it’s ok to politely ask how you should dress. Most part time jobs don’t require you to dress for an interview in anything nicer than clean professional clothes.
Men should consider pants that are not jeans, nice shoes, a button down shirt, tie, and maybe even a blazer.
Women should consider a nice blouse, pants or skirt, moderate shoes, and perhaps a blazer.
Certain part time jobs, like those in an office, may require you to dress up and look professional. But not all part time jobs will require you dress up. If you’re applying for a more casual job, you don’t need to dress up as much, but your clothes and appearance should be clean and look the part.
If you’re going to interview for a retail job, it’s a good idea to dress as well as the store’s best clothes if you can. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy the most expensive items from the store, but you should aim to emulate the style as best you can.
Some part time jobs may ask you to wear something specific. You may be asked to dress for your first day of work if part of the interview requires you to do some training. Other employers sometimes ask you to dress up in a costume. While this is rare, sometimes certain companies want to see how open or creative you are, and how well you can follow directions.
Show up early. The day before the interview look up directions to the interview if you don’t already know exactly where it is and how long it will take you to arrive. Aim to show up ten to fifteen minutes before the interview.
Showing up a little early not only shows that you are punctual and reliable, which is very important to employers, but it gives you time to relax.
You want to give yourself a few minutes to relax, go over any questions you have prepared, use the bathroom, or simply check out the place.
Make a good impression. In addition to showing up on time, which is early, you want to show your potential employer that you’re the right person for the job throughout the whole interview. Shake hands and keep eye contact. be polite, and speak clearly.
When you introduce yourself, or re-introduce yourself, shake your interviewer’s hand and make eye contact. Tell the person your name and thank the employer for seeing you.
Keep your body language friendly and relaxed. Though you may be nervous, it’s important to show that you’re confident and comfortable. Try not to fidget too much or touch your hair and face. Remember to smile.
It’s a good idea to bring another copy of your resume with you to give to your interviewer. Have a copy of your schedule with you as well.
Answer and ask the right questions. Even with part time jobs, you’ll encounter interview questions that you may struggle to answer effectively. Before your interview, write down answers to questions you’ve been asked before or you think you may hear. Also, write down questions of your own to ask.
If your potential employer asks you the “tell me about yourself” question, you want to have a quick, but thorough answer. Create a quick story that provides a picture of yourself in the context of the job. Explain what you’ve done that will benefit the job, what you like to do that may be applicable to your position, and something memorable. Practice this story before the interview.
Since you’ve done research, you should be able to tailor answers to the job functions. You don’t want to look like you’re just answering questions to get the job, though. Keep your answers friendly and conversational. Be able to talk about your past experiences, why you want this job, and why you’re a good fit.
Ask questions. Employers want to see that you’re invested and not just there for a paycheck. Ask your interviewer what a typical week looks like. How would you get trained in? Is there room to move up in the company? What is your interviewer’s favorite part of the job? These types of questions will give you a good idea of what working this job will be like and show that you’ve given some thought to the job.
Send a thank you note. Follow up after your interview. After the interview, thank the interviewer for the time before you leave. Then, after your interview, send a thank you note or an email. Just like following up after applying, a thank you note shows you’re committed and respectful.
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