Unfortunately for you (or fortunately, depending on which way you look at it); it’s already the middle of August, and in four weeks time hundreds of thousands of students will be shipped across the country ready to start another year of University. It’s a fact that half of students work part time during their studies to earn extra cash whether that be for booze, clothes or to boost the non-existent savings fund. With all of these students desperately searching for jobs come September, it can be somewhat difficult securing yourself a job when you’re faced with so much competition. Convinced that you’d be amazing for a particular job if you were just given a chance? Well by starting your search now, you’re more likely to get that job you’ve always (well, maybe not!) dreamt of.
The old saying ‘the early bird catches the worm’ really does ring true where job searching is concerned. Get online searching for jobs in your University town – if you’re looking for high street shops or chains of restaurants/bars, have a look on their website as they’ll usually advertise vacancies there. If you don’t have a specific company in mind, log onto your University careers service – they’ll have a list of reputable companies that are hiring, and, as they’ll have been vetted, their working hours should be student-friendly too.
Amend your CV
There is no such thing as a generic CV. Applicants who send off generic CVs to a whole heap of businesses will be disregarded – trust me, it’s easy to spot the difference between a person who has tailored their CV compared to someone who has a ‘one-size-fits-all’ one. Firstly, make sure your CV is up-to-date with the correct contact details, previous jobs and experience. Secondly, have a look through the job specification and tailor your CV towards it – does the specification insist you have ‘great organisation skills’? Put it in your CV with evidence attached to it! Finally, take out any irrelevant details and make sure your CV is worded correctly – CVs should be 2 pages max. You don’t want to bore the poor person reading it!
Write a Cover Letter
So you may think it’s just a part time job in a shop/bar/restaurant... why should you have to write a covering letter proclaiming your love for the position? Not to patronise you, but it’s not exactly news that the economy is still down with lots of unemployment... and mass unemployment means you really have to fight for a job. In your covering letter you should include why you want to work for the company (find some facts off the business’ website if you’re not sure), what skills you have that you think are good for the position, and then list your contact details. Keep it short, professional and friendly.
Get some Experience
So everyone keeps telling you this, and I know it’s easier said than done but seriously, the more experience you can get, the easier it is to find a job. It’s a vicious circle: you want a job but you need experience, but you can’t get experience because you don’t have any experience! Summer is a great time to get some experience – you’re living with mum and dad so can take unpaid work, and you have a long time off with nothing to do. You can still try and get in somewhere with a month left of the holidays... just make sure you big it up on your CV after!
Once you’ve done all of this, either email your covering letter and CV to the email address provided, or hand it in to the business themselves. If there is a specific smaller company that you are interested in working for, but aren’t listing any vacancies, there’s no harm sending them a quick email letting them know you’re interested. Worst thing that could happen is they don’t reply; but best case scenario is they’ll keep you in mind if anything does come up.
Good luck and happy job searching!
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