Part-time work

As well as earning you much-needed cash, part-time work means that you can get valuable work experience and take on new roles. It all looks good on your CV.

Careers advertise part-time opportunities (including roles on campus) through the Careers Gateway.

What are the rules about working whilst studying?

You are allowed to work up to 16 hours per week whilst studying on a full-time degree course. Make sure that you take a good look at your timetabled commitments, and major deadlines coming up.

What kind of job should I look for?

Although your priority is likely to be earning cash to pay your rent, it's worth thinking about the kind of experiences that you want to gain. Do you want to work in a busy environment where you'll get good at working under pressure such as in a busy bar or restaurant? Or do you want to develop caring skills by working with people with particular needs? Or perhaps you want to add administrative skills to your CV by working in an office environment.

I'm just working in a shop / bar / cafe - how does this make my CV better?

Once you start thinking about your skills, you'll appreciate how even a lowly shop / bar / cafe job can give you a range of experiences that will impress future employers. Below are some examples of the kinds of skills that you might notice you're developing:

juggling priorities and managing your time
If you're successfully holding down a job, and keeping up with your University work, then you've presumably spent some time planning when you're going to get your essays written, and when you need to be at work. These skills in managing yourself are welcomed by employers who'll need you to turn up on time and be effective at work as well as managing your outside work life.

dealing with difficult people
Unfortunate but true, many public-facing jobs such as working in shops or bars and restaurants will involve you having to deal with difficult people. This is a great skill to develop. If you can talk to an employer about times when you diffused tense situations, dealt assertively with a problem or turned around a difficult scenario by giving brilliant customer service, then you'll certainly stand out.

working under pressure
Many jobs involve doing several things at the same time, whilst keeping an eye on the big picture and not getting stressed. It's a great skill to develop. In a job interview, be ready to talk about a specific situation, what you did, and what the outcome was. Most jobs involve working under pressure from time to time, and an employer will want to know that you're not going to freak out if things get stressful.

administrative skills
Administration skills are a great addition to your list of skills. If you can be organised with your paperwork, and comfortable managing your finances, as well as managing a busy diary an employer will be very impressed.

caring skills
If you are interested in moving into a caring profession such as social work, then part-time work is an excellent way of getting experience under your belt. This work will also give you skills in prioritising, working under pressure, dealing with challenging situations.

numerical skills
We all need numerical skills. If you can prove that you've got these, by handling cash, doing the books or planning a budget, then an employer will look favourably at your application.

If you've handled large quantities of money, or been entrusted to run the business while the boss was on holiday, this shows a level of responsibility and honesty that employers will very much want to see.

attention to detail
Ordering stock, cashing up at the end of the day, checking paperwork or producing written documents all require attention to detail, which is a great skill. In an interview be ready to talk about a good example of how your attention to detail meant that you were able to pick up a problem or come up with a new idea.