The ultimate guide to finding the best part-time jobs

Jiscon 8 April 2021

Low on money and looking for part-time work to boost your CV, skills and job prospects after graduation? Get the guide.

Working while studying has many benefits. As well as boosting your finances, having a job builds your skillset and provides real examples to use in interviews. So, what jobs are best for students, and where can you find vacancies?

1. Check out your options on campus 

Chances are, your friends and coursemates are already working part-time for their university, whether that’s in the Students’ Union or helping out in their department. Here is a list of some of the most common jobs you’re likely to find as a student:

  • Student ambassador - it's your job to promote the university through open days, presentations and practical activities both inside and outside the university. You could help run Freshers Week events and open days. 
  • Admin assistant - you will assist with photocopying, filing, data entry, paying invoices.
  • IT Support - in this role, you will provide technical support for halls of residence or particular departments. Some universities have their own student-led laptop repair services, which you can apply for. 
  • Hospitality staff - most students' unions have shops, bars and cafes that need running with shift work, making it easy to fit around your studies.
  • Library worker - this involves dealing with general queries from users, reshelving returned items and keeping the shelves tidy. If you like working in quiet conditions, this could be a great option for you!
  • Teaching assistantship - these offer PhD students financial support and training in return for six to eight hours per week of leading classes, hosting tutorials, marking papers and giving lab demonstrations. To find out more, see scholarships and bursaries.

Note that not all vacancies are advertised. If you want to work in a certain department, contact them directly to see what's available. There may also be a mailing list you can join so that opportunities get sent straight to you. For most roles, you'll need to email your CV and a cover letter explaining why you want the job and what you can offer. Check out how to write the ultimate CV that’ll land you the job. 

2. Search for part-time work outside of the campus 

Although the pandemic has made jobs scarce, on the positive side, it has facilitated even more remote working opportunities. Check online job boards like LinkedIn, Reed and Indeed for vacancies.

We wouldn’t recommend working more than 15 hours per week, as you still need time to focus on your studies. And, if you're not a UK or EEA-domiciled student, there may be restrictions on the number of hours you're allowed to work. For more information, visit UKCISA - Tier 4 work.

3. Keep an eye open for temp work 

If you don't want to work alongside your studies, but still need some extra cash, take advantage of the long student holidays. For example, the Christmas break is a great time to get a job as retail and hospitality organisations are busier than usual and often recruit short-term staff. 

Think outside the box as many organisations need some extra help. Companies like Royal Mail or Amazon often need additional support staff to meet the demands of Christmas shoppers. And, if you’re up for a laugh, consider wackier jobs like helping out at Santa's grotto.

4. Look for paid internships

Not only do these look great on your CV, but they also provide first-hand knowledge of a particular job/industry and boost your skillset. Make sure to research the company and what they can offer you, too. What do you want to learn from the internship, and how will it help you reach your career goals?

If you want to be flexible with your working hours, in addition to being your own boss, why not become an entrepreneur by starting up an Etsy shop, selling your skills or turning your hobby into a business? Check out how some students are making money with streetwear and sneakers for inspiration.  

For other ways to make extra cash, join our Student Panel to take part in student surveys. We’ll even give you a £10 Amazon voucher for signing up!

Jiscon 8 April 2021