Career Advice

6 Pointers to Snag a Part-Time Job

3
min read
Mikaela Thompson

Luckily, almost any occupation, including high level or professional positions, can accommodate part-time variable scheduling and flexible work hours which are common in sales, marketing, education, nursing, software engineering to name a few. In fact, many employers prefer hiring part-time workers for convenience or to avoid having to pay the benefits that go to full-time workers. However, legal definitions of part-time work can differ between countries. If this is important to you, for say, tax purposes, government benefits and the like, then check this out with your country’s Labour Department (usually accessible through government online portals). 

Get ready to apply.

1) Make sure you can handle a part-time job. While you’ll increase your chances of being hired by giving as much availability as you can to the employer, don’t exaggerate or lie about this. Employers don’t want to hire an irresponsible person you can’t turn up for all the scheduled shifts. Make sure your study and/or other commitments don’t overlap with your work hours to avoid any dilemmas over which to forfeit. Before applying, ask yourself if you can realistically perform this job well. Be honest about upcoming university studies, booked vacations etc. It’ll benefit you to have your boss on side when it comes time to pack up and move on – think good recommendation.

2) Compose a list of employers currently hiring to avoid wasting your time. However, keep in mind that many part-time jobs aren’t advertised and will require you to front up in person to ask the employer/company of any going. Also, check out online job sites, such as, Happyer, Upwork, Fiverr, Indeed and LinkedIn. Prioritize companies with open positions now over those who are merely accepting applications. Also, look at job boards and go to job fairs.

3) Be deliberate in your job search. Make a list of your preferred potential jobs e.g., those that offer you a silver lining, such as, you like their products, services, or ethos e.g., zero waste, sustainability, no animal testing etc. If you have zero interest in a job or company, you’re unlikely to stay for long. Do a bit of research on the job functions and requirements. Use your connections to see if you can access anyone working there to find out more about the role as well as to help you snap up an interview.

4) Get your information in order. Pep up your resume updating any information and tailoring it to match the job requirements of the roles you want to apply for. If you’re a newbie to the job market, fluff up your extracurricular activities in lieu of work experience e.g., if you were a sport’s captain or head of a club you can say you have developed leadership skills, as a babysitter you’ve developed a strong sense of responsibility, creative solutions, and problem-solving skills. Don’t invent work experiences – such lies always end up catching up with you and can ruin your reputation and future job prospects. Have references ready and ask those you’ve studied under, worked for, or done volunteer work with if you can use their names as referees.

6) If you’re a fresh graduate, make sure you have a reliable means of transportation. Employers may be wary of young people in terms of reliability and punctuality. Have an answer ready for such questions so you won’t come across as flaky not even knowing how you’ll get to a job. There’s no need to ‘neon’ a lack of car or license though. Your feet, a drop-off or public transport could serve you well in the right circumstances.


Apply.

1) If you’re going door knocking, you may have to fill out an application on the spot. Have with you all the necessary materials e.g., your updated and tailored resume, supporting documents, photo ID, references etc. 

2) Fill in and keep track of all your applications. It’s prudent to print off a sample application so you know what information you’ll need on hand. If you have an online application to fill or access to a scanner, then type answers on the application rather than scrawling in pen. Don’t use Wite-Out, or leave eraser marks, stains, crinkles, or splotches on the application either. Keep it clean and professional – it’ll get you much needed brownie points. If there’s no choice, use a black pen and your best penmanship to fill it in.

3) Make sure your online presence is professional. Just as you research companies online, employers research you. It’s not enough to make your social profiles private. This may alert employers to something being hidden. As a rule of thumb, delete content your gran wouldn’t be happy to see. Add positive content e.g., LinkedIn profile, personal blog writing (this can act like a digital resume), create a personal website to show off your portfolio and skills etc.

4) Follow up your applications.  This is when keeping track of them is essential. Call or email to find out when you’ll hear back from them or your status in the hiring process. Prioritize employers who are hiring the soonest if you’re needing a job asap.

5) Be interview ready: practice answers to common interview questions (check these online), create short stories to show a picture of yourself in the context of a job and practice these, dress appropriately or as requested (no low-cut tops or pants, short skirts, stiletto heels etc.; aim for business casual), well-groomed (no dirty nails, oily hair or extreme cuts or colours), show up early, make a good impression i.e., professional and courteous to everyone. 

6) Don’t be coy about negotiating. There’s no common standard about benefits for part-timers. Some companies will offer full benefits, others offer them on a pro-rata basis of hours worked while others don’t offer them at all.  Think about which benefits are important to you. If there aren’t any available, try to negotiate a pay increase.

Post-interview.

1) Send out thank you notes to interviewers.

2) If you didn’t get a job offer on the spot, follow up in the same way you did after sending in your application.

3) Don’t give up too soon. Part-time jobs are just as fiercely contested as full-time jobs in most cases.


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