Finding a Job

Finding a part-time job

Sometimes graduates need to secure a part-time job to earn money whilst looking for full-time positions.

With graduate jobs being hard to find and the costs of living on the rise, finding a part-time job might be one of the options that you’re facing whilst waiting for your dream job.

It’s not ideal, but it’s something to put on your CV, it’ll bring in some extra cash, and it’s a much better option than claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance.

And with more employers offering part-time work to cut down on costs, you could be surprised by just how many opportunities are out there.

You never know what jobs you could be missing out on if you don’t try!

How to find a graduate job

Door knocking

Door KnockingIt may seem slightly old fashioned in the age of the internet but walking from store to store and enquiring as to whether they have any positions could put you in good stead.

It’s true that a lot of shops will just tell you to go online or simply take your CV (and appear to chuck it in the bin behind the cash register) but this is not all bad. You might even end up handing your CV to a person that turns out to be the manager.

Recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies have big databases full of jobs that are waiting to be filled, and many of these are on a part-time basis. Send off a copy of your CV and explain that you’re happy to consider part-time opportunities.

Big chains have branches in most big cities. Be sure to check if there are any recruitment agencies that specialise in graduates in your city. It could be the case that they have higher level work that will suit university leavers.

Graduate recruitment fairs

Graduate Recruitment FairMany employers attend graduate recruitment fairs to tap into the talent pool. Some of this work could be part-time, but there’s a good chance that if they’re targeting graduates, the jobs will be higher than entry level.

If any are coming up in your area, make sure that you attend.

Contacting companies directly

If you’ve got your eye on a particular company that you’d like to build a career with, don’t rule them out just because they aren’t currently recruiting full-time staff.

Give them a call and ask if they have any part-time opportunities coming up. It could be a foot in the door, and if you impress, it could lead to bigger and better things.

Online searches

Online Job SearchNowadays, a lot of businesses are doing their recruiting online. Regularly check the websites of companies that you’d like to work for, especially around peak times such as Christmas.

Sign up for any email updates they might offer, and follow them on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter so you don’t miss anything.

You university careers website should still be able to help you as well as sites like the Government’s universal Jobmatch.

People you know

Ask around friends and family to see if they’ve heard of anywhere that’s recruiting part-time staff. It could be the case that the place where they work is looking for seasonal staff, but they haven’t got round to advertising yet.

Sometimes, existing employees are offered a bonus if they recommend a new employee. So everyone’s a winner!

Tips for securing a part-time job

Make your CV stand out

CV A graduate CV should be something that you’ve already given some serious thought to. Don’t think that it isn’t just as important when you’re applying for part-time work!

Do some research into the company and carefully read the job description and person specification.

Tweak your CV accordingly so you’re showing how well you’d fit into the role.

Be prepared for tricky interview questions

If you’re invited to an interview, it’s possible that the employer could ask why you’re looking for part-time work.

Obviously, don’t say that it’s the only option that you’ve got left! Just explain that the opportunity that you applied for seemed to be a perfect match for your skills, and that you think you could make a great contribution.

It’s fine to mention that you’d be interested in any full-time opportunities if they came up but don’t mention that you might be on your way as soon as you find your dream career!

Keep your eye on the bigger picture

It can be disappointing when you graduate with a great degree and feel like you have to take up part-time employment. But don’t think that it’s a step backwards.

Part-time jobs can be brilliant way to learn new skills, meet new people, and get you ready and fired up for your next challenge. It might not be where you want to be longer term, but any kind of employment is a step in the right direction.

If you do secure part-time employment, use your free time to develop other skills or carry out some volunteering work.


Part-time work can be a much needed lifeline for graduates struggling to find employment.

Have you considered working in a part-time job since you graduated? What do you think are the pros and cons?

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