We’re now halfway through the first semester, and for many people money is probably feeling a little tight – especially as our next loan payment isn’t due until January. Now that we have a better idea of our uni workload and demands, it might be the time to start looking for part-time work.
I’ve mentioned before that I have a few different jobs (waitress, sports coach, sales support assistant and, of course, blogger), which in total add up to full-time hours (about 40 hours a week). This might not suit everyone and there are definitely some weeks which are a real struggle for me but a part-time job for 10-20 hours a week will give you some extra money and something additional to put on your CV as well.
Here are a few tips and ideas for finding a job in Birmingham:
- Get your CV up to date and looking professional – UCB has a Careers & Employability centre (Hired@UCB) on 7th Floor, Summer Row with staff who can help not only with CV writing but also with interview preparation
- Look online for jobs – UCB has a careers portal, and other external sites such as Bullring Jobs and Caterer will also show vacancies in the Birmingham area
- If you apply for jobs online, make sure you follow up with a phone call a couple of days later – this way you know that your application was received but it also encourages the manager to bring your CV to the top of the pile as you’ve not only shown initiative but also they now have a clearer idea of who you are. You’re not just a few words on a bit of paper, but an individual with skills and a personality
- Go ‘door-to-door’ at restaurants, shops and anywhere else you’d like to work – dress smartly and take a neat and clean copy of your CV with you. Ask to speak with the manager, be confident and polite, explain who you are, what your previous experience is, why you’d like to work for them and why you’d be an asset to their team
- Work at UCB – the university employs students in a number of different, flexible roles. There are the team of Bloggers, a large group of Student Ambassadors, bar staff at BarOne, fitness instructors who supervise at the Richmond House and The Maltings gyms and Student Mentors.
- Ask your friends and make use of contacts you have – the old adage of ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ is so often true. If you’re looking for work, make sure you tell your friends and other contacts as they may hear about a vacancy which they’re not interested in but may be able to refer to you. Telling people that you’re looking for work means that your job search network becomes a lot bigger (rather than you just looking on your own) and if they’re able to put in a recommendation too, then that’s even better!
- Don’t get disheartened – Birmingham is a big city with lots of jobs on offer… that does mean though that there are also a lot of people applying for each of those jobs. Even if you have the skills and experience, sometimes you will still get turned down (or you just won’t get a response at all). Don’t take it personally, hold your head up and keep looking and applying. There will be something out there for you.
If you want any more tips or support, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below – I hold a qualification in Advice and Guidance with a focus on employability skills and job matching and have previously worked with a caseload of over 300 people looking for work in the Birmingham area.
Good luck and happy job hunting!