Working as a student

Reasons for getting a part-time job as a student vary. Not all of us are lucky enough to have parents that can pay for our education, or at least not for all of the expenses. Some of us do not feel comfortable with spending our parents’ money for things that we don’t urgently need, such as extra-curricular activities or travelling. Some just want to get some working experience to have better possibilities in getting a graduate job or an internship. Whatever reason you are getting a job for, you will certainly gain valuable experience, develop a sense of what you would like or would not like to do as a career after graduation, or at least earn some money, so definitely go for it! Here are some tips to help you get the job you want.

Combining work and study

This is a very important skill for everyone considering student work, and it is best to think about it before part-time work affects your academic work. Our university recommends a maximum of 15 hours of work per week for Undergraduates (up to 35 hours during vacation), 6 hours for Postgraduate Taught students and 9 hours for Postgraduate Research students. Further advice from them is available here. Take a look, I can confirm form my own experience that they offer some valuable advice.

Where to find a job

There are many web pages where jobs in Edinburgh are advertised on. MyCareerHub would be a good place to start, since it is run by the university and only jobs considered suitable for students are advertised. You can use it to search for vacancies (part-time jobs, vacation jobs, internships and graduate jobs), book appointments to speak to Careers Consultants, or find events/workshops/employers on campus. Totaljobs and TARGETjobs are other web pages I have been using.

Application process

You will need to have an updated CV for the majority of jobs you will apply for. There is some PPLS-specific advice on writing CV offered by the Career Service, and some general guidelines available here. Some of the jobs also require a cover letter, which varies in different applications, but it is usually a personal statement about why you are a suitable applicant for the position they are offering. If you are successful, employers will sometimes invite you for an interview.

It is important to find a job that you like doing, because that way working will benefit you the most. I wish you good luck at finding your dream part-time job!