7 Tips for Finding Part-Time Work over Christmas

By on November 16th, 2016


As a student, there are many reasons why it’s great to have part-time job at Christmas. Not only does it help you fund this season of gift giving, it’ll also help top up your (probably now depleted) student loan, and give you some money to enjoy yourself.

In addition to that, a part-time job during your studies can go a long way to securing full time employment after uni, even if it’s not directly related to your future career.

Here are some handy tips from Downing on finding part-time work either before or during the Christmas period.


1. Focus on retail/hospitality first

To maximise your chances of finding employment, it makes sense to go where the most jobs will be to begin with. Retail and hospitality are two of the most in-demand industries this time of year, and remember as well that if you work in hospitality, tips go a long way!


2. Look at larger chains and apply directly online.

Similarly to above, the larger chains are likely to have the most jobs available, so should be first on your list. Waitrose, for example, was reported to have offered 5000 vacancies just for Christmas!

Hit up the big brands first and save the small independent businesses till later. You should be able conduct your search on the company’s own website and apply directly through there. (This saves you the task of traipsing around the high street giving out CVs).


3. Make yourself as available as possible.

Employers generally want people who are going to be the most available and flexible this time of year, so be sure to list as many free hours as possible on your application. The actual hours you work can always be negotiated later.


4. Spread your efforts widely

It’s obviously not likely you’ll get the first job you apply for (though if you do, good for you!). With each position estimated to have around 25 applicants, things can get competitive. Ensure you spread your ‘net’ as widely as you can, by applying to as many positions as possible.

You may be able to get away with using the same CV to make things easier, but really do try to tailor your cover letter for each role, and where possible, use the correct name of the person you’re writing to.


5. Think outside the box

Once you’ve covered the obvious roles (retail and hospitality) , it may be useful to think outside of your comfort zone. There may be many opportunities out there you haven’t thought of; for example, call centre jobs, delivery jobs with major parcel carriers, postal jobs with the Royal Mail and even personal shopper jobs.


6. It’s about skills, not experience

If you’ve worked in a shop before and have all the experience the employer is looking for, great! But if not, don’t let that put you off from applying. Employers are already aware that applicants are likely to be students, looking for a bit of extra cash this time of year. Above all they are simply looking for people who will turn up to work on time; spend time learning the craft and keep customers happy.

If you can demonstrate a keen ability to learn and good people skills in other ways, like your course and extracurricular activities, this will go a long way.


7. Get in early

The key leading up to Christmas is to not wait around. Apply for jobs as soon as you see them and keep on trying right up to and through December, as new and last-minute positions can become available at any time.

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