Beginners guide to finding a part-time job in Manchester

Written by Sarah Mallen, Information & Guidance Coordinator at The Careers Service

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Welcome (or welcome back) to The University of Manchester. A part time job while you study is a great way to earn money, make friends and build valuable skills for internships & graduate entry jobs in the future.

You’ve realised by now Manchester is huge and students live and commute in from all over, so I’ll go through a few different options for finding jobs.

Firstly, what experience do you have, what skills have you got, and what do you want to do?
Any job will have a list of skills you need to have,  or be able to develop fast! So you need to decide what you would feel confident applying for.  The employer is going to want to see evidence of the skills you claim to have on your CV – so you can’t fake it!

Where do students usually work?
Retail, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, tutoring, marketing, student ambassadors, care work. There’s a lot of it available and often it’s not even formally advertised!

But you could get a part time job in a Museum, as a web designer or as a sports coach – you just need to be a bit proactive! Use CareersLink and also look on company websites.

If you are new to Manchester you might find our Finding work in Manchester Guide useful to help you understand what types of businesses & therefore jobs will be available here.

How do I find jobs?

  1. Check our jobs database Careerslink. Login – go to vacancies – select part-time jobs.
  2. Go round the area convenient for you to get to by public transport, look in shop windows and ask around.  (If you just look around the University you will seriously be limiting your options!)
  3. Ask friends about where they are working, would they recommend it? Do they need staff?
  4. If you live out in the suburbs then jobs in your local area may be less popular with the whole student body. Use your local advantage.
  5. Read our part-time jobs guide for loads of ideas!

Will I find a part-time job related to my course or career?
It depends on your course!

  • Marketing & IT – almost definitely! Brand managers & IT roles are common.
  • Teaching – Yes, there are lots of tutoring roles plus summer schools and other related experience.
  • Development studies – you might be better off volunteering to get the experience you need.
  • Engineering –  you are more likely to get this experience through internships and placements

Think about the skills you need to build on for your future. Teamwork, leadership, communication, problem solving, analytical skills etc. These skills can be gained in a huge varieties of roles.

How do  I apply?
Most jobs you see advertised in shop windows say send a CV or a CV & cover letter, if it’s a bigger company they may have a web form for you to fill in.  If it says “enquire within (or even if it doesn’t) it really pays to go in ask about the job so that you know what to cover in your CV.

CV = facts. The skills and experience you have relevant to this role.  So yes, you need to be sure what the job involves – if in doubt ask.

Cover letter = motivation + sales pitch!  Why do you want to work there, in that job and what skills do you have that mean you are ideal!

You’ll probably have an interview – it may seem quite casual but they are trying to find out if you’ll fit in the team and be able to cope in the job!

Ask us for advice The Careers drop-in advice desk open Mon – Fri in the Atrium University Place.

What else do I need to know?

  1. If you are an international student you will need a national insurance number 
  2. Some organisations often bars insist on work trials to see if you can actually do bar work.  Be clear how long a trial will last and if / when you will be paid if you are successful!
  3. Be aware of scams, you will get phishing emails and see jobs that seem to good to be true, “work from home earn thousands”.  Be sceptical and check things out.

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