[Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Danny Ngo.]
I start with “For the beginner”, “immediate”, or “advanced” based on the level of passive to active and the less serious to the more serious. Of course, the more advanced the method is, the higher chance you will get a job. So my ultimate advice is: go for the advanced because you can. Still, apply every method will assure you that there’s no reason on earth you cannot have a job. Below are my tips for hunting part-time jobs.
For the beginner:
These methods is a must-do if you want to start having a job.
- Ask publicly
- Search actively
Yes. That simple. Get your words out there, either to your friends, your professors, on Facebook or any public, a social network that you have. It’s like advertising, but you’re the product. The more exposure you get, the more chance someone will come to rescue you. So don’t be afraid to ask. Trust me, you have nothing to lose, and everybody is much nicer to offer help than you thought.
Even when you get your words out there, the chance someone will help you is still low. Be proactive and go out there to hunt for jobs on your own. Go to the library. Go on campus places where they have jobs for students. Search on online pages as well. Go to every Facebook pages of every store in your local area and see if they are hiring. Go to Craigslist. Freelancer? Go to Odesk, Freelancer, Elance or any other Freelancing website. Leave no stone unturned.
For the immediate:
These methods will require a certain level of outgoing personalities and social interaction experiences.
- Expand connections and networks
- Ask directly in person
- Call or send direct email
The more relationships you get, the more chance they will help you or introduce you to available jobs that they know. So start today, getting close to more people and keep contact with them. You will never know when those contacts are helpful. At the same time, don’t forget to help them in return.
Search for every store in your local area. Don’t be picky. Be picky when you have options. Print out your CV, and write a motivation letter for each and every store (some might not need motivation letter). Go outside and go to each and every store, ask them if they are hiring. If they say yes, good, leave your documents and ask for the store’s contacts to send an email later (do not give them your email and trust that they will send you an email!). If they say no, give them your documents and tell them to contact you when they are hiring again. Ask for contacts and send them an email later. Always. *wink*
Asking directly in person is still the best choice. However, in case you really cannot due to time constraints or expensive transportation, calling or sending direct email is the next best choice. Search for contacts through yelp, trip adviser or any other methods. Make a sheet with the name of the store and write down contacts. Call or send an email to each and every store asking if they are hiring. Check off the list after each.
For the advanced:
These methods will take times to earn and to learn, but it will pay off much better than the other two.
- Work for free to gain experience
- Try to learn extra skills in your spare time
- Learn extra languages
Sounds harsh and ridiculous? True. However, there are a lot of places will require you to have a certain amount of experiences before they accept you. Also, the competition for a part-time job is ridiculous. As you have never touched your hand into a practical job, you might as well think about this method. Of course, do not spend 20 hours a week working for free. Offer to help for free or come to work for free at peak hours at a restaurant or a high volume place. They will need you. You can stop working after few weeks or few months. Afer that, you can add into your CV that you have had practical experiences in a certain area. I have done this. It works.
Yes, stop watching series after series or spend time on wasteful activities, and spend time on gaining some skills. The more skills you have, the higher chance they will pick you because, simply, you are skillful. Also, you might discover yourself which skills you like to do and which career you like to follow later during the process or learning as well.
It’s a tip, but also a personal lesson from me. I have been rejected many times only because I do not have the language, or my level of the language is not good enough. Since most of the jobs need communication between you and customers, language can be the ultimate factor that they will decide whether they will choose you or not. Learn some extra languages or refine your current language to increase the higher chance.
About Danny Ngo
Hey there, I'm Danny, currently studying International Bachelor Communication and Media at Erasmus University. I enjoy doing various activities from reading, traveling, to singing. I have had some backgrounds in preparing to go study abroad to US, Japan, and Europe. I'm going to graduate next year, and my next stop will be the USA.