So many of my friends who are students tell me they are struggling to get a job. However, money is tight and they need the extra cash.
I’ve had many different jobs over the years and I somehow seem to always get the job I apply for. I’m going to let you know how I think I manage to do this below. Obviously, this is for part-time jobs at uni, but I think some of the information will be transferable.
- So, first of all, I only apply for jobs I’m actually interested in. If I am not enthusiastic about the role it’s going to show in an interview, and in the long term, I’m not going to enjoy the role… So what’s the point in that?
- Finding jobs is easy! I get the feeling some of you guys just aren’t looking properly. If you are looking for retail (which is the most common for students) go to your local shopping centers website and go to the jobs section. All of their vacancies will be listed there. Just a heads up – there are loads of vacancies in Birmingham right now!
- What experience does the role require? If you don’t meet all of the requirements, either obtain the things needed or let the employer know why else you would be perfect for the role. Also, stress how hard you are willing to work. DO NOT let a lack of experience put you off.
- Know your stuff! If you are applying for a role, try to know a bit about the brand or at least their market area. If you love clothes, make sure you show that! If your passion shows you will make a good impression.
- Confidence is key. Nerves are normal of course, but as someone who has interviewed people for roles before, the confident ones stand out. If you are going to be working in retail you need to show you have the confidence to talk to customers and uphold a great brand image.
- Wear the brand. If you are applying at Topshop, for example, try to wear items from their store. If you don’t own anything from the brand, try to wear something as close to their aesthetic as possible. For example, when I applied to All Saints I wore one of their leather jackets and the interviewer said straight away that I was definitely the kind of person they would have working in their store. From that moment we were on the same level, and the interview flowed like magic.
- Do subtle name drops! “My friend Kelly is the manager at HoF and she let me know about this position actually. She said I would be a perfect fit for the role.” If you have connections within the sector, it helps to mention those connections as it shows that you are known within the industry. Your potential employer may even ask this person about you. If they say good things, you are in.
- Talk to customers. If they see you actively engaging with customers, they know that you are going to have no trouble approaching people when you actually get the job. I’m not suggesting you go around asking how everyone is… But if you are stood next to someone picking up an item a simple “oh I love that, that would suit you so much” works wonders. They usually ask you to walk the floor for 10 minutes or so during the interview anyway to see how you get on. I got stuck helping a 72-year-old lady choose an outfit for a disco on my interview for Warehouse when I was supposed to just be looking around and familiarising myself with the store. It was safe to say I got the job as soon as I was done.
- Perfect and polish your CV. Make sure you have a very professional CV that shows all of your strengths and achievements. Also, remember to amend your CV to the specific job you’re applying for at that time. This is what is left with the employer when you leave the interview so you need to make sure that you shine on paper as well as in person. Usually, there is more than one person making the decision and if they haven’t met you, they are going with what you have on your CV.
- Clean up your social media! Employers will look at your social media profiles if they are interested in you. You really don’t want them to see something they shouldn’t… so either keep your platforms private or clean them up.
Feel free to leave your tips in the comments and happy job hunting!