How to Get Your First Part-Time Job in the New Year

By Francine Fluetsch on December 23, 2016

People, the New Year is coming up faster than we know it, so it’s time to get those resolutions ready. “New year, new me” right? This is your year to be your best self, and maybe that includes you landing your first part-time job?

It is always a little bit daunting to put things on our resolution list, since we don’t want to give up after a few months, so here are some tips to help ensure that you land that part-time job you are hoping for in the New Year.

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Clean up that resume.

Right now, you are presumably on winter break, and after a few days of relishing in the fact that you don’t have to study or do any homework, you will get to that point where you’re somehow, well, bored. When this hits, it gives you the perfect opportunity to clean up your resume and to make it eye catching. Your resume and cover letter are usually the first impression that you will have on an employer, so you want to make sure that they help you stand out.

For the resume, keep it professional and make sure it reflects all of your outstanding attributes. For your cover letter, have a general template that you can copy and paste for each job, but then make sure to go in and personalize them for each position you are applying to to show that you are diligent, determined, and really know your stuff.

Use connections.

If you’ve never had a part-time job before and therefore don’t have any work experience to list (besides little side jobs like dog walking or babysitting), it can be a little tricky to land that first job because employers won’t know if they can truly trust you, since you haven’t been in anyone else’s hands yet. This system is unfair — trust me, we’ve all been there — but all you need is that first job, and it will be smoother sailing from that point on.

To help get you that first shot, utilize any connections that you have. Many students shy away from this because it can be awkward, but it will be beneficial for you to adopt the idea that the worst a person can say is “no,” so it’s always worth asking.

If some of your friends have part-time jobs, ask them to let you know when there is an opening, and if they feel close enough to you, ask them to put a good word in for you. This is actually how I got my first part-time job. My best friend was the assistant manager at a boutique, and she convinced the manager to give me a chance, even though I didn’t have any prior retail experience.

You can also see if your parents have any connections, through their work or friends, which could help hook you up with that first part-time job.

Prepare for the interview.

If you get called in for an interview, make sure to do your research about the company before you head in. If you do a Google search of the company name and search “job interview,” you might even be able to find posts from people who have already gone through the interview process, so you can get a better idea of what to expect. Go prepared with your goals for working there, how you plan to create a better work environment, and make sure to have a great attitude going for you.

Also, dress to kill. You can get dressed up and show them that you are professional and serious about the interview. Of course, attire will vary depending on the company, so again, you should do your research to make sure you are dressed for the right part and rehearsed in areas that seem important.

Always follow up.

So, they liked your application, seemed to like you in the interview, but … they haven’t called back. What do you do? This gets a little awkward, but you should ALWAYS follow up. If they tell you they’ll let you know within a week, and it’s been a week, give them a call or shoot them an email to check in. Some companies will not hire you unless you make the first move after an interview. It’s dumb, I know, but they want to make sure that you are serious.

Don’t worry, you won’t be coming off as pushy. You just have to make sure that you phrase it in a way that shows them you are very interested and want to know the results. Sometimes, they are so swamped with applications that they haven’t made a decision, and that’s why it took so long, while other times it will mean that you didn’t get the job, but it’s honestly better to just figure it out so you aren’t sitting around, waiting for nothing.

If you follow these tips, you are sure to land that part time job in 2017. Go get ‘em!

Hi! I'm Francine and I'm a fourth year Creative Writing major at UC Santa Cruz. I am one of the Campus life columnists on Uloop's National Team and also the campus editor for UCSC. I enjoy reading, writing, and taking selfies with my cat.

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