CV advice: Use your part-time job
Work experience is the necessary first step onto the career ladder. It’s important to make your work experience worthwhile, not just because you’re unlikely to get paid for your precious time. Focusing your work experience on a career path that you want to go down is a good idea, but sometimes easier said than done (especially if you don’t know what that path is yet).
You don’t always need to work for free in order to get good experience on your CV. There are many part-time or temporary jobs that you can get which can still look good on your CV. The trick is knowing how to describe your work responsibilities, and explaining what you gained from it. Even the most basic part-time jobs, ideal for students and teenagers, can look good on your CV. Here are five examples of part-time or temporary jobs that you can make look good on your CV, whether you’re going to be a doctor, electrician, journalist or PA.
- Hospitality work – the hospitality industry offers a myriad of part-time jobs. Having a job in a café, restaurant or bar isn’t just useful for aspiring chefs or restaurant managers; hospitality requires great people skills, long hours, and team work. Experience in customer service and working under pressure are great transferable skills.
- Phone operative – working in a call center for any sort of employer, whether in customer services, marketing, sales or working for charities, provides valuable communication skills. There are so many jobs that require employees have good a telephone manner. Also, working in a call center that focuses in telemarketing could also give you experience in meeting targets, solving problems and sales.
- Shop assistant – whether it’s in a high street shop, supermarket, local newsagent, or large home wares store, working in retail can require and teach a broad range of skills. Being in charge of the cash tills requires trustworthiness, numerical ability and good customer service.
- Babysitting – looking after someone’s child is a serious job. A babysitter needs to be responsible, trustworthy, mature and able to take charge of a situation. It could also be used to demonstrate your entrepreneurial flair, especially if you advertised your services!
- Tutor or sports coach – if you’re particularly good at music, dance, sport or a particular school subject, then tutoring can be a great part-time job. Turn your interests into work experience as well, which will look great on your CV. Teaching someone else certain skills shows your ability to work alone, organise lessons, and demonstrates maturity – not to mention expertise in a given subject, instrument or sport.
No matter what part-time job you have, there are always ways to tailor the description of your role to better your CV. The general skills of time-keeping, independence and reliability can be gained from any part-time job. Don’t dumb down your experience, no matter how small; make it relevant.