Talking Points

Female student on her summer job serving coffee working as a barista in a local pastry shop

Top tips for getting a summer job in Leeds

Summer is always a much-anticipated time for students. It’s a time to finally catch a break between all the pressures of university and, weather permitting, enjoy some of that new-found freedom in the sunshine. It can also be a great opportunity for those looking to make some extra money.

For most students, university life doesn’t exactly leave them with heaps of cash, with student loans only covering the basics. There’s usually not too much time between lectures and seminars to even look for a job. The summer break then presents the perfect opportunity to make quite a bit of extra cash to help you when university starts back up again.

On top of that, many employers are pretty understanding about a need to change hours depending on university commitments, meaning that even if you start work full time over the summer, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to quit your job when university starts up again. Instead, you can usually drop to reduced hours.

So, your summer break can not only bring you a bit of temporary financial relief but could also help set you up throughout the rest of university.

With that in mind, here’s our top tips for finding a job over the summer.

1.  Start early

For many that are new to job hunting, they are often surprised by how long it takes to get a job and how soon employers start hiring for different seasons. Essentially what this means is that if you’re hoping to start a job in June, it’s probably best to start looking at around March as best you can, firing off CVs online whenever you get the chance between your studies. We know that during this time you’re under a lot of time pressure, but even sending just a couple of CVs a day at this early stage can make all the difference.

2. Stay put

It certainly helps when you’re starting to job hunt early if you intend on staying in your student accommodation over the summer break. A lot of students go home during this time and save money on things like groceries and bills. However, you could save money by staying on and working over that period instead, and as an estate agent in Leeds, we know there’s plenty of great properties ideally located for job hunters.

By starting your search early, you may be getting interviews before the break has even begun. This throws up a logistical nightmare if you’re moving back home over the summer months. So, if you plan on hitting the job hunt towards the start of the year and staying in the same city, you might find yourself more successful and better off financially. It also allows you the opportunity to carry on your job if you wish in a part time capacity once the season is over.

3. Get the most out of your CV

Your CV is the single most important factor in getting any kind of job. You should therefore treat it with the same care while looking for summer work as you would when trying to land your dream post university career. Keep it concise, write it carefully and include everything relevant to your employer. If you can, get someone else to give a second opinion as fresh eyes often see mistakes you might have missed.

4. Practise for the interview

If you’re new to interviews, then going to one can be very nerve-wracking. Luckily, you can generally anticipate much of what will be asked using common sense and a bit of research. So, with that in mind, think carefully about what questions are likely to come up and spend a bit of time coming up with the most appropriate response. You don’t need to follow it exactly during the interview, but this should save you from scrambling for words at the interview table. Also, put effort into looking smart and tidy during the interview, as this show professionalism and that you’re taking the job seriously.

5. Cast as wide a net as possible

Although there’s plenty of ways to improve your viability as a candidate, when it comes to applying for jobs, you are often playing the odds. This means that the more you apply for, the more likely you are to be successful. Apply for as much as you can by utilising job sites, recruitment agencies and by networking among your employed friends to see what positions are available.

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