7 Top Tips on getting a Part-time job in Portsmouth

by Harshal Sukenkar

Studying abroad can be a costly affair and to support ourselves financially throughout this big journey, we students will sometimes have to undertake some kind of part-time job. Ideally, a part-time job should fit around your studies and allow you to afford your monthly expenses.

The benefits of working part-time while studying are numerous. It develops essential basic skills required for many jobs and furthermore you can show your future employer that you have a good work ethic – they value it!

When I came to Portsmouth, I was looking for a part-time job in my field which happens to be engineering. However, the reality is that most part-time jobs revolve around customer service. It’s likely that whatever job you manage to find will be in customer service of some kind; hospitality, food, retail, etc.

But how do you find a suitable part-time job? Here are my tips:

  1. Volunteer

So you’ve come to Portsmouth and you’re looking for a part-time job but don’t have enough experience? Well, start with volunteering!

It’ll help you to gain essential skills for your first breakthrough in to the work place and employers will look favourably on someone with at least some experience in a store.

Volunteering is a great way to get around the whole “need experience to get a job, need job to get experience” issue where it seems impossible to get experience if you can’t get a job in the first place!

To break this cycle, volunteering is the perfect start. Check out your local charity shops and ask if they need help – they almost always need people. Don’t forget, if you’re a University of Portsmouth student you can check the Purple Door Volunteering site.

  1. Write a good CV



Your CV (curriculum vitae, or “resumé”) is essential in finding any job. It’s your first point of contact with a potential employer 99% of the time, so you’ve got to ensure it’s the best CV you can possibly make.

Even if you have decent previous work experience you should know how to write a quality CV to highlight your key skills. Start writing one as early as possible and make changes as you learn.

Use the University of Portsmouth’s career service, Purple Door, to get that first brilliant CV written up. Purple Door have materials to help writing your CV and you can even go in and have someone look through it and help you improve.

  1. Shop out that CV!

Now that you have your beautiful and high quality CV ready, print it out a few times and start dropping it into stores that are advertising roles. Restaurants and fast food chains are a good place to start as they’re always on the lookout for enthusiastic people.

Ask to meet managers and hand them your CV – this way the manager remembers you and will hopefully call you for an interview later if they like your CV.

Treat this like you’re going to a first interview – dress smartly even though you’re simply dropping off CVs and remember to look tidy and be cheerful!

Don’t forget to chase them in two weeks if you don’t get a call – don’t be shy! Sometimes enthusiasm wins over experience.

  1. Online Job Hunting


  • Subscribe to good job email lists. Do your research and find out which ones are actually worthwhile.
  • Have we mentioned Purple Door? Oh we have? Well…just…to be sure: Purple Door Part Time Jobs Board
  • Try tailoring your CV to specific job postings. For example, do you need bar experience? Well it’s time to really emphasise that one time you pulled a beer!


  1. University Jobs

These jobs are some of the most fun filled and they fit well around your studies. You do not have to worry about unsociable working hours and you work with very friendly university staff in a relaxed environment. There are opportunities to be Orientation Assistants, Graduation Assistants and many other roles, some of which are seasonal.

These are mostly advertised at the beginning of the academic year but keep an eye on the University news as they can still pop up across the year.

Trust me, you do not want to miss out on these jobs!

  1. Make friends and network

Try your best to make many good friends! This is your network that can help get job referrals and valuable tips. I got my first job in a fast food restaurant through a friend’s reference who worked there. I worked there approximately 18 months and it has been a great stepping stone for future jobs.

Of course you still need a CV, but you can get an upper hand over others applying for the same vacancy.

  1. Learn

Learn from your experience of applying for jobs, experience is the best teacher! See what works and what doesn’t work, whether it is your CV, your interview skills or something else.

Go back home and improve for the next one – you can only get better and eventually you’ll find a job that suits you.

Do some research, write down what skills are essential for different roles and list your skills. Try to gain the skills you are lacking.

Keep improving your CV every time you learn something new and remember- you just need that initial breakthrough!


Good luck!


Harshal Sukenkar