With Christmas fast approaching and the end of the year nearing, there is only one thing on most people’s minds – exams. But what to do when these are finished?

Well it might just be time to sharpen up your job hunting skills. Luckily Becky, a Student Careers Ambassador, is here to help you with that.

Whether you’re simply looking to earn some extra pocket money as a part-time barista, or applying for something after University, here are her top 10 tips to help you apply for a job.

  1. Find some jobs
    This could involve looking online, networking with people you know, or your family knows. The Students’ Union also has its own jobs page, offering part time work to accompany studies in a range of disciplines.
  2. Research the company
    This may seem an odd one, but it is a good habit to get into, even when looking at part time work. Organisations like to see that you are willing to go the extra mile. It shows interest and dedication – who doesn’t want someone who will work hard in their company?
  3. Volunteer
    This is key, especially if you feel you may be lacking some extra skills or situations you could use to demonstrate said skills. You could volunteer at a local cafe, or with a larger organisation for even just an hour a week.
  4. Applications aren’t easy
    Sometimes, when searching online, it is very easy to get carried away and fill in the online application to the first thing that you see. This isn’t always the best method. Take time to read all the questions before applying, to make sure you know what they want and give yourself the best chance of getting an interview.
  5. Cover letters are important
    Employers will have stacks of applications, and it’s the little things that will stop you from being discarded straight away. A good covering letter is your chance to catch and keep the attention of the employer, to make them want to read your CV and potentially hire you.
  6. CV’s need to be specific
    There is no point using the CV you used to apply for Greggs to apply for H&M. They are different companies, and will need tailoring to suit their different styles of work.
  7. References are vital
    This is someone who will vouch for you – backing up all the spiel you wrote on your CV and application. In most cases, these won’t need to be written on your CV, but often a subnote saying that they are available on request shows that you do have more evidence you can show.
  8. Interviews don’t need to be scary
    They are simply another chance to show how great you would be working for them. Most questions all follow the same theme – ‘why would you suit the job?’, ‘why here with this company?’ and ‘how have you used this or that skill in the past?’. This makes it easy to practice. Think of answers, key points you could use, or events that would tell the story for you, but don’t memorise word for word answers. Before your interview, come up with some questions – this can be detailed things about your skills and experience, or general questions about working for the company. Arrive early to interview, and relax – it will show and allow you to come across as a calm and collected.
  9. Don’t be afraid to have a go!
    The best way to learn is through experience. Applying to a few small companies in your local area is a good way to get an idea of what people are looking for, and how employment works. It doesn’t matter if you get rejected – remain positive! In most cases, you can ask for feedback on how you did, to help with your future applications.
  10. You can ask for help
    There are many different sources online that you can read about interview tips and CV layouts. The University of Hull also has its own Careers, Employability and Entrepreneurship Service on the 3rd floor of the Students’ Union Building (University House), who can sit down with you and go through step by step what you need to do, and how you should go about applying.