Graduate Blog

5 University Jobs To Help Your C.V.

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‘Sorry, we’re looking for someone with more experience.’

The experience snub is as confusing as it is disheartening, especially when applying for a graduate or entry position.

How do you gain experience during three years of studies? How can you hope to ever gain experience if employers are denying you the first bite of the cherry?

Employers are scrutinising your extra-curricular activities. No, not your Duke of Edinburgh silver award at college, but your work ethic during university. It’s well known that students – humanities students in particular – are blessed with favourable working hours and lots of free time.  Employers want to see drive, intuition and application when it comes to securing a job at university.

Here, I’ll explore five job avenues within the university system that can line your pockets and add polish to your C.V.  After all, you don’t want to become the student who bet on his own relationship to pass by…

1/ Union Bouncer

You don’t have to be a hulking jock to secure a job as a union night bouncer. Granted, a basic level of strength and fitness – or at least confidence in dealing with physical altercations – is required, but the university is more interested in personality traits.

Are you a diplomatic, people person with a knack for diffusing tense situations? Can you remain calm under pressure?

You shouldn’t find too much hassle at a traffic lights part of nervous freshers, but a level-head is essential if something does get out of hand.

2/ Customer service

Employers look for chatty, extrovert personality types when hiring, especially for sales and recruitment roles. The university offers a range of customer service roles to develop your interpersonal skills.

Customer service jobs range from open days, where your job is to sell the university to prospective students and parents, to campus tour guides catering for new arrivals.

Union helpdesk services exist for things like accommodation and finance-related queries. Although there a number of external resources to help students budget for the future, universities still have to deal with bursary and maintenance grant applications.

You can take a hands-on role at the help-desk itself, or take the backseat manning the phones.

3/ Promotion & Marketing

You might laugh at those people who stand outside in the cold handing out flyers, but they’re learning the fundamentals of sales – hard graft and tenacity.

Promoting party nights sees you pick up the basics of branding, and you can hone your web skills through Facebook and social media marketing.

Signing up students to guest lists and VIP nights should see you pocket some healthy commission, exposing you to the very thing that drives sales professionals.

4/ Union rep

Becoming a club, union or course rep is a great way of showcasing your responsibility and leadership skills. It’s usually unpaid, voluntary work, but it reflects well on your character and personality.

Employers will recognise your passion and endeavour, and if you’re working on an activities fare or fundraising event, organisational skills. Reps are usually elected democratically by fellow students, so you’ll need a creative campaign to rake in the votes.

Don’t confuse more drastic examples of student activism like tying yourself to a lamppost or a dirty protest as representative work!

5/ Support Worker

Support work, which comes in the form of note taking, is a disability service offered by universities. As a note taker, you can earn up to £15 per hour scribing for a fellow student.

If you’re punctual, neat and an attentive listener during lecturers, this might be a role for you.  You can apply to cover lecture slots weeks in advance, which means the job is flexible around your current workload.

About the Author

Samuel Miranda Samuel Miranda

Sam is a history graduate from the University of Sheffield. He’s now a London-based senior editor at Right Casino Media after enjoying a spell working in Gibraltar.

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