How can I get a part-time job?

It is great to get a part-time or casual job or while you are still at school. You will earn money to support your study, you will develop employability skills and the specific skills to do your job, you will learn about the workplace and you learn about yourself. So, how do you get a part-time job while you are at school?

How to Find Part-Time or Casual Jobs

When you search for a part-time or casual job look for jobs that are advertised and jobs that are in the ‘hidden’ job market. These are jobs that are not formally advertised. Research shows that about 20% of all jobs in Australia are not formally advertised1, but it is quite possible that more than 20% of the jobs that students get are obtained by accessing the ‘hidden’ job market.

Advertised Jobs

Part-time/casual jobs suitable for students are advertised on:

Company Websites

To locate part-time employment opportunities, go to the website of businesses where you would like to get a job and search for a heading such as ‘careers’, ‘join our team’, ‘work with us’, ‘jobs’, or something similar. To apply for a vacancy or register your interest you are likely be required to fill in an online form and upload your résumé. A cover letter may be optional. Some businesses may ask you to do a video interview.

Search the websites of businesses in your local area for links to employment opportunities.

Job Board

A job board is a website that lists job advertisements that a variety of employers have posted.

Quick Links

Examples of major job boards:

When you apply for a job on a company website and on a job board, you are likely to be required to fill in an online form, upload your résumé and a cover letter. Some businesses may ask you to do a video interview.

Classified Advertisement Websites

Gumtree Jobs  is usually less formal than applying for a job on a company website or a job board.

‘Hidden’ Job Market

Part-time/casual jobs in the ‘hidden’ job market are obtained by:

Word of Mouth

This means that when a vacancy arises, an employer may ask employees and other contacts if they know of someone who would be good for the job. To find out about these jobs, you need to let people know when you are searching for a part-time job. Tell your family, other relatives and friends, your school career practitioner, teachers, coaches, neighbours, some of your social media contacts and anyone else you know who might know someone who wants to put on a part-time employee.

Directly Approaching an Employer

This is often called cold calling or cold canvassing. It means identifying possible employers and contacting them or dropping in, expressing your interest in job vacancies that may be coming up and leaving your résumé and cover letter with the employer and following a week or so later. You can identify possible employers using a business directory such as Yellow Pages . Search for the business type in your local region and you will get a list of businesses you could approach. Select those that interest you the most, prepare your tailored résumé and cover letter, drop in to the employer if possible, or call to express interest in any upcoming vacancies.

Social Media

You can search for job vacancies in your local region on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. You may find job groups related to your local region, or job groups related to specific industries. You can join these groups to find out the latest job vacancies, get more information or post a comment. You can add a post to let others know the type of job that you are looking for.

Contacting People in Your Network

Networking when looking for a job involves talking to people you know to let them know you are looking for a job and getting to know other people who may be able to help you find a job. When looking for a job talk to your family, relatives, school career practitioners, teachers, neighbours, sports coaches, and others you know of. Let them know you are looking for work. Read the information on Youth Central  about networking.

What you Need to Find a Job

Whether applying for an advertised job vacancy or making a direct approach to an employer to express interest in future vacancies, you will need a résumé, a cover letter and good job interview skills.

Résumé  – Use the information here to create a résumé that you can tailor to match the employer’s requirements.

Cover Letter  – Use the information here to write a cove a letter in response to an advertised vacancy or to express interest in a vacancy that may become available in the future.

Job Interview Skills  - Use the information and links to find out about job interviews, how to prepare for a job interview, understanding the type of questions you may be asked, how to answer job interview questions and more.

Job Interview Practice  with an employer in an industry and job role that fits with the type of job you are looking for.

Select Interview Practice and choose an interview practice video clip to:

  • Find out what questions real employers in different industries may ask in a job interview.
  • Record answers to interview questions the employers ask on a smartphone, tablet or by webcam.
  • Listen to what the employer says they look for when interviewing job candidates for job roles in their industry.
  • Play back answers to the interview questions and think about any helpful changes.

Get More Information

Job Jumpstart  helps you find a pathway to employment and put your best foot forward in the job hunting process.

  • Watch stories of the steps that young people have taken to find their dream job and pathway to employment. Watch video clips that help you understand what you want out of a job, what you have to offer an employer, how to be competitive when job hunting, and more.
  • Download tip sheets, fact sheets and workbooks designed to help you to find jobs to apply for, prepare high quality tailored job application documents and present well in different types of job interview situations.
  • Read the article on how to get a job in the ‘hidden’  job market.

Managing Your Part-time Job

Before you get a part-time job when you are at school, it is important to plan for how you are going to keep up with your school work and homework, do your co-curricular activities and the activities you do outside of school. Your parents or a carer, your school career practitioner, or teacher may be able to help you work out a plan so that you can manage your part-time job, school and everything else you do in your life.

Tax File Number

When you get a job you will need to obtain a Tax File Number within 28 days of starting work.

1 Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business (2018). Survey of Employers’ Recruitment Experiences.