Americans who work part-time include parents, retirees, teens and college students. Most industries use part-time employees in different capacities. These part-time positions range from entry-level to managerial level positions. In this article, we discuss part-time work and the best way to obtain one of these positions.
What are the benefits of part-time work?
One benefit of part-time work is the flexibility of work schedules. A part-time position is a great way to earn money for school, or for supplementing your income after retirement or while raising a family. It also allows you to bolster your resume, build your professional network and get referrals.
How to find a part-time job
Follow these steps to find the right part-time job for you:
- Consider your schedule
- Update your resume and online profiles
- Reach out to your network
- Find part-time job listings
- Make a list of your favorite job listings and do your research
- Apply to your selected listings
- Follow up on your applications
- Be forthcoming about your availability
- Show your commitment
- Be dedicated to the job search process
- Take the interview seriously
- Follow up the interview with a thank-you note
- Consider temporary positions
- Start your own business
1. Consider your schedule
Consider your schedule and the number of hours you want to work. If you are only available for work during the mornings when your children are at school, it is important that you consider only positions that offer these working hours. If you have a more flexible schedule, shift work can be ideal for you as it requires working a variety of hours as and when you are available.
For example, you may be a student with classes on some days in the mornings and other days in the afternoons. You will be able to choose your shifts based on your class schedules.
2. Update your resume and online profiles
Before you apply for any positions, update your resume and make sure your references are aware that a prospective employer may contact them. Although you should draft customized cover letters and resumes for each position you apply for, having an updated base document to work from will make the process faster and easier.
Consider updating your social media profiles to reflect your qualifications, skills and experience. Also, check your social media profiles to make sure you delete or hide any posts, photos or videos that may hurt your job application.
Make sure your resume highlights any marketable skills you have, such as familiarity with specific industries or software packages. You can include other activities that have kept you busy, such as projects that you have worked on or volunteer work.
Related: 6 Universal Rules for Resume Writing
3. Reach out to your network
Contact individuals in your professional network to find out if anyone knows about a part-time position that would suit you. Your network includes friends, family members, former colleagues or professors. Even if no one in your network knows about any part-time positions, they may know someone at a company who is looking for part-time staff.
4. Find part-time job listings
Do your research and make a list of employers who are hiring new staff. Look for positions that interest you. You can find part-time job listings in a variety of places, such as the yellow pages, student job boards or online job boards. Your friends and family members may know about positions for you to consider. You can visit local businesses and ask them about any vacancies they may have.
5. Make a list of your favorite job listings and do your research
As you read through the job listings you find, list your favorite ones. Once you complete this list, research the jobs' functions and the company's culture to see if it matches your values. For example, if you prefer a more laid-back work environment, check the company's website and employee reviews of the company online to see if the organization seems more casual than formal.
6. Apply to your selected listings
It is beneficial to send a customized cover letter and resume for each position you apply for to highlight how you can contribute to the company and how you meet their requirements. For instance, you could describe a successful team project you worked on as a sign of your ability to work well with others.
Provide any information your potential employer requires. Attach written references to your resume, and give the contact details of any references you list on your resume.
7. Follow up on your applications
Keeping track of your job applications can help you follow up. If you have not received feedback on a specific position after several weeks, you can reach out to them to find out about the status of your application. This shows the company you are proactive.
8. Be forthcoming about your availability
When you apply for an advertised position, make sure you show or mention your availability in your job application or interview. It is important to be as honest as possible, as you don't want to get a position that does not suit your schedule. For example, if you cannot work nights, this should be clear in your application.
9. Show your commitment
Most part-time positions have a high turnover as many employees don't stay long when they are students or when they find a full-time position. Some employers prefer candidates who want part-time work over candidates who are taking part-time work as a temporary measure until they can find permanent employment. Take advantage of this by highlighting your preference for part-time work in your cover letter and during your interview.
10. Be dedicated to the job search process
Applying for a part-time position takes the same time and effort as applying for a full-time position does. You may have to apply to several positions before you're successful. Diligence and perseverance in your job search can be an effective way of attaining the position you want.
11. Take the interview seriously
Dress appropriately for the job and industry. If you are not sure about the dress code, it is better to err on the formal side. Dressing appropriately will show the employer you are serious about the job-hunting process.
Aim to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled interview. Being early allows you to relax before the interview starts and shows the interviewer that you are a punctual and reliable candidate.
When you meet the interviewer, shake their hand and keep eye contact. You should be polite and speak clearly. Pay attention to your body language and stay upbeat by smiling and acting with confidence, even if you feel nervous.
You can ask questions about the company and the position to show your interest. Asking questions helps you to find out what you need to know before accepting a position at the company if they make an offer.
12. Follow up the interview with a thank you note
After your interview, you should send a thank you note or email to the interviewer. This shows you are committed and respectful.
13. Consider temporary positions
If finding part-time work is taking longer than you expected, consider looking for a short-term position. Short-term positions can last for a few days, several weeks or even a few months. Sometimes short-term positions can become permanent positions if the company is satisfied with your performance and a permanent position becomes available.
14. Start your own business
If you'd like to set your own part-time work hours, consider starting your own business by servicing a community need. This could include freelance writing or designing websites for local small businesses. This could help with future job applications as it shows your initiative and leadership skills.