Earn while you learn

A student's guide to part-time work.

Many students choose to take up part-time work alongside their studies. When your job is well balanced alongside your university work, a part-time role is a great opportunity to earn extra cash while building a valuable skillset and gaining good experience for your CV.



Typical part-time job roles in Portsmouth

Although you may come to university with experience of working in a professional role, it might be difficult to find part-time work that directly relates to your studies.  

When it comes to the types of roles available alongside your studies, you’re likely to find jobs such as:

  • Administration Assistant
  • Cashier  
  • Cleaner 
  • Games Tester
  • IT Support
  • Lifeguard 
  • Private Tutor
  • Retail Sales Assistant
  • Student Ambassador
  • Student Development Assistant 
  • Temp staff
  • Tour Guide 
  • Transcriptionist
  • Waiting staff


Find a part-time job

Before you start your job search we recommend that you wait until you have your timetable to see when you will be able to work.

There are a few key ways to find part-time work in Portsmouth: 

  1. Browsing our MyCareer Jobs Board
  2. Searching online job boards
  3. Speaking to local businesses


 1. MyCareer Jobs Board

MyCareer is the University's online career platform where you can book upcoming events, read industry reports and browse our jobs board. As well as part-time roles, our job board also advertises graduate jobs, volunteering roles and internships. 

Our team reviews and uploads all suitable job opportunities to MyCareer so you will find roles at the university, students' union and around the city. 

Browse part-time jobs on MyCareer


2. Searching online

We also recommend searching other online job boards such as:



3. Speaking to local businesses

Speaking directly to a business, either in person or through email, is called a speculative application. This is a great way to find part-time work locally! There are lots of opportunities to find work locally around Portsmouth including:

  • Gunwharf Quays
  • Commercial Road
  • Albert Road
  • Southsea


If you need further support with your part-time job search, drop-in to the Career Centre during term-time on weekdays between 1.00pm-4.00pm and speak to our Student Advice Team. 


Are you an International Student?

You will need a National Insurance number to work in the UK. It can take up to 4 weeks to get your National Insurance number so you should apply as soon as you start searching for part-time work. 

Apply for a National Insurance Number



Apply for a part-time job

There are several different ways you may need to apply for a part-time job, depending on the role you're interested in. However, there are key tools you can build to ensure you are ready for any part-time application.


Part-time CVs

Having a CV that showcases the skills you have developed through studying and from previous experience, helps to make you an attractive prospect for a potential employer.

  • You should make sure your CV is targeted to part-time work
  • Have a look at generic job descriptions to identify the skills required for the role
  • It can also be helpful to include your availability in your profile

Visit our CV Writing Toolkit

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Other key tools for applying to part-time roles include:

Cover letters

Some employers will ask you to provide a cover letter alongside a CV. A cover letter is a great way to show your skills and why you would be suitable for a role and helps persuade an employer to read your CV.
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Learn about cover letters

Application forms

A successful application form will get you to the next stage of the recruitment process. Make sure your form demonstrates how you meet the criteria and encourages the employer to invite you to interview.
Learn about application forms

Speculative applications

A speculative application is where you approach an employer to check whether they have a job for you, even though they have not advertised a vacancy. This is a great way to find part-time work locally!
Postgraduate Shoot
Learn about speculative applications


Tailoring your application

You must tailor your application to each role you are applying to:

  • Find out more about the company, including what they do and what they look for when recruiting
  • You should read the job description thoroughly to identify the skills that are required for the role
  • You should emphasise how you possess/have developed these skills, with examples, in your cover letter and CV, or in the application form

Find out more about researching employers



Job scams

Unfortunately, some job roles may be scams. Scammers may expose you to financial loss and make your job hunting even more difficult.

Here are some typical signs to look out for from job scams:

Personal email addresses should raise red flags - for example or

  • Legitimate hiring managers will have a company or business email address!

  • You can also search LinkedIn for the recruiter. You will be able to check that the company exists, and also see whether they are a genuine contact for the company. However, you should still follow our other advice to confirm the contact/company is legitimate.

Be wary of employers who ask you to contact them on WhatsApp.  Usually a company will have information of the job role and the application process on a legitimate website.

If it’s hard for you to find a company website, or you can’t find a website at all, this is a strong indication that the job may be a scam! Check to see if the company has a website or any social media profiles, such as Twitter or LinkedIn.

  • You can check Google, as well as different social media sites to see whether a company has an online presence. 

  • You can also get more information on a company, for example their registered address, on the Gov.UK website.

Be wary when you see a job advertised on social media like Facebook, as it may be a fake job posted by potential scammers hoping to secure your financial information.

For example, if an opportunity is claiming that you could make £60,000 a year, £234-£457/day or if they advertise a “flexible income”, this may potentially be a scam. Be careful if:

  • The advertisement heavily focuses on the amount of money you could be making

  • If a role is offering a high salary with no experience required

Legitimate roles will inform you of the salary and benefits, but not solely focus on these. They will also outline the skills and experience required for the role. 

One minute you send off your CV, the next minute you have a job offer! This is indicative of a scam job.

  • A legitimate recruiter will take a few days, even up to a couple of weeks, to get back to you after applying for a job.

  • A formal interview should also take place before you are offered a job.

There should be a few stages that you go through before you are offered a job!


Some key tips to keep yourself safe:

  • Be careful of fake jobs put out by scammers
  • Don’t give out bank information without receiving a formal offer
  • You should never have to give out money or take on expenses to get a job
  • Do some research into the employer to see if you can find out more information
  • If it feels wrong, ask for support from the Careers & Employability Service



Important information for International Students

If you want to work in the UK during your studies, you need to check your visa regulations. 


Working hours

Most Visa students can work 20 hours per week in term time. Whether you are in paid work, or volunteer for free, ALL of the hours count. For example:

  • 10 hours paid + 10 hours volunteered
  • 20 hours paid
  • 20 hours volunteered
  • 12 hours paid + 8 hours volunteered

For information on your term time and vacation working restrictions, visit Working during your studies


When you start your job search

  • Be ready to prove your "Right to work" - your employer will ask for your passport or your Share Code to check your Visa working restrictions
  • Apply for a National Insurance Number - it can take up to 4 weeks for your National Insurance Number to arrive after you apply. You can start work before it arrives. 


Festival of Cultures 2022 by Global

Visit our International Student Career Guide

If you are studying with a Visa, we can support your ambitions, whether that be finding experience opportunities whilst you study or looking for work in the UK after you graduate. Visit our International Student Career Guide to learn more about the opportunities available to you in the UK.

Visit the International Student Career Guide



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