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Career Advice

How to Make Extra Cash While Looking for a Graduate Job

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated 14 May 2020
|5 min read

You should invest as much time as possible into any job search. The Office of National Statistics shows that a typical job hunting time scale is 3 to 6 months, which I know from experience will be a relief to some. I remember being jealous of the few people who I graduated with that had already found their dream role, but worry not, few are lucky enough for that dream position to conveniently appear as soon as graduation is out of the way. Furthermore, this time spent keeping yourself in credit while you work on that job seeking mission can be reframed into a rewarding experience that will prime you for a focused, high earning future.

Comfort is vital, so have an office space with a laptop set out ready for you to scan for your ideal job whenever you are home. Put aside an hour a day to making internet searches, making this dedicated job hunting time enjoyable perhaps with a cup of tea at your side and some relaxing music in the background. Believe me, it is unwise to have a Facebook tab open, you can let those distractions in when your dedicated time is over!

This article is a well structured plan that could organise your whole job seeking mission. However, if you want something more guideline based, this one may be more suitable.

Throughout your job hunting mission you will need to find a good balance. On the one hand you don’t want to be spending time doing small tasks that will only just keep you in the black if that is going to make job hunting more stressful. On the other extreme, investing too much time and effort into your part time job could create an even bigger distraction. So keep focus and be prepared to make changes to suit your needs, perhaps by reducing hours or even asking to switch roles. Don’t forget, the most important task is landing that graduate job.

If you want some variety in the way you earn money, one of the best resources for tips about making smaller pockets of money is Student Money Saver’s Make Money page. Not only is this is a well set out one-stop place for every legitimate money making idea imaginable, but the clickable links to online money making suggestions are frequently updated.

Part time jobs are a great way to keep your bank account healthy while keeping some of your time free. Part time should mean short term, but it’s not against the law to promise you’ll be sticking around in order to be offered this role while you are secretly hunting for the ideal graduate position.

These jobs take more energy than you will expect, so don’t let the part time role take over your life. If you are finding yourself with less time but can’t afford to lose the part time position, you can use the commute to your advantage. In the old days the bus trip to and from a part time job was seen as an added unnecessary inconvenience. Now you can use a 4g network (and our mobile site) to scan for jobs on the go. Your home office isn’t the only place where you can search for jobs.

It pays to have a really good CV readily printed out, so spend a bit of time on this. You will need referees, so consider who you have met and worked with throughout your studies that can sing your praises as someone who is willing to go the extra mile to get a job finished properly. Put this print out in a poly-pocket, the last thing any business wants to see is a dog eared CV!

Wearing a smart casual get up and asking in bars, cafes and shops will hopefully get your foot in the door, although agency jobs are a little easier to get into. Obviously you get paid less for these jobs, as all the recruiting and linking you up to suitable roles is done by the agency, who also take a cut. On the plus side you only have to do one interview for all the jobs that agency will give you. You will be interviewed by these communication wizards so dazzle them with your vast experience and can-do attitude.

Temping is a strange game, with many big agencies such as Reed and Randstad dealing with the bigger businesses. Often smaller agencies can’t offer as high payment but could get you in work faster. Once you have proved your worth over about two months you will have adjusted to the lifestyle and be in the system. This means you can go for the bigger agencies with less hassle. Arrange a number of interviews a day so you can judge who is going to give you the most suitable jobs that allow you the time and mental energy to find that dream graduate role.

This article gives some good advice on how to use this temp experience to make you stand out even more to the graduate positions you apply to. There was a time when agency jobs weren’t valued as highly as self negotiated contracts, but these days they are a big part of the job market. So once again, don’t be distracted by your agency lifestyle, keep checking regularly for that high target of your dream graduate job and in time you will find it.