How to apply for a student job: the best tips

Written by: Christina Pichler, 30.07.2021

As a student you want to gain first professional working experiences, make some money or simply use your free time in a productive way? Many students need a part-time job to finance their studies. No matter why you choose to apply for a job, working alongside your studies can be an extremely valuable experience.

You have already decided to take a student job and are now wondering: How do you apply as a student? How do you write an application for a part-time job? And what actually is a letter of motivation? In this blog post, we’re going to answer all of these questions and even a few more.

1. Clear goals

Which job is the perfect fit for me?

Choosing the right job is very important. Do you want to gain work experiences in your future area of expertise or are you just looking for a job that is as flexible as possible to fit your uni schedule?

As a student you have many different opportunities to find work. On the one hand there are part-time jobs. These jobs usually have little to do with your studies. A part-time job is a job that someone does in addition to their actual job. Your main job is probably your studies, your part-time job can be many things – from server to swimming instructor, everything is possible.

Then there are temporary jobs, where there is usually no steady employment, but various work opportunities, often in the form of short-term work contracts, for example service employees at events.

If you have a job as a student employee, you will be the helping hand at an institute at your university. You can support scientists with their research, tutor other students or help prepare lectures and seminars.

Consider how much time you can invest in a job without neglecting your studies before you start the application process!

2. Finding the right job

Where can I find job openings?

At your university, there are definitely many opportunities for students to gain working experiences within their field of studies. Most of these jobs are advertised on the institute’s website, on notice boards or on notices at the university, so it’s best to just take a look there. The Black Board of the ÖH (Austrial Students’ Representation) is always a great address.

In addition, you will find many sites on the Internet that advertise student jobs. For example, there is StudentenJob.at that offers job advertisements for students, graduates and young professionals. You can also find student, temporary and part-time jobs at unijobs.at! Talto has job openings for students and young talents!

3. A convincing cover letter

When you found a vacancy, you will have to write a cover letter for your desired job! First impressions count!

Choose a professional layout and be careful to avoid spelling mistakes. If you send your cover letter by mail or even hand it in in person, you should also make sure that you are not printing on dirty paper and that it is not wrinkled before submitting it. The best thing to do is to put all your documents together in an application folder.
A cover letter is roughly divided into three parts: introduction, main part and conclusion. The layout is also of great importance.

Layout

A letter of application is always written in the form of a letter and therefore begins with the address on the left side. First your own address is given, then that of the company.

After the address, the date and the place should be centered on the right. This is followed by the subject line for the advertised position (attention: if available, please state the application code of the advertisement)

Try to avoid general salutations and address a specific person if you know who the application will be sent to!

You can also find a template for a student job application letter here.

Introduction

It is important to catch your future employers interest, so say goodbye to boring phrases and get creative! Talk about your successes or extraordinary strengths, attract attention! Try to get them want to learn more about you!

Main Part

In this part, you have to convince the recipient that you are the ideal candidate! Important facts can be read in your résumé (see next point), therefore you should go more into detail about your knowledge and strengths as well as your soft skills and make it clear what sets you apart from other applicants. Make sure to answer the question why YOU should work for this company and show what added value you could bring!

Conclusion

This part should be the highlight of your cover letter to definitely be remembered! Avoid falling into the conjunctive in the final part and end your application with a friendly, optimistic invitation for a personal interview, a greeting and your signature!

You can find some example sentences and further tips for your cover letter here!

4. A good CV!

Your résumé or CV is the most important part of your application! The résumé is usually read first, so it is just as important as a good cover letter. Adapting your CV precisely to the respective application also increases your chances. Don’t cram it with every part-time job you’ve ever done, but rather specifically mention the activities that fit the job you are applying for!

Here are some templates for your CV!

Structure

Your CV should ideally be one A4 page, and never longer than 2 pages. The layout should always to match the job; if you want to work in a creative industry, you have more room for creativity than when applying for an office job in a law firm! The curriculum vitae is always written in reverse chronological order. Meaning your latest experiences are listed first and are therefore in the foreground!

Content

An application photo is a must on your résumé! Usually it is placed in the upper right corner. Your personal data (date of birth, address, etc.) can not be missing from your résumé either. In addition to your professional career, you should also list your school education and mention valuable voluntary activities, skills, knowledge and soft skills.

5. How to apply online

90% of all vacancies are filled through online applications. But even if your CV, cover letter, etc. are not printed out and collected in a folder, you should make sure that you present yourself well.

  1. Avoid spelling mistakes: Be careful not to include any spelling mistakes in e-mails or online forms. It will make you appear unprofessional.
  2. Stay away from special symbols: Try to avoid special characters, as not every program displays them in the same way.
  3. Documents in PDF format: CV or a cover letter, send all documents in PDF format to avoid shifting the layout or other misrepresentations!

6. Tips for your job interview

Your CV and letter of motivation were impressive. You are now invited to an interview. With these tips you can be sure to get the job!

Get to know your future employer

Find out more about the company you want to work for. Why do you want to work for this company? What can you offer? Even if you may not meet all requirements, it is possible that you are particularly well suited for the position! Find out why and convey it to your future boss!

Mock job interview with your friends

If you feel insecure or nervous, ask your friends to conduct a mock interview with you. This way you can get used to the situation and have a few good answers in the back of your mind too.

Keep calm

You have already been invited to a personal interview, which means that you are a valid candidate for the position. Try to be yourself and show them what you got!

Here are some tips on how to stay calm in stressful situations!

Be yourself

Of course, you should show yourself from your best side during an interview! However, it is of little use if you completely disguise yourself. Talk about the things that you are good at, but don’t be afraid to admit where you could use a little practice still.

Here are tips on how to present your strengths and weaknesses in a job interview!

We hope our tips for a successful application could help you and wish you a lot of success with your next application! We have more tips for the perfect job interview!

If you need more tips for a convincing self-presentation, here you go!

Questions?

We are happy to help!