Best Student Jobs: Part-Time and Flexible Work


Best Student Jobs: Part-Time and Flexible Work

by Karien de Villiers

  • Career
  • · June 11 2024
  • · 6 min read
Best Student Jobs

Table of contents

Balancing academic responsibilities with a part-time job can seem overwhelming for many students. However, holding a side job or doing seasonal work can be a transformative experience, offering not just a paycheck but also invaluable skills and opportunities that go far beyond the classroom. 

It is an opportunity to gain real-world experience, develop essential soft skills, and build a professional network. Furthermore, the transition from academia to the workforce can be smoother and more successful for graduates entering the workforce.

In this article, we cover:

  • Benefits of working as a student.

  • Best jobs for students.

  • Internship or volunteering benefits as a student.

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5 benefits of working while studying

Working while studying has become a common rite of passage for many young adults, contributing significantly to personal and professional development.

  1. Develops time management skills: Balancing work and studies requires effective time management. This ability is crucial in any career and will help you prioritise tasks and meet deadlines.

  2. Enhances your CV: Work experience, even in seemingly unrelated fields, showcases your ability to manage responsibilities and can set you apart from other candidates.

  3. Helps with professional networking: Meeting and interacting with professionals in your field can open doors to future opportunities.

  4. Improves financial literacy: Earning and managing your own money teaches budgeting, saving, and financial planning—skills that are essential in adulthood.

  5. Boosts confidence and independence: Successfully juggling work and academics boosts your self-esteem and prepares you for the independence required in the professional world.

For more inspiration, take a look at the student CV and matching student cover letter.

best jobs for students matching CV and cover letter

What are the best jobs for students?

Balancing academics and earning an income can be challenging for students. Ideal student jobs offer flexible hours, valuable experience, and a decent paycheck. Some of the best options include retail or customer service positions, roles in the hospitality industry, and flexible online work opportunities. These jobs fit well with a student's schedule and help build essential skills for future careers. Let's explore these options to find the best fit for students.

1. Retail or customer service jobs

Retail and customer service jobs foster essential skills for professional and personal growth. Skills include but are not limited to:

  • Clear and effective communication with customers and colleagues.

  • Resolving issues promptly and finding solutions to customer concerns.

  • Collaborating with coworkers to ensure smooth operations and customer satisfaction.

  • Juggling multiple tasks efficiently within a fast-paced environment.

  • Promoting products or services and driving sales through persuasive communication.

  • Calmly and diplomatically resolving conflicts or disagreements with customers.

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Pro Tip

Consider volunteering as it allows you to contribute to meaningful causes, gain valuable experience, expand your network, and enhance your personal and professional growth.

For additional inspiration, refer to our guide on how to write a volunteer CV.

Customer service representative: If you work at a call centre handling customer inquiries and complaints, you’ll encounter a wide range of issues, from product defects to billing problems. Solving these problems often requires patience, empathy, and the ability to think on your feet to provide satisfactory solutions.

For more tips, refer to the customer service CV example and matching customer service cover letter.

Retail store assistant: In a busy retail store, you might face situations such as managing an upset customer who wants to return a product without a receipt. You’ll need to navigate store policies while maintaining customer satisfaction, requiring a balanced approach and quick decision-making.

Refer to the retail CV example and matching retail cover letter.

2. Entry-level hospitality jobs

In the UK, students can find a variety of hospitality jobs, including roles such as kitchen porter, bartender, and barista.

Waiter/waitress: If you work in a restaurant, your primary role will involve taking orders, serving food and beverages, and ensuring that customers have a pleasant dining experience. You'll encounter a variety of situations, from handling special dietary requests to resolving complaints about service or food quality. Excelling in this role requires excellent communication skills, a friendly and approachable demeanour, and the ability to stay calm and efficient during busy periods. Providing attentive and personalised service can significantly enhance the overall dining experience for your customers.

Learn more by checking out our CV writing guide for waiter/waitress.

Kitchen porter: As a kitchen porter, you play a crucial role in maintaining the efficiency and cleanliness of the kitchen. Your primary responsibilities include washing dishes, utensils, and kitchen equipment, as well as ensuring that work surfaces and floors are clean and sanitised. You may also assist with basic food preparation tasks such as peeling vegetables and organising ingredients. This role requires a strong work ethic, attention to detail, and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment to support the kitchen staff and contribute to a smooth-running operation.

For more tips, take a look at our kitchen porter CV which can be easily customised in our CV builder.

different types of skills on a CV

General skills from hospitality jobs:

  • Customer interaction: Provide excellent service to customers, ensuring a pleasant and welcoming experience.

  • Team collaboration: Work closely with team members to ensure efficient and smooth operations.

  • Multitasking: Handle multiple tasks simultaneously in a fast-paced environment.

  • Time management: Manage time effectively to meet the demands of busy shifts.

  • Attention to detail: Ensure accuracy in orders and maintain high standards of cleanliness and presentation.

  • Adaptability: Quickly adjust to varying customer needs and operational demands.

For more tips on the different CV sections, refer to how to write a good CV.

3. Flexible online jobs

Flexible online jobs offer the advantage of adaptable work hours and the opportunity to build a strong portfolio. These skills are valuable across various career paths, enhancing your employability in both online and traditional job markets.

Transferable skills from an online tutor or online teacher job:

  • Communication skills: Effectively conveying information to students of different ages and backgrounds.

  • Subject matter expertise: Deep knowledge of the subject you are teaching.

  • Adaptability: Tailoring teaching methods to fit individual student needs and learning styles.

  • Technical proficiency: Using online teaching platforms, virtual classrooms, and educational software.

  • Time management: Scheduling and managing multiple classes and students efficiently.

Transferable skills from a virtual assistant job:

  • Organisational skills: Managing calendars, scheduling appointments, and organising tasks.

  • Administrative skills: Handling tasks like email management, data entry, and customer support.

  • Communication skills: Interacting with clients and stakeholders effectively via email, phone, and video calls.

  • Technical proficiency: Using various software tools for project management, communication, and document creation.

  • Problem-solving: Addressing client needs and finding efficient solutions to administrative challenges.

General transferable skills from online student jobs:

  • Time management: Balancing multiple tasks and deadlines effectively.

  • Adaptability: Adjusting to new tools, technologies, and workflows as needed.

  • Problem-solving: Finding creative solutions to unique challenges encountered in remote work.

  • Self-motivation: Driving your own productivity and managing tasks independently.

  • Interpersonal skills: Building relationships and communicating effectively with clients and colleagues

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Pro Tip:

By honing self-discipline, students learn to prioritise assignments, meet deadlines, and maintain focus amidst potential distractions. This skill is not only valuable for academic success but also prepares students for future careers where self-management and accountability are essential.

Additional options for student jobs in the UK

  • Tutoring: Leveraging your academic strengths to help peers or younger students can reinforce your knowledge and boost your CV for future career opportunities.

  • Personal trainer: Help others achieve their fitness goals while staying active and improving your own fitness knowledge.

  • Library assistant: Assist with organising books, helping patrons, and managing library resources.

  • Administrative roles: Provide support in various campus offices, gaining experience in office management and administrative tasks.

  • Research assistant: Work with professors on research projects, offering a flexible schedule that can fit around your classes. Check out our academic or PHD CV writing guides.

  • Nanny or au pair: Care for children, providing a valuable service while developing responsibility and time management skills.

  • Internships: Whether paid or unpaid, internships offer invaluable opportunities for students to gain direct experience in their field of study and often pave the way for full-time employment after graduation.

Refer to our graduate CV example and matching graduate cover letter for more tips. Alternatively, read more about how to create a CV for your first job.

Key takeaways

Balancing work and study is challenging but worthwhile. Benefits include:

  • Financial independence

  • Better time management

  • Valuable work experience

  • Professional networking

  • Practical application of classroom knowledge

These experiences support your immediate needs and boost your long-term career success and personal growth.

Next steps?

Whether you're just starting or close to graduating, a student job offers valuable learning. Explore our CV examples and guides to help you secure your ideal position. You can also browse our cover letter examples for inspiration or sign up for our professional CV Writing Service.


What is the best part-time job for a student?

The best part-time job for a student depends on their interests, skills, and availability. Retail positions, customer service roles, tutoring, or internships relevant to their field of study are popular choices among students seeking part-time employment. Alternatively, consider the below part-time jobs for students:

How to write a CV for a student job?

Tailor it to the specific role and emphasise academic achievements, relevant skills, extracurricular activities, work experience (if any), and volunteering experiences in a CV for a student job. Tailor it to the specific role, keeping it concise and well-organised to highlight your suitability for the job.

What is the best job for students?

The best job for students typically offers flexible hours to accommodate class schedules and study time. Part-time roles in retail, hospitality, tutoring, or freelance work often fit well with students' schedules. Additional jobs for students include but are not limited to:

Which job is best for school students?

The best job for school students often involves part-time work that doesn't interfere with their studies. Opportunities in retail, food service, babysitting, or tutoring can be suitable for school students. For more tips, check out our school leaver or apprenticeship CV examples.

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Updated June 11 2024


Written by

Karien has established herself as a leading figure in the career services industry, crafting over 800 professional documents and assisting job seekers globally with reviews such as "I'd hire me". Renowned for her expertise, she continues to empower individuals, specialising in creating resources to aid job seekers in securing employment and staying ahead in the ever-evolving job market. Start here today!

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