‘… But I’ve only worked in a bar, that’s not work experience right?’

WRONG.

Any kind of work- whether full- time, part-time, voluntary, vacation, casual or unpaid can count as work experience, boost your CV and help you land a dream job, even if it is completely unrelated to your future career.

So what skills can you gain from working part-time?

Customer service- a role in any customer focused environment such as a bar, or a shop can help develop your customer service. This is vital in a number of roles where you deal with people outside of your organisation, and good customer service skills may suggest you have excellent interpersonal skills too!

Teamwork/Leadership- most jobs require some form of team work, whether this be working in a team of kitchen staff in a restaurant, to working in a team of volunteers to create a community garden. Teamwork is again crucial to most jobs, and you need to demonstrate you can work effectively as part of a team. Some roles may also require leadership and this can be shown through taking charge of a team, such as being promoted to the role of supervisor, or elected leader of a voluntary group.

Commercial Awareness and sales experience- Working in a business that sells things can help develop your commercial awareness as you will have experience of selling things and promoting deals to maximise sales- an example of this would be asking if customers would like a large drink rather than a regular size drink.

Resilience- Dealing with customer complaints or working in a challenging environment such as a nightclub can help you develop resilience and give you good demonstrable examples, such as refusing to serve a customer who is too drunk and who becomes abusive.

Problem-solving- In many jobs you need to solve problems on a day to day basis and this will give you important evidence for your CV or when asked at interview, for example you may have had ideas of how to refine and improve processes such as how customer’s orders are taken.

Obviously, work experience related to your future career will really help too when you start applying for jobs. To find out more about getting formal work experience such as an internship or placement, visit our website: www.manchester.ac.uk/careers/workexperience

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