Student blog: tips on finding part time hospitality work while studying in Brisbane
Sarah was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. She is now studying Diploma in Engineering at the SITE Institute. She also manages communications for Latin House, a community hub for Latin migrants and refugees.
A part time job is a great way to adapt to life overseas while developing social networks, not to mention the benefit of the extra cash! One of the most common employers of students is the hospitality industry, so it’s a great place to start searching.
Focus on your strength
When I first moved to Brisbane I needed to work on my spoken English. I learned basic sentences and rehearsed for interviews. I wanted to make the most of what I knew.
My native language is Spanish, and I had experience making cocktails in Venezuela. I thought a job in hospitality would suit me. After applying to a few restaurant jobs, I got an interview with a Mexican restaurant. During the interview I focused on my strengths and experience which helped me get the job.
Start from your cultural community
It is common for international students to want to start off in a big company straight away. It doesn’t usually work out this way, because bigger companies usually favour people with some experience.
Brisbane is a multicultural city which means your home country will have a community here. Liaise with them to see if they have any job openings – if you already speak their language, you have an immediate advantage.
Make a great resume
A resume that stands out is crucial. List all your skills in detail. Even the tiniest details can be handy if you have a minimal experience in the field.
I was applying for jobs in hospitality. I was often asked if I could carry three plates at a time and if I had basic coffee knowledge. Even if you don’t, it’s okay! You can always learn from the internet for basic skills. Watching YouTube tutorials is a great way to start.
Have a positive attitude
The employers are not looking perfect English and grammar. They are mostly looking at your energy, personality and attitude.
They are often looking for more than just an employee. They are searching for the face of their organisation. Everybody loves a person with a great vibe who can represent their company with great energy and attitude.
A good impression matters
Rejection, unfortunately, is common. Don’t get disheartened! Most of the time, you are rejected because this position is not exactly right for you. Remember to thank them for the opportunity before you leave the interview. This leaves an impression for the next time they are hiring.
Make the most out of Google Maps
Google Maps has a brown and grey area. The green areas are the suburbs and residential area. Meanwhile, the brown-coloured areas are the commercial areas with restaurants, shopping malls and where there is generally a good flow of people. Search jobs in those areas because the commercial areas have a lot of companies and shops who are frequently hiring people.
Do your research
Before going on the job-hunting journey, make sure you have all the necessary licences or certificates. For the hospitality industry, I recommend courses like the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) course and barista courses. These will give you an advantage over other applicants.