Many hourly part-time jobs require applicants to complete an application that asks them to list their hours of availability. Some applications feature a calendar-style chart that makes it easy for applicants to write in the times that they can work. Applications that don't have a chart may require applicants to simply write their hours of availability or to make their own chart. Regardless of how applicants present their hours of availability, they must be sure to report them accurately.
Use a separate piece of scratch paper to figure out what hours you are free to work before filling in your hours of availability on the application. This way, you are free to make mistakes, cross things out and rewrite. You do not want to submit an application with errors or with words scratched out or even concealed with white-out. It makes you look unprofessional and careless.
Write down any recurring schedules that you follow, such as a school class schedule, sports team practices and games, religious activities and observances and tutoring sessions. These are the hours that you are not available to work.
Calculate the time you will need to get from your home or school to work. Allow plenty of time in case there is heavy traffic, an accident or you need to stop for a snack. Do not include this time in your hours of availability. For example, if you have class from 10 to 11 a.m. and are able to go to work immediately afterward, allow enough time to get to work. If your commute time is 30 minutes, you should tell your employer that you are available starting at 11:30 a.m.
Research the hours that your employer may expect you to be able to work. Before you submit an application, speak with a manager and ask if the company is looking for applicants who can work on specific days and times. This will save you time and effort if you are not available during these times, as you will know not to apply. Similarly, if your class schedule is flexible, you can tailor your hours to the employer's needs to boost your chances of being hired.
Tips & Warnings
- Ask a manager what hours employees generally work. Many first-time applicants to retail stores and restaurants make the mistake of writing down hours of availability that match the hours that the establishment is open. If a store opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 9 p.m., you may be asked to work several hours before 10 a.m. and after 9 p.m. Employees use the time before and after a store is open to clean it up and do behind-the-scenes work that customers don't see. Include this time on your application if you are available to work during it. Write "open availability" on your application if you have no restrictions on your time and are available to work any hours as needed. Do not write, for example, "6 a.m. to 11 p.m." seven times. Make it easy for your potential employer to tell right away that you are willing to take on any schedule if you are able.
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