Use your skills: find a job on Student Gems

By admin
Category: Financial | Date: Sun 26 Oct, 2008

Looking for a job? You might want to check out Student Gems – it’s a site that matches up students in the UK with employers who want your skills! (If you’re in the US, Student Freelance is similar.)

Whether you’re a writing whiz, a graphics guru, a development dynamo, or a fantastic photographer, you’ll find someone who can use you. The categories cover everything from administration (data entry, etc) to odd jobs (babysitting, gardening) as well as more specialised skills.

How does Student Gems work?

Employers and students register on the site. As a student, you fill out your profile (which took me about 5 minutes), including details of your university/college and the course you’re studying. You get a box where you can write whatever you like about yourself; here’s mine:

I am a part-time postgraduate student at Goldsmiths College, studying for an MA in Creative & Life Writing. My undergraduate degree is an English BA (2.i) from the University of Cambridge.

I am a freelance writer with particular expertise in web writing. I also create websites for individuals and small businesses, and can arrange for logo design and other design services on request. (You can find out more on my website,

You also add your skills from a list – this is a must, as it’s how employers find you, and how Student Gems knows what jobs you might be interested in! My list looks like this:

Computing >> Website Development
Lessons, Coaching & Tuition >> Subject Lessons >> English Language
Lessons, Coaching & Tuition >> Subject Lessons >> English Literature
Odds & Ends >> Babysitting (Not Child Care)
Public Relations (PR) & Advertising >> Copy Writing
Writing >>
Writing >> Adult Fiction
Writing >> Articles
Writing >> Blogs

Once you’ve created your profile, you can hunt for jobs in your areas. The site is still fairly new, and I found that there wasn’t a huge amount listed yet – there were several things I could have happily applied for, though. (I’m not taking on much new work at the moment, so I held off.)

The site also states that most employers tend to contact students possessing the particular skills they want, rather than listing their job on the site. I haven’t yet been contacted by any employers (I’ve been registered on Student Gems since October 5th), but this may be because I’ve still not uploaded any samples to my profile.

When you’ve completed a job, you can rate the employer, and they can rate you too – I’m sure you’ve seen similar systems in action on sites like ebay. This lets other students know which employers are reputable, and (hopefully!) lets other employers know that you’re a great person to work with.

Who would it be good for?

Through I have been able to afford this year’s car insurance (which is incredibly expensive for a person my age), MOT, tax, been able to spend lots on my family, and I haven’t needed to ask my parents for money at all!
– Success story from bam4d, quoted on the Student Gems site.

I think Student Gems would be a great site to join if:

  • You can’t commit to fixed hours in a part time job, but have some free time and want some extra cash.
  • You want to build up a strong portfolio of “real world” work whilst at university.
  • You plan on freelancing or being self-employed after university (this would be a great introduction into finding work and getting it done).

You might want to pass if:

  • You need a regular income to pay the rent and bills.
  • You’re already an expert in your field and you’re charging the appropriate fees for your expertise (Student Gems advises employers and students to settle on a rate at around half the industry standard).
  • Your skills are either extremely specialised or extremely broad, or impossible to supply remotely (jobs are listed by location, but the relatively low volume means you might struggle to find something in your area).

Student Gems explains the benefits of the site for students, businesses and individual employers as follows:

Students can now use their developing skills to earn at a higher rate (whilst not charging fully qualified professional level fees), as well as doing the usual student jobs.

Businesses can make their money go further by using to find a student to do websites, logos, photography, translations, research, admin…and more.

Individuals can benefit too, by having access to services that may previously have been cost prohibitive, eg. illustrating, portrait photography, jewellery design, musicians… the list goes on.

Student Gems – About Us

Over to you

Further reading:

Have you ever done any freelance work, whether using skills that relate to your academic studies or not? What was it like? And if you’ve used Student Gems, we’d love to hear about your experiences.

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