Hooray – summer is finally here! And you know what that means: Fun, Festivals, and – best of all – no more exams or essays. However, before you get too carried away with planning your social calendar and packing your sun cream, realise that you have an invaluable opportunity now to develop yourself and your future employment prospects. Here are 5 ways you can productively use the next few months to improve your CV and your chances of landing that dream job when you graduate.
1. Get a Job…
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Lets get the obvious one out of the way first – whatever your profession or industry, when potential employers look at your CV they will be looking at your work experience and not just your academic qualifications.
The summer holiday period is a great time to get a part-time job or work placement that can enhance this section of your CV. Even a casual weekend job stacking shelves at your local supermarket will show them you have good customer service and communications skills, can work within a team and what’s more you’ll have someone to turn to for a glowing reference when you start applying for graduate jobs!
2. Go Travel
It may seem crazy but yes, employers actually want people with a bit of life experience, and travelling during the holidays could be seen as a positive step towards boosting your employability.
Backpacking is a fantastic way to develop your independence and put your organisation skills into practice when navigating foreign transport systems, making hostel bookings and managing your budget. You’ll also become more resourceful and brush up your networking skills when meeting new people at every stop along the way. You could also combine your travels with volunteering or a physical challenge, which will show employers your ability to set and achieve a target.
3. Learn a new skill
Alternatively, you could combine your travels with learning a new skill. Foreign languages are highly valued by employers – particularly those spoken in emerging markets, such as Mandarin and Spanish – and having one on your CV could set you apart when you begin applying for jobs.
If you don’t fancy that then why not try your hand at something new like learning to play the guitar, or rediscovering your passion for dressmakingThere are hundreds of short term courses you could sign up for over the summer and gain skills that could set you apart from the competition. Employers will be impressed with the level of commitment you can demonstrate to learning something new, because it shows passion.
4. Write a blog
Writing an effective blog will prove to a prospective employer that you can write in coherent English, whilst also showcasing your passion for a subject that is personal to you. Employers love to hear what your interests outside of work are. So if you have an undying love of anything from shoes to Winston Churchill, then write it down – it could be useful.
5. Set up a business
Have you got a great business idea, but find yourself too busy during term time to pursue it?
Setting up a business takes time and effort, but working hard at it for three months over the summer could allow you to lay the groundwork, which you can then build on when you’re back at university.
If your business is successful, it could turn in to a full-time job for you when you graduate. But even if it isn’t, launching a business as a student will look impressive on your CV and you’ll develop crucial skills from professional communication and networking, to organisation and leadership.
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