Student life: Make the Summer holiday count

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Whilst we all consider the Summer holidays a time to rejoice and relax, it is important as a recent graduate or current student to consider how you can make these six weeks count. Yes holidays abroad and catching up on your social life will obviously be at the very top of your to do lists, but adding extra curricular activities to your CV could stand you in good stead when you decide to apply for that first dream role.

Yes I look back on my own memories very fondly, but I do kick myself a little for not making the most of the time and freedom I had available to help kick start my career. It’s a dog eat dog world once you get out of university and although you have a degree under your belt work experience is desirable. So as you get ready for six weeks of lie ins and duvet days, add a little volunteering or reflection to your diary too…

Get a job

Start looking EARLY! Most companies start active recruiting as soon as they can, so plan ahead. There are loads of different ways to go about finding a summer job, the first and main being the internet. It has a range of websites dedicated to finding students summer work which are easy to apply for.

Here is a list of the main ones:

  • Student Job
  • Gumtree
  • Indeed
  • E4S

When submitting your applications make sure that each is tailored to suit the specific role advertised. The more passionate you come across the more likely you are to stand out – sell yourself and be patient!

Volunteer

From spending your summer volunteering abroad to a weekly shift at your local charity shop, volunteering comes in plenty of shapes and sizes. Besides having a positive effect on others (and yourself!), there are tonnes of benefits to volunteering – building experience, confidence, knowledge and your abilities are just a few of many as well as this type of experience being highly regarded on your job applications. Finishing university before school kicks out is also a fantastic opportunity to offer a helping hand at schools in the area. Get to know teaching staff and make a good impression!

Explore other cultures

There is nothing more rewarding than seeing how your actions can positively affect the lives of other people (or animals). Taking part in community-based programmes organised by the likes of African Impact and Projects-Abroad will give you the chance to make a real difference to the lives of young people in South Africa and plenty of other amazing places across the world. Use your holiday time wisely, yes IBIZA should be on your list for a little down time but there is so much to see and do that could really benefit your future job endeavours.

De-clutter that CV

Whether you are in your first year or last, make sure that your curriculum vitae is up to date and ready to impress. Jobs that are of interest to you could come up at any time and any place, so having an impressive CV could land you a fantastic role here, there, and everywhere.

Your resume’s work experience section should provide an overview of your career chronology and a few highlights of key accomplishments for your most recent work experience. If you’ve achieved anything whilst studying then don’t be afraid to elaborate. Your CV is all about selling your huge accomplishments, more personality can come later!

Summer school

A summer school is a course, usually lasting a week or more, during which those in attendance are generally offered intensive tuition in certain subjects, combined with extracurricular activities. Although this may seem a little daunting when you have so much going on already, brushing up on your English skills or study something interesting that may give you a little ‘umph’ when applying for future job applications.

Reflect

Okay, okay, it’s not exactly going out and getting stuck in but it’s hugely important for you and your future choices. Being a student can be daunting and stressful, and it is quite easy to shut off from the workload and put the Thursday glow party at the top of your to-do list. Take time over the Summer to think about what you would have done differently and how you’ll combat certain situations in your next year of studying, or in your first full time role. These holidays are a great way to relax and unwind, but don’t forget to look back on how far you have come…

Whatever your plans, jobs, or decisions for the Summer ahead be sure to make it all count! Tweet us your own helpful experiences at @staffroomed.

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