How you can use the summer to build on your CV

We are in the middle of summer and by now you have probably gone on trips with your family, attended summer gigs with friends, binged on good food, and realised that you are still left with plenty of time left of your summer break! If you are beginning to tire out of ideas on how to spend the rest of summer – or even if you’re not – we suggest you leave the fun times behind for now and inch towards some productivity and self-discipline. It’s time to start thinking about your career.

You can start by listing out activities that can help you plan your career better, and one of the best ways to do this is to work on your CV. You’ll be surprised how you begin to motivate yourself as you go along. You can list out the ways in which you can build up on your skills, add to your work experience and train yourself for interviews that you can include on your CV. Our top 5 things that you can do to build on your CV this summer are:

1. Pick up a skill or two

So how do you justify that you are a “fast learner” at an interview without having to demonstrate examples that establish this quality? Well one way is to tell your prospective employer that you have built up on certain skill sets that help you perform a task or a set of tasks. But it is important that you make an impact by telling them how you would perform these tasks to achieve success. Summer can be the ideal time to pick up on these skills. You can start off by identifying which skills you would need to work on to securing your ultimate job. You can do online research or source books from your local library that give guidance on developing key skills that add weight to your CV.

2. Aim for an Internship

What better time to do an internship than in your summer break! You may be discouraged to take up an internship simply because you didn’t wish to lose out on a summer trip with friends or family. However, if you think of the level of competition in the market for graduate jobs, you may want to think again and your family/friends will understand your choosing to do an internship instead of accompanying them this time. You could approach your college career centre for internship opportunities or ask your lecturers if they would recommend you to an organisation/company. You may need to apply well in advance for internship opportunities. People travel worldwide to get experience through unpaid internships so it is best if you can secure a place early on.

3. Go volunteer!

Employers would like to see some volunteer experience on your CV, especially if you are applying to educational institutions, charity organisations or research positions. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities that you can come across, start by going through your local newspaper to see if you can find something in your area. It is important that you volunteer in an area that you feel passionate about, then you’ll get the chance of developing skills that can help you get a paid position in the future.

4. Learn a language

Learning a language in summer is one of the most common things that postgraduate students do. If you plan on a career in international relations, research, law, teaching, etc. then this will play a key role in building on your CV. In fact even if you planned on looking for graduate jobs in the corporate or the charity sector, knowing foreign languages can be a bonus to the experience that you bring to the role, especially for future promotions.

5. Get creative

Some people like to build up on their creative side if they wish to keep options open for pursuing careers in the creative industry. For instance, if you’re studying a degree in business administration, but also have qualities in graphic design, then you can use the summer to build up on these skills and do training courses that will allow you to find a different niche while at the same time using your knowledge in business administration. Alternatively, perhaps you can pick up editorial skills or attend publishing training courses, whilst pursuing a law degree or studies in history.

Whatever you do this summer try and make sure you spend some time on personal development to broaden your chances in getting noticed through your CV.

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