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Career Planning: 4 Ways to Make the Most of Summer (List)

Careers AdviceEmployabilityTips and Advice

Summer vacation may not seem like the most appealing time to start planning your career, but taking a break from drinking Pimm’s and thinking about the future now could save you considerable stress once uni starts, and you’re once again drowning in assignments. So, have a look at these 4 simple career planning tips and start making the most of (what's left of) summer...

Ah, the British summer; the season of day drinking, sunburn and flooded festivals. But this is also the perfect time to make a start on the life admin you desperately need to do. Use this time off from deadlines and 9ams to your advantage with these 4 ways to make the most of your summer...

1. See what's out there:

If you’re unsure of which career path to follow, the summer vacation is the perfect time to brainstorm some ideas. Make a list of skills you have and think about different careers where they would be useful. It’s also really helpful to think about what motivates you: do you need targets to work towards or are you self-motivated? Do you want a career where you help people or is it more important for you to be able to be competitive and excel in your field? Once you’ve had a think about what is important to you, you can start looking into jobs that are out there. A great way to do this is to look at graduate job descriptions. Try to match job descriptions to your skill-set and values. This is an excellent starting point if you’re in a bit of a muddle and want to sift through all the opportunities available to you.

2. Speak to your uni career service:

Your careers service can help you with so many aspects of career planning: from brainstorming ideas to proofreading CVs, from help with applications to interview preparation. Many students don’t realise that careers services remain open over the summer; even if you’re not able to get to campus they’re still available via email or on the phone. Remember that your tuition fees fund this service, so you’re wasting money by not taking advantage of it.

 3. Update your CV:

When was the last time you updated your CV? When you applied for a summer job at maccy’s in 2015? Now is the perfect opportunity not only to update it, but to aim it at graduate employers. With graduate jobs it’s hugely important to tailor your CV to the specific job you are applying for. Even if you don’t know exactly what you’ll be applying for yet, you can still create a template that you can tweak when an exciting job opportunity comes along. Read up on how to aim your CV at graduate employers to ensure you have the best graduate CV possible. Your CV represents you and your achievements, so make sure to show off how truly fabulous you are!

4.  Get some experience:

It may be too late to apply for summer internships, but all sorts of experience can enhance your CV and demonstrate that you have essential, transferable skills. Part-time work shows that you are reliable (not everyone can hold down a job) and helps build many of the skills that employers are looking for. Volunteering also shows off your transferable skills. On top of this, if you manage to find volunteering in a relevant field it shows employers that you have a genuine interest in that area. Regardless, volunteering and part-time work show that you are a well-rounded person with experience in the workplace, even if it’s not where you want to end up working after graduation. Now you’re ready to make a start. Stop making excuses and get it done. Trust me, once lectures start and the assignments are rolling in, you’ll be glad you got ahead while you had the chance.

About the Author: Josie Rogers is a Chemistry undergraduate at the University of York. Her passions include music and dog memes. 

josie rogers grb author

Josie Rogers is a Chemistry undergraduate at the University of York. Her passions include music and dog memes.

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