We are delighted to welcome a guest post from Mark Bradford, Marketing Executive from STEMGraduates.
Already growing tired of Homes Under the Hammer marathons? Fed up of the endless grunting on centre-court? Why not get to work on securing that work experience you feel your CV is slightly lacking? Here are our 4 tips to boost your employability during the summer break…
1. Spend a day or two to get yourself organised
Time management is key in this respect as the urge to procrastinate will be strong during those hazy midsummer days. Firstly, assess what you’re looking to gain from any summer work experience. Are you looking for experience specifically related to your degree and/or future career path?
Compile a checklist of suitable companies in your area and introduce yourself either through, email, social media, phone or in person whilst enquiring whether the company is in a position to consider offering work experience. Outline your skills and intended career path and why you feel an insight into how the company works would be useful to you.
2. Take any chance to polish up your soft skills
Just because your work experience isn’t directly relevant to the type of work you want to go into after university, don’t underestimate its potential importance to you in the future. When you’re looking for a graduate job, employers will need to be sure of your professionalism and work-rate. For instance, taking a job in retail or the services industries and putting your all into the role is a great way of proving your reliability, whether you’re looking at going into these sectors or not upon graduating.
It’s also important to consider voluntary and charity opportunities. Committing time during your summer break to a charitable organisation will not only be extremely rewarding, but will also help you stand out from the crowd when applying for graduate jobs.
3. Get networking
Be sure to stay in touch with employers after your placement or work experience. LinkedIn is a great platform to do this, so catch up occasionally to see how the company is getting on even when you’ve returned to university.
Building and maintaining a rapport with decision makers inside an organisation could put you at the top of their list for when they’re recruiting for full time vacancies in the future. Get to know the people at all levels at the organisation you’re interning or volunteering with, the chances are that they could move on in the future and by staying in touch you give yourself more options post-graduation.
4. Don’t neglect your hobbies
Often we see CVs with hobbies and interests sections littered with statements along the lines of ‘I enjoy going for walks on the beach with my pet Chihuahua’, which is all well and good if you’re looking at establishing a career within the dog-walking industry but recruiters want to see something relevant to the job in this section.
Use your summer to pad this out. Why not explore aspects of the industry you want to go into by writing your own blog?
It’s just an example but what if you want to go into web development? Now’s the time to design your own website.
Do you think you’d enjoy devising an extra-curricular research project relating to your degree subject? Yes? Then get cracking!
Employers want candidates who stand out when looking through graduate job applications. Utilise the free time you have now to demonstrate your passion for their industry and you’ll reap the rewards next summer.