Summer, summer, summertime. Time to sit back and unwind?

dover ferry

Your exams are over, your friends are jetting off to holiday resorts, and you’re wondering what you’re going to do for the next 8 weeks. Should you move back home, sleep all day, watch television, then come back refreshed (and underwhelmed!) for the next year at university? Or could you use your summer vacation wisely, by getting a job and adding skills and experience to your CV?

If you’re looking for a way to bump up your CV, you could always look into doing work experience abroad. This will not only help you develop a whole range of skills, but will give you something extra when applying to graduate recruiters. Casual jobs in retail, catering and tourism will be more significant when you do them abroad, giving evidence of your initiative, self-reliance, adaptability and cultural awareness. These jobs can also help you to get experience that is directly relevant to your chosen career. If you want to go into teaching, for example, working at children’s summer camps or in language schools will give a real insight into understanding and motivating groups of children.

That’s not to say that working closer to home is insignificant. Countless students find their graduate jobs due to the networking they do whilst working as an undergraduate. Get to know your manager, and find out what the company offers to graduates. If they’re a big company, they might have a graduate scheme, which you’re more likely to get onto if you have already worked for them.

If earning money is not a priority, you can also gain excellent experience through volunteering. Conservation, archaeology, development, healthcare and community work are all areas where you can get experience for a couple of weeks or for an entire summer vacation. Have a look at www.do-it.org for opportunities local to you.

“And with the help of Google I composed this rhyme
To hit you and get you equipped for working in the summertime!”

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