Summertime…and the livin’ is easy…

Uni is out!  Time to hit the beach, catch up with friends and sit in your pyjamas/pants and watch daytime TV until your brain slops out of your ears.  Or your parents moaning about your ‘unique odour’ gets too much.  Either way, you will be living the dream.


The problem is that sometimes, dreams become reality.  Your days of relaxing because ‘university was stressful’ and you ‘deserve a break after those exams’ could be longer than you expect.  The graduate labour market is demanding more from graduates than ever before, and if you don’t pick yourself up and get some experience, Jeremy Kyle may well become a regular fixture in your life.

To combat this, here are some useful tips to make the most of your summer:

  • Before you start – work out what you need.
  • Look at the types of graduate job you might like – it doesn’t have to be exact.  ‘I might want to do something in marketing’ is close enough.
  • Look at the skills required by graduate employers and think about specific requirements of your chosen profession.
  • Do a basic skills analysis looking at what your skills gaps are.  This can be done through MyFolio or the Kent Union E&V Toolkit.
  • Find opportunities that will plug some of these gaps.  You won’t be able to cover them all, so choose the most important ones.
  • Get paid work – even if it is helping out at festivals or temp work, rather than a steady part time role.  Whilst a more stable role demonstrates commitment, there are amazing temp opportunities out there too.
  • Whilst in your summer role, always ask for more opportunities.  Are there projects you can help with, roles you can pick up? …even unpaid? (provided you can afford it and they aren’t exploiting you).  Ask for more!
  • Network.  Speak to everyone.  Look for opportunities.  Even working in a supermarket, you can find ways into head office.  Be persistent!
  • Varied project work/roles shows flexibility and adaptability.  Look for opportunities to broaden your remit.
  • Actually do the job you are paid to do – no one will put themselves out for you if you don’t get the basics right.
  • Get volunteer work – this is as good as paid work (minus the cash), but because it is unpaid, the potential to do more/have a greater impact is there for the taking.
  • Like employment, reliability is important.  Turn up early and leave late.  Complete tasks and ask ‘what’s next?’
  • Put ideas forward – don’t be afraid to be vocal.
  • Record all of your activities as and when they happen so that you will remember them when writing a CV.  MyFolio or Kent Union’s E&V Toolkit are good ways of doing this.

For advice on finding opportunities, applying or interviews, the Careers and Employability Service is very happy to help.


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