June 26, 2012

Make the most of your summer

To do list

We've reached the end of another year. Exams are over and a long vacation stretches ahead. If you've got a pretty packed schedule or a job offer lined up, this is a time of promise and excitement. But if you've got to this point and and are beginning to worry about what comes next, don't panic – you can soon put yourself back in the driving seat. Whether you're a first year or soon-to-be graduate, check out our practical guide to surviving and thriving this summer:

Come and talk to us

  • Student Careers and Skills is open throughout the summer and you can drop in to see a job search adviser, or book an appointment with one of our careers consultants. No experience, career plan or CV required! This is a great time to pop in for a chat but don't worry if you're not on campus – you can email, phone and skype as well.
  • Give your CV a facelift. If you're focussed and job ready it may need just a little 'cosmetic' fine tuning. Don't despair if you still feel your CV is more 'Z' than 'A' list. Our job search advisers can help you develop, re-package and refine your CV. Give yourself a head start by using our CV resources
  • See our website for opening hours.

Build your online profile

Manage your job feeds and news alerts

  • Start with our own vacancies database on myAdvantage. If you want to receive targeted news about graduate jobs, work experience and internships you need to tick the relevant box in the my preferences section.
  • Make use of established job portals like Milkround and TARGETjobs. They've got a wide reach and cover all the major sectors. If you're still hoping to secure a graduate job this summer, then you can check their upcoming deadlines to see what's available.
  • And if you want to be really lazy there's always Graduate Job Feed, which pulls graduate job vacancies from other boards and hosts them on one site.
  • Have you subscribed to industry/sector news feeds? Are you following the right people (and companies) on Twitter....?

Develop your commerical awareness

  • Think this is just the preserve of business graduates in finance roles? Wrong. Commercial awareness is one of the Top 10 skills that'll get you a job when you graduate.
  • Practical experience is best. Internships, work placements and volunteering can all expose you to the commerical realities of running a business or organisation. If you haven't got any work experience lined up this summer try to find a part time job. It might not be the most stimulating work but you'd be surprised how much you can learn from working in shops, bars and call centres. Check out e4S, JustJobs4Students and Unitemps to see what's available in your area.
  • Get informed! You've got a few months freedom from exams, assignments and seminars so make an effort to keep up with the news and read the business pages of the major broadsheets (Guardian, Financial Times, Telegraph).

Do something new

  • Recruiters are impressed by students who demonstrate a 'can do' attitude and curiosity about the world. Use this time to stretch yourself and broaden your horizons. Cultivate a new interest, volunteer, start a blog or maybe brush up on your IT skills (are you really that confident with Excel? If not, there are some great online tutorials. Try Mr Excel)
  • Be prepared to have a go. It can be a real confidence boost to step outside of your comfort zone, and when it comes to job interviews, you'll have plenty to say.

2012 graduates have free access to all careers services for 3 years after graduation Mortarboard

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Simon Dance

    After recruiting for both graduate and senior positions in marketing and online marketing over the last 5 years, there is one trait I look for above all else, even over ‘experience’ and that the candidates ability to execute. I’m far more interested in ‘what’ they’ve done than ‘where they’ve done it’.

    For me, the CV’s get are separated from the rest are the CVs where candidates have gone ‘above and beyond’ and ran projects in their spare time, volunteered for something they believed in, got so excited about a cause or project that they spent 48 hours straight building a proof of concept.

    Writing a compelling CV is good, and updating your Linkedin Profile will help… but to really be remarkable and stand out from the crowd, think about crafting your application about the core skills you’ll be expected to demonstrate if you’re hired.

    Execution wins every time.

    28 Jun 2012, 08:38

  2. Helen Stringer

    Hi Simon

    Yes, I would agree and this very much underpins our approach with students (& graduates). We invest a lot of time supporting students with their applications, emphasising the need to articulate in very specific terms what they’ve achieved.

    It’s good to know that our services align closely with recruiters expectations!


    29 Jun 2012, 11:38

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