Summer has finally arrived, and the sun is here too. As well as taking a well-earned break from your studies this is the perfect time to dust off those career ambitions. In honour of this, here are the Careers & Enterprise Centre’s ‘top tips for summer’…
1. Develop your skills
Employers really value candidates who take ownership of developing their own skills and who can self-learn. Use your initiative and learn a skill that could really assist you in your future career, perhaps coding or a foreign language.
2. Learn your rights with regards to work experience and internships
Too many students embark on full or part time unpaid work without researching the law. Only charities are exempt from paying the national minimum wage. Voluntary work with charities is highly recommended for students who do not have enough experience to get a paid internship, those that go on to intern for someone other than a charity must ensure that they are paid appropriately.
3. Compile a targeted list of employers
Put together a list of employers to target in the upcoming academic year. Recruitment for graduate roles begins in August, so it pays to think NOW about who you would like to work for or intern with.
Get curious about companies beyond the big names. Lots of you will find great roles with companies which are not JP Morgan or KPMG. Use the summer to take a look at the other organisations out there; there are a huge number of start-up companies and SMEs with innovative and exciting roles available.
4. Update your CV
The summer period is the perfect time to refresh your CV with the skills you have gained from your course and other activities (both work and extra-curricular) throughout the year. Need some inspiration? Take a look at this CV guide.
5. Create a professional social media presence
When selecting new skills and recent experience to update your CV with, ensure that you also bring your professional social media profiles up-to-date. LinkedIn in particular is an ideal tool for cultivating and maintaining professional connections and a good way to keep an eye on internship and graduate opportunities that are available by following organisations that you have an interest in.
6. Seek advice
Remember – Queen Mary Careers and Enterprise Centre is open all summer to assist you with job searches, applications, interviews and more. Plus, telephone and Skype appointments are available for those that are not on campus over the summer.
Employer Engagement Assistant, Careers & Enterprise Centre