13 June 2023

How to Boost Your CV During the Holidays

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Ah, the university holidays… lie-ins, family reunions and catching up with old friends. It does, however, also mean dealing with your annoying siblings, boredom and more boredom.

So make the most of your holidays this year by becoming more employable. We’ve put together a few ways to boost your CV, most of which will leave you plenty of time to enjoy the sunshine too.

1) Create a LinkedIn account

Now this one is perfect for those British spring days. (You know the ones when you look outside in the morning expecting glorious sunshine, only to find that it’s pouring down with rain!)

Creating a LinkedIn account will help you massively when it comes to applying for an internship, placement or graduate job.

Think of it as your professional social media account. You can follow companies you’re interested in and find out about lots of exciting professions. It doesn’t take long to set up an account and is a must-have in 2023.

For a more detailed guide to building a professional social media account, check out our guide to creating the Ultimate LinkedIn Profile.

2) Build connections

These days, you can grow an entire professional network from the comfort of your sofa. Whatever career or industry you’re thinking of trying, there will be a LinkedIn group directly relating to it, with a range of influencers and industry experts as members.

But as useful as LinkedIn and Facebook are, there isn’t a substitute for meeting people and actually talking to them IRL…

Get the most out of LinkedIn and your Student Union by going along to as many relevant networking events as possible. You never know what you might walk away with.

3) Do an internship

Now we’re talking! Getting an internship or insight day is a fantastic way to boost your CV during the holidays. Employers LOVE students who have done one.

An internship is a short period of paid work experience that tends to last between one and four months. Internships usually take place during the summer, but can be done during the Easter holidays as well.

You’ll work for an employer full-time, where you’ll gain key skills, experience and knowledge in a particular industry. This knowledge can then be built upon during a placement year, as well as in graduate employment.

4) Get a part-time job

Part-time jobs offer responsibility, office experience, and of course, a much-needed boost to your bank account. Popular student summer jobs include babysitting, dog walking, tutoring, working in retail and freelance writing or editing.

If you get bored during the holidays and need something to do, working will also help you build transferable skills like…

  • Time management
  • Commercial awareness
  • Initiative
  • Teamwork

How to write a CV for a part-time job

When writing a part-time job CV, it’s important to let hiring managers know that you’re only seeking work on a flexible basis. 

Part-time CVs are just as important as full-time CVs. They must be professional and highlight your qualifications and skills. And even though you’ll be spending less time in the organisation, your motivation and reasons for applying should be clear.

Follow these FOUR steps to ensure that your part-time CV is fit for purpose.

1. Write a CV headline

A CV headline is one sentence that summarises your profile and shows recruiters why you’re the best candidate for the job.

2. Craft a succinct personal statement

Your personal statement should be 50-100 words and give the employer an overview of your background and experience to date. If you’re a university student looking for a weekend role, mention your availability in your application.

3. Highlight your achievements

Have you raised money for charity, started an online business or taken a certified course in digital marketing? If so, mention these in your CV. This shows recruiters that you’re proactive and someone who will add value to their organisation.

4. Have a clear format

You may have the best CV in the world, with all the skills that employers are looking for. But if it’s difficult to read, you won’t get very far.

Here are some general formatting rules to follow when writing your CV:

  • Highlight your most recent professional experience first
  • Use fonts like Times New Roman, Calibri or Arial, with a font size of 10-12.
  • Structure your CV using bullet points so that it’s easy-to-scan.

For further information, check out our blog on how to write a CV as a student.

5) Learn a new skill

You’ve got more or less 3 months; the perfect amount of time to learn something useful! 

We’re not talking magic tricks or how to perfect the Frontside 360 Ollie. But something that could help you in your future career, such as:

  • Coding
  • Learn a new language
  • Familiarising yourself with new software, like PhotoShop.

There are loads of websites and YouTube tutorials that can offer you free courses. For example, if you’re keen on breaking into digital marketing, take the time to do some eLearning courses through Facebook blueprint.

Once employers find out you’ve worked your way through a few of these, they’ll be sure to fight over you!

6) Charity work/volunteering

Volunteering is worthwhile, not just for yourself but for those it benefits in the community. (And it’ll give you some seriously good karma too.)

There’s a wide range of voluntary work you can do during your time off, including:

  • Helping out at a local care home
  • Classroom support
  • Conservation work
  • Local DIY projects

This is an excellent opportunity to build your team-working skills and to really put them into practice.

Giving something back to the community won’t make you Mother Teresa overnight. But giving up your spare time will also show employers how much of a good egg you are.

Voluntary work is gold dust in interviews.

7) Travel

If you want to spend your summer enjoying a little sunshine, you’re certainly not alone. Backpacking is a superb way of developing your organisation skills and independence.

Whether you choose to go hiking in Machu Picchu or take an American road trip along Route 66, travelling will lower your stress levels, boost your mood and give you the confidence to tackle life’s most challenging situations.

8) Become a mental health first aider

Stress is something we’ve all dealt with at some point in our lives. Sometimes it can get a bit much though. Which is why it’s always good to be prepared.

By taking a mental health first aid course, like the one by St John Ambulance, not only will you boost your employability by offering valuable skills to the business, you’ll show character too. Kindness and empathy are assets in the workplace. So the more you have, the merrier.

Now would you look at that! We’ve armed you with 8 fantastic ways to boost your CV during the holidays. Whatever you choose to do with your summer, try not to waste it. 

Once you enter the working world, you’ll never have three solid months off again, so make the most of it!