It has been a couple of weeks since Leicester’s spring term officially finished, and my social media feeds are full of friends graduating or heading home for summer. Being home is very strange, because although at the end of a long year you are happy to see family and friends from home again you soon miss being at the University of Leicester.
Many students around the UK will be spending their summer working to earn some extra cash for the next year, or just to have some spare cash to enjoy their down-time. Whatever your motivations a temporary job can be a great opportunity to earn some cash, boost your CV and develop loads of transferable skills that will help you when you graduate. I’ve worked several summer jobs so I thought I would share some top tips about how to bag yourself a position.
- Be Prepared.
While it’s now too late for students who live away from Leicester to make use of the Careers Service physically they can still help with things including advice such as CV guidance and Skype practise interviews. They are a great, friendly service who are there to ensure your CV and interview is the best it can be.
- Apply Early.
University students and students who are due to shortly finish A-Levels have an edge because of the longer periods they are available to work, and even though it’s now early July it’s still ahead of the game for businesses that want help for the main school holidays – so go ahead and start your search now! (RIGHT NOW!)
- Get Experience.
One of the biggest things that make my CV stand out and landed me my summer job was working for that company in a different store previously. However, my part-time work on campus also helped. The University and the Students Union employ lots of students such as myself and while experience isn’t everything it might help give you the edge. There are lots of summer jobs that state no experience required though, so there’s absolutely no reason you won’t find a job without experience – in fact, a summer job is a great way to get your first experience of the world of work whether paid or unpaid.
- Be Flexible.
Your motivations for wanting summer work will vary, but for most of you taking paid positions the money will be a big factor. I’m lucky that I live near the coast, and there is a large amount of summer work due to the tourist trade. However, there will be work if you look for it – before I left Leicester I saw many businesses in the city centre hiring part-time staff and the University itself hires summer staff in catering, customer service and cleaning. If it’s a boost to your CV you’re after, some unpaid work experience could be the way forward. It pays to be flexible in the types of work you’re looking for, and to think outside the box if necessary.
- Be Cheeky
No, I don’t mean bury your job hunting woes in the sand and go for a Nandos. I mean, don’t be afraid to ASK about opportunities, paid or unpaid. Last summer I was able to get a week’s unpaid work experience with my local MP because I wrote to her and asked. There was no application form, and no formal recruitment process, but she had several placements over the summer for people from her constituency. So, if you often go somewhere that you think might need extra people for the summer don’t be afraid to ask if they’re hiring. That may not be the way things work with full-time employment anymore, but for temporary and casual work it often still does.
I know it’s hard to find a job, particularly if you’ve never worked before, but hopefully using some of these tips you’ll be able find yourself a job, placement or internship to fill the long hot summer between starting, or returning to, university. The University of Leicester has lots of support available, and even job opportunities, so that’s a good first port of call for current students.
Do you have a job lined up this summer?
Got a placement that will turn me green with envy?
Any top tips for how to land a dream summer job?
Let me know in the comments!