Making the most of your summer experience

OK so maybe I’ve mis-sold it with ‘making the most of your summer experience’! I’m not going to tell you 10 things you must do before the summer is over (I’d love to but think that might be deemed as procrastination). Hopefully this short blog piece will help you to try to make the most of what you’ve done in terms of future applications.

It’s August now and you may well be part way through (or have finished) any work experience/ internship/ summer placement that you secured. You will no doubt be completing application forms or sending out CVs to apply for part time jobs, more placements or graduate jobs over the coming months and next academic year. If you are, they’ll often ask you for details of your previous roles or to describe ‘a challenging situation’, or ‘a time when you dealt with a problem’ etc. That’s where this blog post comes in.

You can make the most of your recent experience by thinking about what you’ve done and writing it down. It may sound obvious or be one of those tasks you’d rather put off, but it will help with future applications. Think about:

  • What you did in the role i.e. the tasks you carried out
  • The skills you used in the role
  • New skills you developed or existing skills that you have improved
  • Times when you worked in a team/faced a difficult challenge etc
  • Specific examples that you can use to demonstrate your skills/answer about situations in interviews and application forms

Writing it down now or putting it in an electronic document while it is still fresh/quite recent will mean that you have a bank of examples and ideas to use when updating your CV or writing applications. It might save a bit of time in the future or at least make the task of completing applications a little easier!

If you’re thinking about making applications, there is a lot of useful information in the ‘Applications and Interviews’ section on  our website. Also, we are trialling a live guidance system at the moment (it’s essentially 1-to-1 IM guidance which you can access even if you’re not on campus/in Manchester at the moment) and my colleague Jenny is doing a session next week on Wednesday 19th August from 6-8pm. You can find full details of how to access it on the live guidance page on our website.

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