Keeping records

Don’t worry, I’m not about to post about the virtues of vinyl over downloads or CDs – but I might later if I run out of things to say!

The records the title refers to are for your CV and future job applications.  Perhaps ‘notes’ might have been a better title! I know it’s summer (or is supposed to be despite the gloomy weather here in Manchester at the moment) and you may well be doing all sorts of exciting things which mean that CVs and job applications aren’t at the forefront of your mind. I’m not saying they should be, but there are a few reasons why it might be useful to think about them every now and then… Whatever year you’re in at university, at some point in the next year you may well be making applications for part-time jobs, internships, placements, graduate jobs or postgraduate study. Whatever the application is for, you’ll need to be able to show what you’ve done in the past, the experiences you’ve had and the skills you’ve developed.

Keeping a quick note of what you’ve done this summer (or in any part-time job etc), will help with your applications. There’s no need to write a massive diary entry every day detailing everything you’ve done as it will only mean it’s something you are likely to stop doing at some point as it becomes too much. Instead, just keep some notes about:

  • the type of duties you’ve carried out,
  • the skills you’ve used to do this work (including new ones you’ve developed from the work)
  • and key highlights – such as dealing with a difficult situation, doing something that was expected as part of your role etc.

It needn’t take a long time to do, but will help when you are faced with application forms asking for examples from different areas of our life to questions like  ‘Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult problem, what was it and what did you do to solve it?’.  Hopefully it will make life a little easier when thinking about how to answer these questions and save you wracking your brains to find a suitable answer.

Enjoy the rest of the summer – and the record keeping! Speaking of keeping records, I’m off to make a fruit bowl or some record bookends now…


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