The exams are finished, illness
I guess most students see the summer job as a means of earning some cash and reducing their financial woes – and we can all understand and relate with that. Other though may recognise the summer job as being a way to strengthen their CV before trying to forge a career in their chosen industry sector. Regardless of your motives, make no mistake, there will be winners and losers in the fight ahead. The longer you leave it, the more inflexible you are, the greater your chance being unsuccessful in your job hunt….and then you have no money and nothing to add to your CV.
The most important thing to remember, the summer job is not a job for life. Unless you are unlucky – your summer job will not kill you… it may scar you, but that is character building! So if you have a chance to work in a retail outlet but the thought of it leaves you in a cold sweat with the urge to saw your legs off with a chainsaw before stepping in there.….have a reality check and remember what your goals really are!
Forget the money for a moment (and yes, I know that is vital), the summer job could put some real life skills on your CV. Put it this way…I read a lot of CVs, my clients and fellow HR/recruitment professionals read a lot of CVs…..and we have seen a lot of candidates who for their gap year went travelling around the world and as part of the experience painted an orphanage in Cambodia for a week. Some taught African school children for a day. Others have even look after elephants for a weekend. Nothing wrong with any of that and I genuinely believe all of these things can be thought of as wonderful moments in life.….
But, the cynic in me also thinks the candidate potentially has rich parents that footed the bill, and more worryingly, a number of orphanages in Cambodia could collapse at any moment from the sheer weight of paint on the walls being applied by British gap year students! More to the point, these experiences, whilst impressive are now commonplace on a CV and one should question how much it really does impress your future employer.
A potential employer is more interested to read on your CV things such as “working with people”, “cash handling”, “working to targets”, ”administration duties”, “managing difficult customers”…..things that demonstrate a work ethic and not the stamps in your passport.
The summer job is not necessarily going to be glamorous, spiritually enriching, or financially rewarding, but it can start to lay important foundations on your CV which your peers miss out on. How to find your summer job could and probably will be another blog sometime in the future….but in the meantime if you do find yourself stacking shelves or wiping tables this summer, just remember to put it on your CV, because trust me, your future employer will want to read about it!