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How to boost your CV over the summer

05 Jul 2018

how to boost your cv over the summer

Getting a job can feel a long way off while you’re at uni, especially when you’re enjoying your long summer break. But, in the modern job market, having a degree just isn’t enough. You need be thinking early on about the experience and skills that are going to make your CV stand out, and that long, long summer is a great time to get started.

So, how can you demonstrate that you’re a well-rounded person and that you have the so-called ‘softer’ skills that employers are looking for? Here are some great ways you can boost your CV over the summer…

Get a summer job

Even if you can’t clinch that industry-specific internship at a top firm this summer, any summer job can be more than just pocket money – it can also be a great asset to your CV. Whether you’re waitressing at the weekend, or working in a supermarket, you can gain lots of transferable skills, from customer service to money-handling to time-management. 
It also shows that you’re proactive in looking to enter the job market, and can help you stand out in a sea of CVs.


Volunteer work can be challenging, but it demonstrates perseverance and motivation, along with showing that you’re not afraid of hard work!
Volunteering can be anything from charity projects, to helping at a local foodbank or soup kitchen. You could even marshal at a local event or race, help out at a children’s group or offer to befriend an elderly person.

Choose something you’re truly passionate about – whether that’s helping the homeless, animals, children, or the elderly – and contact charities to find out what opportunities are available to you.

Find volunteering opportunities near you

Learn a new language


Having a second language is a great way to expand both your career and travel prospects! Plus, it shows you’re proactive about learning in your spare time.
Apps like Duolingo make it easy to get started, but to really learn a language it’s important that you spend plenty of time each week, or even each day, practicing, so you don’t forget what you’ve learned. If you have plenty of free time over the summer, learning a language is a great use of it!

Take free online courses

Did you know there are loads of free courses available online? What do you want to learn?

Coding is a hugely popular skill, which you can learn for free at Codeacademy. Or the BBC has hundreds of free courses, from First Aid to gardening to food techniques.

Alison has thousands of online courses, most of which are free, which you can do by video or audio video. You even get a certificate upon completion!

Taking an online course is time consuming, but it can really help your CV to stand out and, if you choose something you’re really excited and passionate about, it won’t feel boring! Support your CV with relevant skills for your career goals, or diversify by doing something completely different! 

Start a blog or vlog


Successful bloggers and vloggers might make it look easy, but started a blog involves developing a range of skills, from writing to HTML to photo and video editing to social media promotion, and it’s a great place to start if you’re interested in a creative career.

It’s free to start a blog with Blogger or Wordpress, and it’s a great place to showcase your creative work. Or why not take to YouTube to hone your vlogging skills?

Get creative

If you’re interested in performing, taking part in a choir, theatre or musical group is a great way to build confidence show team-building skills. Plus, it’s fun! Employers are interested in seeing the passions and interests that show you’re a well-rounded person.

If you don’t want to be in the spotlight, why not help behind the scenes oror even help to organise ticket sales? It not only shows creativity and passion but highlights your organisation and management skills.

Join a sports team

Joining a sports team is a great way to show your teamwork, focus and commitment. It also shows you’re organised and can manage your time well. You don’t need to be an athlete to join a sports team either – have a look for just-for-fun teams nearby if you’re not confident in your sporting ability!

Create a side hustle


Are you always making birthday cakes for family and friends? Do you make everyone’s Christmas presents? Did you do the bridesmaids’ makeup at your sister’s wedding? If you’ve got skills, time and a little bit of business acumen, you could make a little money on the side, and enhance your CV by showing you’re driven, determined and business-minded!

It doesn’t have to be a huge business – even washing cars or walking dogs could look great on your CV if you phrase it well!

Sign up for a charity challenge

charity race
Charity work is a huge plus on your CV, so why not sign up for a challenge? Climb a mountain, run a marathon, take part in a dance marathon, complete an obstacle course – whatever it is, your dedication, hard work and determination not only raises money for your chosen charity, but will help you to stand out in a pile of same-y CVs!
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