A guide to summer jobs
The perks of working during the summer
Students often look forward to summer all year for different reasons. Many seek out experiences to boost their personal growth and professional development. This guide outlines some of the reasons why you should consider doing the same by getting a summer job.
Spending the summer working might not sound very exciting, but there are actually many benefits that you may not have considered yet. Here are a few reasons why students choose to get a summer job and what they gain by doing so.
1) Gain work experience and explore your options
Summer jobs are a fantastic way to gain experience and explore your options. Every kind of work experience, whether it’s paid or voluntary, is truly invaluable. By entering the world of work you’ll gain a better understanding of your career goals and preferred work environments, which can help you plan your next steps.
Relevant work experience is essential for certain pathways as it demonstrates your interest in and suitability for a subject or career. For example, if you want to become a doctor then working or volunteering in a care home would be a relevant experience for any application to study medicine.
All types of roles can teach you something, even if unrelated to a specific subject or career. For example, by working in a retail or hospitality job you might realise that you thrive in a customer-facing role and work well under pressure. Equally, you might discover that you actually prefer work that isn’t so fast-paced.
If you’re not sure what you’re interested in, take the Unifrog interests profile quiz. You can also check out Unifrog’s ‘Get on the ladder’ career series to get some inspiration and find out more about the types of experiences you should look for.
2) Develop your skills and knowledge
School holidays are a great time to develop your skills and knowledge, and getting a summer job is the perfect opportunity to do so. Whether you’re in a traditional student job (like retail or hospitality) or in a specific industry (like medicine), you are bound to learn a great deal.
For example, working at a restaurant can teach you important transferable skills such as teamwork, communication, and using your initiative. These ‘soft’ skills are essential to most roles across all sectors and are also referred to as competencies.
Similarly, if you take on relevant work experience, like volunteering at a human rights charity, then you’re bound to become more knowledgeable on the cause.
If you are able to find a job in a career sector you are interested in, you will gain knowledge that will be useful in future roles.
3) Boost your CVs, resumés, and cover letters
Your summer job will show you’re proactive and make the most of your time, even during the holidays. So by entering the workplace, you put yourself one step ahead of other applicants your age.
Experiences can be used to demonstrate your competencies to future employers or schools. Whether it’s in the early application stages or at an interview, referring to specific examples will evidence your skills and potential to excel within a role. This will impress the person reviewing your application.
If you’re not sure where to begin, start logging examples in the Activities tool. Then you can use the CV/Resumé tool to learn how to write about your experiences and start building your CV.
4) Earn your own wage
Summer jobs are also an opportunity to make some money. Regardless of your financial situation, it’s always a good idea to work towards your savings or other goals. For example, you might want to save for travel, university, or driving lessons. Getting a summer job will help you make some serious headway towards achieving some of these goals.
5) Prepare for the world of work
Workplaces are not the same as educational institutions. There are different sets of expectations, and the type of work you do in the workplace will be different to the tasks you are required to do at school. This makes summer jobs a great way to get prepared for the transition from school to the world of work.
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