June 28, 2019, by Jackie Thompson
How to make your part-time and summer jobs assets to your CV
By Imogen Daldy, final year French and History student blogger
A fundamental mistake that a lot of students make on their graduate CVs is undervaluing their employment history. It’s one thing to be selective with what work experience you put on there, but it’s another thing to cut it all out because it doesn’t seem corporate enough for potential employers.
I became aware of this mistake when I sat down to write my own CV. After hours of regretting choosing to work in hospitality every summer rather than doing corporate internships, I realised that I had to stop shying away from my own achievements. I have worked as part of the Kingston University graduation team (university in my hometown) every summer now for four years. This might not look very impressive on its own. However, to mention that I have progressed from runner to graduation assistant, to information desk attendant, and to ticketing supervisor each year, could suggest to a future employer that I am reliable, diligent, versatile and that I have experience in management.
Sometimes it’s hard to recognise our own successes. Here’s a helpful list of ways I made my work experience stand out on my CV:
1. Big up your summer job
If like me you return to the same job every summer, whether it be in hospitality, retail or otherwise, think about what this says about you. Clearly, your employer thinks you work hard, you consistently perform well, you deal well with multiple responsibilities, you can manage a team and that you are dependable. Any summer job, whether it be corporate or not, shows that you are industrious even in your free time.
2. Celebrate your uni part-time job
Do you have a part-time job alongside your studies? Most employers will know the time and dedication that goes into a degree, so if you can hold down a part-time job and achieve in your degree as well, this shows you have an excellent command of time management, and that you can balance work and study no problem.
3. Emphasise your extra-curricular activities
The ‘extra-curricular’ interests section of your CV might seem like the most peripheral part, but it could show off those difficult-to-quantify character traits valued by graduate employers such as teamwork, leadership, and creativity. For example, leading a club or society at uni might appear unremarkable on its own, but perhaps the society achieved something noteworthy under your leadership that would make you stand out.
Fundamentally, it’s natural to put ourselves in competition with others, as this is what happens every time you apply for a job. This is why it’s crucial to have confidence in yourself and in your employment history, and to make sure this comes across in your CV. You never know, something you learned whilst making ten drinks a minute during your stint behind the bar in a student nightclub might just provide you with a golden ticket to your dream graduate job.
If you would like to gain more hints and tips on how to write and make the most of part-time work on your CV, visit our website.