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Top 10 Ways to Give Your Career a Leg Up This Summer

Posted:
14 December 2021   |   by Explore Careers
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We get it – you probably don’t want to be thinking about all the tough stuff when it’s time for a break – us either!

BUT, hear us out. We also know now is a great time to start doing just a little bit of prep work. Trust us, future, you will thank you for it!

Planning for your future doesn’t have to be all about HUGE decisions. It’s often the tiny building blocks that lead us to where we want to be.

10 Easy to Implement Ways to Give Your Career A Leg Up

While we definitely want you to grab some downtime this summer, if you do get bored – here are our top ten easy to implement ways to give your career a leg up.

You’re welcome.

1. Figure out where you’re headed

First things first, in order to get anywhere with your career you need to know what you’re interested in!

This is no easy decision, but the good news is – it doesn’t have to be set in stone.

Now is a perfect time to start getting some ideas together, and don’t worry just yet about being completely practical. You can start with a simple list of all the different careers, roles or industry sectors you’re interested in. Rank them from the ones you’re most interested in to the ones you’re maybe interested.

Voila, you’ve made a start!

Really unsure about what you’re into? Check out our super Career Quiz for lots of spicy ideas!

2. Work on your resume 

Sitting down to write out a resume might feel like a slog – which is why now is the perfect time to work on it in small chunks. Set yourself a goal to complete one section per week, polishing to perfection as you go.

Rome wasn’t built in a day after all – neither does your resume have to be!

Want some top tips on what your resume should include? Hit up our informative blog here!

3. Draft a cover letter

Better yet – draft three!

Pick the top three jobs you’re interested in and challenge yourself with writing a cover letter for each.

You could write these generally to help build your skills with this important (but let’s face it, slightly tedious) task OR amp things up by finding a job online you like and drafting a cover letter for it.

Get help with what a cover letter should look like here.

4. Check out LinkedIn

No need to rush into creating a profile just yet (but we won’t stop you). If you want to get a leg up into the world of professional social media, it’s worth taking a peek!

LinkedIn can be a great resource to help uncover internships, work experience and entry-level jobs – as well as researching who’s who (which will help with who you should be addressing your cover letters to when the time comes!)

Get started with LinkedIn by clicking here.

5. Start volunteering

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: volunteering ISN’T all op shops and collecting rubbish. Whatever you’re into – we bet there’s a way to get some great experience through volunteering.

And if that draft resume is looking a bit bare, volunteering is a fantastic way to start padding it out with worthy accolades!

Find out more about volunteering for your career here and find opportunities here.

6. Pick your number one.

Now is a great time to go back to your original list of ideas and pick your number one top choice industry to work in – yup, we’re making you!

Once you’ve settled on your number one, it’s time to dive deep. Start exploring all the different roles available, the potential academic pathways, and what else you’ll need to consider to crack into this chosen industry.

Already picked your number one? Dive straight in with our Industry Profiles! 

7. Find a mentor 

Once you know the types of jobs you’re interested in (Career Quiz, anyone?) – you can start thinking about how to find out more.

A mentor can be anyone who works in the field you’re interested in or who might be able to give you some more information in general, such as a family member, a teacher or a careers advisor.

Start by asking your parents, friends’ parents, older siblings, aunts, uncles – anyone in your close network if they know who you could speak to and start learning more.

8. Be a shadow for the day

Another great way to start uncovering more about the roles, industries and organisations you’re interested in is through job shadowing.

Narrow down where you could work in your local area and write to them, or pop in and ask, if you can spend the day job shadowing.

Let them know specifically why you’re interested and what you hope to gain from the experience: whether it’s just learning more about the day-to-day, a chance to ask some questions about what qualifications you should aim for or anything else.

Check out some inspiring employer profiles here for some ideas!

9. Chat to your mates

This doesn’t have to be a solo venture – in fact, we guarantee it’ll be way more fun with some friends involved.

You could arrange some meet-ups to give each other feedback on your resumes or cover letters, do some job searching together or volunteer together.

Life’s better (and way more motivating) with friends; you don’t need us to tell you that!

Want a helping hand for what you and your mates could get up to together (career-focused, that is!) – check out our events page here.

10. Set some SMART goals

SMART goals are a great way to get clear on what you want to achieve, break down bigger goals into manageable chunks, and stay motivated to make some real progress!

Your career goals, once again, don’t need to be big and lofty. Ideas 2 through 9 could easily be transformed into a SMART goal for the year ahead.

But don’t see this as your limit – set a SMART goal for whatever you want to achieve and you’ll be well ahead.

Find out more about what a SMART goal is (and how to set one!) right here.

How ever you choose to spend your summer, whatever your career plans are – Explore Careers will be right here.

Ready and raring to help you discover whatever your next steps might be.

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