So, you’ve been looking forward to the Summer of 2020, either because you had that fantastic summer placement planned, or you’re graduating and were looking forward to starting your career. But BAM! A pesky virus has got the entire planet in lock-down and all your plans are ruined. Well, not entirely… Don't let something the size of a quantum dot ruin your prospects. With challenges come opportunities. Here are 5 ideas to keep you ahead of the curve and your CV looking tip-top.
1. Online training Lock-down is a prime opportunity to learn something new, to up-skill yourself and maintain that competitive edge. A short online course in something that interests you, or that skill that you know your future employers are looking for. From learning Python or brushing up your stats skills, to leadership and business know-how. During CV19, many online training providers are either offering huge discounts on their courses, or better still, there are loads of free training courses available through platforms like Futurelearn.com. Your institution may even be providing free access LinkedIn Learning (like ours is!). Make the most of this time and the opportunity to add new skills to your CV.
2. Write blog
Whether just for your sanity as an electronic diary that you can reflect on, or the start of something bigger. A blog can be whatever you want it to be, from a creative outlet to a sharing platform. If writing is going to be a large part of your future career (in response to CV19, this is extremely likely for more and more of us) it’s a great opportunity to practise your penmanship and test it out on an audience. It can also look great on your CV, either as a hobby or even a subject specific portfolio!
3. Start an online business
We have the technology! This is the perfect time to spread your entrepreneurial wings and give that business a go. You also have a captive market (no pun intended). With everyone in lock-down, screen time has increased and so has online shopping. Whether you’re offering an online service (such as a virtual assistant) or a product (crocheted mobile phone covers perhaps), it’s a great time to give it a go – and you can set it all up for free.
As I’m always telling my students – evidence of volunteering on your CV could be the deal breaker of whether you get the job or not, especially if you are neck to neck with another candidate. And no, I haven’t forgotten about social distancing! There are loads of ways you can volunteer without even leaving the house. Many organisations need people to help out with phone calls, emails and general admin that you can do from the comfort of your bed. For those of you in need of stretching your legs, there may be local charities who need extra sets of hands to help with deliveries to those who are vulnerable and can’t get out. Drop them an email or call them to find out how you can help.
5. Keep applying for jobs
Whether it’s a summer placement, part-time casual role or even looking for your perfect job, keep sending out those applications. Spend proper time on these though (you have it now during lock-down). Tailor your CV and cover letter to each advert, addressing the requirements and criteria. With each application, your CV and cover letter writing will improve. When the lock-down ends, employers will still be looking for staff, so don’t wait!
Seek the opportunities in these strange times, they are there for the taking, the only limitations are your own imagination and drive! Give it a go, you have so much to gain!