Four skills you should be working on over the summer holidays

 7 August 2018

The long summer holidays between university terms are a chance to relax and unwind, but you could also be putting your free time to good use.

Use your summer holidays to get one step ahead.
Use your summer holidays to get one step ahead.

The summer holidays are a great opportunity to work on a few of the skills employers most want to see on your CV. If you want to stay motivated over the summer and boost your career prospects once you’ve graduated, here are a few of the skills you should be working to develop over the summer holidays.

Communication

There’s no job on earth which doesn’t call for good communication skills, but so many people struggle to convey their thoughts and ideas both verbally and in writing. Great communication skills are learned through practice.

Great communication skills are learned through practice

You could use the summer months to start your own blog, penning articles on subjects which interest you and slowly feeding them out over several months once you’re back at uni. If you have a blog you can point potential employers towards, they’ll be able to see your communication skills in action.

Teamwork

The words ‘teamwork’ and ‘team player’ feature highly in lots of job ads. You could work on your teamwork skills by finding some voluntary work or getting a summer temping job. Both will require you to work alongside other people and both will look great on your CV, showing that you aren’t afraid to muck in.

A fun approach to developing your teamwork skills would be to get some friends together and organise a charity fundraiser – why not train together for a local race, or host a bake sale?

IT

Most jobs today call for a good grasp of various computer software packages and tech in general. You may be used to dealing with technology and able to pick things up lightning fast, but it never hurts to stretch yourself and learn something new.

Most jobs today call for a good grasp of various computer software packages and tech in general

You could look out for short courses in coding or watch a few online tutorials which will teach you how to use software you maybe haven’t needed to know about before. Being able to add things like Photoshop, InDesign or Python to your list of skills can make the difference between getting a job and ending up on the rejection pile.

Research

Research skills can be hard to develop in your own time, but they can also be a fun skill to build. Try to think of a subject you’re interested in but know little or nothing about and then get to work finding out more.

This could be getting ahead on reading for one of next term’s modules or an aspect of your future career which you feel you need to know more about. No knowledge ever goes to waste, and it’s a good skill to add to your CV if you haven’t managed to get a summer job.

It’s good to keep productive and motivated during the holidays. Whether you’re in paid work over the summer or stuck at home, use the time wisely to brush up on some of the soft skills potential employers will want to see on your CV. 

Lizzie Exton writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships. To browse our graduate jobs London listings, visit our website.


Also of interest


Stay updated

Sign up for our weekly careers newsletter

View our privacy policy.