Use your time at University wisely

So you’re in your first or second year at University and what to put on your CV when you graduate isn’t really high on the priorities list? Too busy clubbing or down the student Union for pound a pint night?

But what if we told you there are loads of ways you could be gaining experience to prepare you for the real world beyond university whilst having fun and even earning some extra cash at the same time?

Universities and Student Unions offer loads of activities and societies for you to get involved with and being a bit more pro-active about your future career now could help put you ahead of the competition when you graduate.

Sports and Social Clubs
Did you know that being on the football team shows energy and commitment as well as application of team skills? One of the easiest ways to boost your CV is by joining a society or club. Most Universities will have a whole range of activities on offer, from team sports to student publications and even helping out with the running of the Students Union. Visit your Student Union to find out what’s on offer at your institution.

Some Universities also run voluntary schemes. The aim is to get you involved in real life projects to build up your skills and knowledge whilst giving something back to the community in which you live. Hallam Volunteering at Sheffield Hallam University allows students to get involved in a whole range of activities from working on sports projects in schools to putting on rock concerts. If your university doesn’t offer a similar scheme, opportunities can be found all over the region by visiting your local Voluntary Action Bureau - find them in the yellow pages or online.

Part-Time Work
Getting a part time job is a great way to show future employers that you understand what it takes to hold down a job and is also a chance to earn some extra cash and make new friends at the same time. Working in pubs or bars is a popular choice for students as you won’t even feel like your working and it’s also great on your CV. Future employers will recognise the fact that bar work can be busy and demanding and requires excellent social skills as well as a bubbly personality. All excellent qualities in a future employee.

University JobShops are an excellent source of part-time work for students. Visit our Students page to find out more about your University’s JobShop .

Work Experience
More and more employees are looking for candidates with work experience on their CV. It shows initiative as well as a genuine interest in a particular career. Your tutors may be able to steer you in the direction of friendly employers keen to help eager students gain some real hands on experience. Contacting companies directly or checking out their websites is the best way to find ones that offer work placements in your area.