Here at the Careers Service the decorations are up and we are preparing for the Christmas vacation. Although Christmas is a great time to kick back and relax there are loads of careers related activities you can do to give yourself an edge in the labour market as we head into the New Year.
- Network – Christmas parties and family get together are a great time to find new contacts. Who knew that your cousin’s fiancée was able to give you so many useful tips on applying to their organisation!
- Volunteer– During the festive period there are lots of opportunities to volunteer. From working in a soup kitchen to helping out at children’s holiday playgroups there are lots of ways to get useful work experience on your CV. Check out the Volunteering opportunities listed on Careerslink or for more national opportunities see websites such as Do-It.org or TimeBank.
- Apply for Graduate Schemes – Most offices will be staffed between Christmas and New Year, in fact a lot of graduate schemes have closing dates at the end of December or beginning of January. Get into the habit of working between bank holidays, if you start a grad scheme you might be working this time next year! Check out our list of major grad scheme closing dates to see which deadlines are around the festive period.
- Use your new diary – Every year I get a diary and promise myself I’ll use it but by the middle of January I’ve usually given up! Don’t let that be you. Keep track of application deadlines, interviews and assessment centres to keep your careers life organised.
- Raise your commercial awareness – Most publications will do some kind of review of the year around this time. Read the ones related to the sector you are interested in, you’ll gain commercial awareness you might need to draw on during interviews.
- Starting Point Series – If you have finished your new novel by Boxing Day why not try these Careers Service bestsellers?
- Practice psychometric tests – These tests are becoming more common with a range of employers. With all those chocolates to eat exercise seems pointless but you could exercise your brain with these resources!
- Join LinkedIn – So you’ve been putting it off for a while but there really are benefits to joining LinkedIn. Need to get away from the hustle and bustle downstairs? Why not spend an hour creating the perfect profile?
- Join Professional Associations – Hopefully my previous blog post has got a lot of you thinking about joining a relevant association. If you couldn’t find anything in the sales why not spend the money on joining? It may be to most useful thing you buy all year.
- Develop your self-awareness – Start the New Year with a new, more self-aware you! Using tools such as Careers KickStart and Prospects Planner will help you become more aware of the types of jobs which might suit you as well as helping you to create an action plan for the year ahead.
- Have a facebook clear out – Over Christmas you can guarantee someone will get the camera out and that these pictures will turn up on your facebook. When you’re checking out which pictures you’ve been ‘tagged’ in think about what these pictures, and others on your account might look to employers and remove any you think might be inappropriate.
- Most importantly have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year from the graduate blog team!
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