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How to Score CV Points this Summer

Stuck in a dead end job where the most exciting moment is the clock hitting 5? Missed out on your dream role and feel like you’re getting n-o-w-h-e-r-e fast? Just graduated and realise you have nothing but a 2.1 and a hangover on your CV?

As a millennial, no doubt you empathise with one (or all) of the statements above – so now is the time to get up and do something about it! With the long summer nights setting in you have more daylight hours than ever to utilise, and whilst whiling them away in a beer garden might sound preferable, your CV won’t thank you later.

So rather than whining (or wining), here are some tips on winning this summer:

Give Back and Get Ahead

Ok, so volunteering isn’t a revolutionary idea, but before you roll your eyes, we’re not talking weeding an old person’s garden like you used to do in sixth form. On the contrary, volunteering has come of age thanks to Fcancer, a platform that makes it easy for busy, young, talented people to give back without having to make a regular commitment.

It works a little like an online dating service – although thankfully there’s no risk of spending a lacklustre evening in a wine bar with someone who lied about his height. All you need to do is sign up, say what your particular skill is, and browse the list of opportunities on offer with one of the 45 cancer charities registered on the platform (including Cancer Research UK and Sue Ryder). In this way, you can demonstrate your talents and build up your CV, whilst offering cancer charities access to your skills (without eating into their profits). Genius, no?

With a variety of projects on offer – from graphic design, to scriptwriting, to PR and social media, or even leading some intrepid explorers up a mountain – and no regular time commitment, it’s easy to juggle this sort of charity work with other responsibilities. Plus, many of the projects can be carried out from home (or the beer garden, if the draw really is too much).

So, if you’d like to play your part in the fight against cancer and score some CV points at the same time, simply visit to register.

“Because I’m Happy…”

If you live your life on social media, why not participate in the #100happydays challenge and use the summer to work out what really makes you tick?

With life becoming increasingly fast paced, and busy schedules preventing people from living in the moment, #100happydays encourages us to step back and appreciate our here and now. Every day, participants are required to upload (to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram) a photo of something which makes them happy: from fizz with a friend to a new 10k PB, a beautiful sunset to a summer soundtrack, participants report to feeling more optimistic and enjoying an improved mindset on completion of the challenge.

And although participation in #100happydays isn’t necessarily worthy of a precious spot on your CV, committing to and persevering with the challenge will help you focus on what is important to you, which in turn will help you work out your place and purpose in the world. Sign up here and find your room without a roof.

‘Mais Oui

With heightened energy levels, summer is the time to stop procrastinating and start doing. This could be as simple as clearing out your cupboard and getting your professional wardrobe in order (don’t pretend you’ve not been meaning to do so for years). However, it could also be the chance to review your resume and commit to achieving one CV worthy activity by the time September rolls around.

For example, if you know a foreign language would have HR saying ‘ja’, commit to a weekly lesson until you are conversational (and, on completion, reward yourself with a holiday to practice your ‘parlez vous’ – win win!). Or, how about stepping outside your comfort zone with improvisation lessons at the Spontaneity Shop? Scary prospect, admittedly, but given that we women are constantly accused of not pushing ourselves forwards in the workplace, this could give you that added confidence to speak up and be heard. (In fact, the Spontaneity Shop even offer a course specifically for females – ‘How to be a Charismatic Woman in a Man’s World’).

In short, don’t let summer slip by in a haze of holidays and hops. Try new things, meet new people, and open all sorts of doors.

Written by:

Victoria is an award-winning writer with a penchant for pintxos (and pudding). Her days revolve around business, barre and bellinis. In reverse order.

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