Work experience for students

CV

Three months off is a long time – a very very long time! Plenty of time to see friends, family, have a good catch up and even earn some money. However, it is also plenty of time to gain some valuable work experience in an industry your degree potentially leads to or perhaps one that interests you.

You don’t need to commit yourself 24/7 to your placement, as they will offer various lengths of placements ranging from as little as a few days to full time (4-5 days a week) for a couple of weeks. So don’t worry, it won’t take over your summer completely!

Work experience is especially important for graduates seeking employment. The job market nowadays is becoming more competitive by the day, with more and more students graduating with degrees and more applicants per job. Employees now aren’t only just looking for that 1st/2nd class degree in a potential candidate, but also work experience in industry. Both are just as valuable as each other – yet both will teach you different sets of skills, therefore a combination of the two is the best chance you can give yourself in the job market…

So – why are these placements so valuable to students?

  • They will add that extra string to your bow (or CV) and increase your employability.
  • Placements are a great way of sampling various careers and industries, which can help you to determine the right career path for you!
  • They show off your passion and interest in an industry, both of which are favourable traits in an employee. You are also giving up your own time for the placement, an environment in which you have never experienced before, with no financial incentive at the end of the day it shows dedication and willingness to learn.
  • Introduces you to a working environment, which you can apply to multiple careers.
  • You will be able to identify your strengths and skills in the workplace, not to mention your weaknesses – you might have graduated with a first class degree, but you don’t know all the tricks of the trade!
  • Some placements (usually only if they are successful!) could even lead to job offers to full time work, paid work experience or graduate schemes, further placements or links to other opportunities. That is providing you make a good impression within the business you are working in and stay out of trouble!

Where can I find a work experience placement?

  • Sometimes it’s a case of who you know – so ask around friends, family, friends of friends and family friends for an in to a business. It’s worth a shot!
  • Go into businesses and try to talk to management (or whoever is in charge) face to face, equipped with your CV and a big smile, and offer up yourself for some voluntary work!
  • Your university may have a department that helps students seek suitable work placements, so look into what they can do for you.
  • There are various websites including ac.uk and Targetjobs.co.uk that will help university students seek placements/internships in their chosen industry in locations all over the UK.

I am lucky enough to have a mandatory work placement built into the 3rd year of my degree, and as I’ve started to look around for various opportunities, I’ve realised how important and useful it’s going to be when I graduate next year. So if work experience isn’t a part of your degree, perhaps it’s time to get searching for a placement and get the ball rolling!

Good luck! If you’ve got any great websites for work experience placements or tips for starting on your placement, share with fellow students in the comments section below!

 

Top free festivals in the UK this summer

Not got any plans for

Not got any plans for the summer yet, as a result of your cleared out bank account? Think as a student you can’t enjoy your summer break with a festival? Think again!

Summer is the season of festivals, yet despite the UK weather being slightly hit and miss, we have some of the best and most famous festivals around the world. However, the most popular festivals can often cost an arm and a leg when you combine the ticket price (often plus £200) with travel costs, equipment, spending money and festival outfits.

But all is not lost students! Believe it or not, there are some festivals situated in the UK that are free – yes, free! Great music, plenty of drink, partying and fun – festivals and students are a match made in heaven, so what better way to spend a couple of days in the sunshine (not guaranteed) with your friends over the summer?

I’ve been searching high and low for the best free weekend and day festivals for students over the next couple of months that might interest you and your friends! Take a look…

  • Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF): located in the luscious green grass of Sefton Park, Liverpool, LIMF offers one of the best free music festivals going in Europe. Year after year the line-up never disappoints, and always leaves people questioning – is this really free?! This year’s line-up boasts the likes of Basement Jaxx, Labrinth, Katy B, Artful Dodger, Naughty Boy, Echo and the Bunnymen and many, many more. With four big stages, there’s music for just about every taste. As Liverpool is home to three universities, it has a major student influence throughout the city, and the festival is sure to attract many of its students to the festival – I should know, I am one of them!

27th-31st August 2015, Sefton Park, Liverpool, Merseyside, L17 1AF

  • Africa Oyé Festival: Yet again situated in Liverpool and again in Sefton Park, this is a great free festival that celebrates African culture with various music genres from tribal to jungle to reggae, along with a great range of Caribbean and African food, clothes and arts and crafts stalls that give the festival a fantastic buzz and atmosphere. This festival really is unique, and if you want to try something new then this should definitely be top of the list.

20th-21st June 2015, Sefton Park, Liverpool, Merseyside, L17 1AF

  • Brazilica Street Carnival: Okay, the last one from Liverpool I promise – the city simply offers such a wide range of free activities every summer for everyone to enjoy! A three day street carnival inspired by Rio – think belly dancers, samba and amazing costumes and carnival music. The festival is spread across the city in various venues (including my favourite venue in Liverpool – the Kazimier), therefore you’ll get to explore the city whilst you are partying! Perfect! Yet again another diverse and unique festival that promises a fantastic few days across the weekend.

17th-19th July 2015, various venues, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 1EL

  • The London Notting Hill Carnival: Get ready for the biggest street festival in Europe! Annually it attracts up to one million visitors, with such a wide variety of activities and entertainment across the capital. The carnival celebrates global music, with a particular focus on steel bands and culture from the Caribbean and international bands, acts and DJs. Get booking hotels and transport as soon as possible, the earlier the cheaper!

29th-31st August 2015, Powis Square, London, W11 2AY

  • Godiva Festival: Not only does this free festival boast a fantastic line up, year in year out, but it also provides such a wide range of stalls, activities and tents including the vintage and craft stalls and urban youth tents. This year The Wombats, Don Broco, Pulled Apart by Horses and Embrace are just some of the live acts performing over the weekend. Godiva is always trying to keep up with the latest music trends, and this year they are introducing the Rhythm Tent with many reggae and urban acts performing.

3rd-5th July 2015, Coventry, West Midlands, CV3 6PT

None of these free festivals take your fancy? There is another way to attend some of the best UK festivals AND keep your money in your pocket…

Volunteering at paid festivals

Attend the likes of Glastonbury, Leeds, Reading or V-Festival this year by applying to volunteer at the festival itself! Yes, you won’t be able to treat it like a holiday, however it’s a great way to meet people, gain experience and see some brilliant live acts whilst you’re on the job. It’s very rare that you have to work for the entire festival, just shifts over the four day weekend helping out in some of the duties below;

  • Tent stewarding
  • Campsite wardens
  • Directing visitors
  • Litter picking
  • Helping and assisting those in need
  • Recycling
  • Bar work

Duties will vary between festivals, and you might be given a different role every shift or within a close team! One great way to get involved in volunteering at festivals is through Oxfam Stewards. You can apply through Oxfam and you could get a place volunteering at one of the biggest UK festivals! What’s more, the money that’s generated from your time will go towards a good cause. Student volunteering at festivals is a fantastic way to enjoy summer, experience some of the best festivals at no cost whilst gaining skills such as team-working and training as a steward, not to mention looking impressive on your C.V.

Revamp your CV for summertime job-seeking success!

 

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Phew – another year done and dusted.

Whilst many of you are wrapping up the end of what I’m sure was a stressful exam period and having a well-deserved rest, some of you may start to think towards finding summertime work to replenish your funds (that have no doubt taken a hiding over the past few months).

So – where to start? Well, in order for you to start putting yourself out there in the working world, you might want to consider upgrading your CV. If you’re anything like me, the last time I even looked at my CV was back in college. Chances are, a lot has changed since then.

If you want your CV to stand out from others in the pile, then it’s worth spending a little time revamping it in order to boost your chances with being considered as a potential employee.

Here are a few top tips on creating a tip-top CV:

  • Keep it short, sweet and compact: Even if you’ve got pages and pages worth of qualifications and awards, try your best to briefly describe your academic, working and extra-curricular achievements. Employers don’t want to spend hours reading through pages and pages, any more than two and they might not read it at all. Try to accentuate your most impressive attributes.
  • Try to customise your CV yourself, rather than using a simple template downloaded off the internet. This will show employers you have put some time and effort in! Include bold, clear and colourful headings.
  • Create a CV for every different type of job you apply to – generic CVs are not appealing as it appears you’ve simply printed a pile and handed them to any place that would take them. This does not show your desire to work for a certain establishment.
  • Make sure you try to highlight and demonstrate skills that would be useful in your prospective job…for example, if you are applying for a waitress job you could say “I enjoy working alongside others and can communicate, listen and learn well” which shows you can work well in a team. If you can, also include evidence and an example of these skills in the workplace.
  • Include a small picture of yourself – not one with a glass of wine in your hand or out in a club, a presentable picture please!
  • Specify the type of work you are looking for (part time, full time, seasonal) and also your availability and any holidays/time off you have booked during the summer.
  • Don’t lie…even if it is just a small little white lie such as that C you got in Science instead of D, if they ask for proof then you’ll be caught out big time. Even if you lie about your past working experiences and unfortunate dismissals for whatever reasons, employers would rather you be outright honest rather than making up some elaborate story that you have to keep up.
  • Ensure all grammar and spelling is double checked and correct! Be sure to use proper English language and not slang. A simple error like this in the first few sentences can end up with your CV being discarded straight away.
  • Include a small personal statement/reference from a previous employer or lecturer/tutor/teacher (if you’ve never worked before) with contact details for at least two. This will demonstrate what others think of you in a working/academic environment (ideally in a favourable light!).
  • Make sure it’s up to date.

And one final tip, from experience, don’t take in your CV during peak times (11am-2pm usually!) in businesses such as restaurants, cafés and retail shops. My boss would be infuriated when people would come in right in the middle of service asking about vacancies – she would turn them straight away (simply because she didn’t have time to talk to them) and more often than not, throw their CV straight in the bin. So, be considerate and go when there is more time for you to talk one on one with the employer.

I hope this blog is helpful to all you students looking for work over the summer! Do you have any other top tips for a successful CV? Don’t forget to comment below and share with the Studentrecipes.com community!

Domino’s Pizza Legends – calling all students!

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Pizza – renowned for being the ultimate student food, not to mention the one and only cure after a big night out. In this time of need, you want something hot, delicious and made exactly the way you like right there, right then to dig into. And let’s be honest, frozen pizzas don’t seem to fit that criteria. Nothing is going to sort you out and comfort you (just like your mum would) than a fresh Domino’s pizza delivered straight to your door – to the rescue.

Using the brilliant new Domino’s Pizza Legend Page, here at Studentrecipes.com we’ve created our very own go-to pizza when we are hungry and in need.

We chose a deliciously oozy stuffed crust pizza base with a classic tomato sauce, topped with fresh mozzarella, chicken, smoky bacon strips and peppers – can you hear your stomach grumbling just at the thought of it? Not to mention chicken and bacon being a well-known favourite amongst students especially…

Want to give it a try next time you’re sending out a distress call for some much needed scran? Domino’s and Student Recipes are offering all readers an exclusive discount for this pizza, simply type this Pizza Legend I.D: SOSSTUDENTSCRAN into the Domino’s Pizza Legend Page to claim this offer.

Or think you can do better? Why not try creating your very own pizza legend, I.D and logo! Your creation will be entered into the League of Pizza Legends and even the Hall of Fame, in which you are in with a chance of winning your very own pizza free for a year! To boost your chances of winning this delicious prize, share your creation on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Have a read of the Domino’s Blog for some pizza-making inspiration.

Don’t forget to follow Domino’s on Twitter and Facebook for some great super-savvy student saving deals!

Good luck and get creating!