This long winter holiday has flown past me as fast as ever. Or maybe even more so! I have been working for the past six weeks quite intensely, so now that I finally have two weeks for myself, I thought I could just relax and enjoy having nothing to do. BUT NO. My colleagues inadvertently reminded me of all the deadlines slowly creeping to me. Deadlines? Before the semester has even started? Indeed! Let me explain.
On my last day, as I was saying my goodbyes and wishing everyone at work a nice upcoming spring, my colleagues asked “So, what about next summer?” As most of the university students have probably already learned to know, summer does not automatically mean just sun, fun, and beaches. Summer is the time to have a vacation from your hard year of studying, but how does one do that? Working your ass off. I don’t know how it goes in other countries, but in Finland, the application deadlines are already in February. Summer job is one of the few meaningful things you can get on your resume in addition to your degree(s). Perfect opportunity to learn to apply your skills in practice! There is only one big “but”: How to get a summer job? Not only to help you, but also to help myself, I have gathered some tips on how to make that CV that makes your future boss’s special places all tingly! (Or a decent one at least.)
CV, Curriculum Vitae, resume. Whatever you want to call it. Everyone should have an up-to-date CV saved on their laptop for the moment an opportunity presents itself. So, what makes a good CV? Let’s start off with the basics: grammar and spelling. Imagine skimming through dozens of CVs in a row, and then there is this one guy who can’t even spell his name correctly. It’s not hard to guess to which pile that one will end up. You want to present yourself as an accurate and careful worker, and the only piece of evidence you are able to provide for the employer is that piece of paper. Have it prepared according to the highest of standards, and you will be at least given a chance.
Second tip: bigger isn’t always better. Keep it short and concise. In a CV, you should essentially state facts about yourself. Contact information, education, work experience, and other relevant pieces of information. As a student with little work experience, it often isn’t about the problem of having too much, but the opposite. Do still write about what you HAVE done instead of focusing on the things you haven’t. Many hobbies, volunteering, and extra-curricular activities done during studies can easily make for the lack of work experience.
This one should be a no brainer, but I feel it should still be brought up: Be honest. Be confident and promote the skills you have, but do not exaggerate. If you were to get into an interview, your credentials will be questioned, and you know… liar liar, pants on fire. Avoid the opposite as well, do not belittle yourself. The key to this is to know your strengths and weaknesses. Emphasize the strengths, and recognize the weaknesses.
- Ingredient X
Last but not least, you should be able to impress the employer. You need something to stand out. Let it be the layout of your CV, the impressive things you have done, or virtually anything, but you want to be able to pop out. There are even many video resumes out there! That might work for some jobs, but still may not be suitable for every occasion. It is important to have the application fit the position that you are applying for. You need to emphasize different things on your skillset for different jobs. There’s only one video resume that I know will work every single time:
I hope with these tips you can avoid at least the biggest mistakes, and make one heck of a CV. The rest is up to you. Good luck, and let us know how it all worked out!