One of the most challenging parts of graduating is entering the job market with little to no experience. To start your career, you’ll need to demonstrable transferable skills that you can back up with examples of use. The majority of career-related roles will require transferable skills such as communication, timekeeping and working under pressure.
So, it’s a good idea to spend your summer working in a part-time role to sharpen your soft skills. Thankfully, there are plenty of part-time summer positions to help you be more employable after you graduate and get ready for that first ‘proper’ position. Take a look at these nine graduate summer roles to improve your transferable skills.
Music festival steward
Wouldn’t it be great if you could attend a music festival while also boosting your employability? That’s exactly what you can do by working as a music festival steward over the summer. You can apply for steward positions through festival websites, all involving communication skills to use in any industry.
Whether it’s directing attendees around campsites or manning information points, you get the opportunity to communicate in a clear, helpful manner. It ensures you become accustomed to dealing with the general public. What’s more, you can even soak up the music during your breaks.
Many local businesses will be on the lookout for gardeners over the summer. This is a great way for graduates to sharpen transferable skills and qualities such as your work ethic.
Remember, potting plants and mowing lawns in the searing summer heat involves plenty of effort and motivation. Also, you will need to remember instructions when tending people’s gardens. Recruiters value hard workers.
Bar work is often advertised online. It can help you hone skills in dealing with challenging situations. Although bar work entails a fun, lively atmosphere, the pressure can crank up when you encounter difficult customers—especially if they’ve had one too many! The ability to handle these challenging situations is something plenty of recruiters will notice. You can show how you deal with adversity in the workplace and remain professional at all times.
Check out retail vacancies and consider working at a local supermarket, fashion chain or other stores. After all, you’ll pick up people skills and the ability to meet the needs of others – two qualities you can use in lots of fields.
For instance, you’ll sharpen people skills by telling customers about products. Helping out the general public day in day out will also show what a personable and conscientious worker you are. Bear in mind some retailers offer staff discount, too—another perk of working in retail!
Friends and family might also be able to keep you busy this summer with a dog walking role. Taking a fluffy friend for a tour around the park might not seem like a productive task. However, you’ll still learn time management skills and dependability in the workplace—two more qualities you can use in any sector.
For instance, if you schedule multiple walks for one day, you’ll need to plan your day and ensure you spend the correct amount of time on each route. Then, when picking up clients’ dogs, you might need to let yourself into someone’s house and look after their key—that’s dependability right there. Through this, you’ll also be able to show recruiters your reliability to complete tasks on your own.
Ice cream vendor
Graduates should also consider contacting ice cream vendors in order to develop transferable skills throughout the summer. With this role, you’ll demonstrate your employability in a wealth of sectors by showing you can take in industry knowledge.
As well as using customer service skills, you’ll have to know about a range of cones, sauces, and sprinkles to impress your customers and make sure you complete every order correctly. Picking up niche knowledge is a quality all recruiters will value, especially when starting out in your first career-related job.
Local restaurants provide a strong platform for graduates to boost skills of working in a busy environment. Being a waiter entails plenty of multi-tasking and working at speed, making you far more employable for many kinds of entry-level jobs.
With this role, prepare for a hectic day! You’ll flit between taking orders from customers and serving plates of food. Then there’s the added curveball of customers stopping you between tables. You’ll build up the ability to juggle multiple tasks and excel in a fast-paced environment, making you a more attractive applicant for many workplaces.
Theme park attendant
We also suggest contacting theme parks for graduate summer work. You’ll pick up essential transferable communication skills and learn how to work with children.
Indeed, working as a theme park attendant could involve responsibilities as diverse as working in a gift shop, manning queues or taking payments for tickets. Again, you’ll be able to demonstrate how you can communicate with the general public.
What better way to spend the summer than walking in a glorious field picking fruit? Fruit picking, frequently advertised by local farms, is a great way for graduates to improve their ability to work to targets and work alone.
Believe it or not, this job involves a degree of pressure, as you’ll need to select a specified amount of good-quality fruit in an allocated time period. You’ll be able to tell recruiters how you can work to targets and focus on results – perfect for a range of industries. Furthermore, you’ll build skills working on your own, as you won’t have a manager shadowing you when you’re out picking.
By now, you should have an idea of the opportunities that are out there this summer. Why not browse seasonal opportunities today?
Thanks for this post to Alistair Hendrie who writes for UK job board CV-Library, providing the latest career advice on CVs, cover letters, job interviews and work life matters.
David Shindler is founder of the Employability Hub online learning centre, Director of Learning to Leap and widely respected in the industry as an employability expert. David understands the ‘soft’ skills, attitudes and behaviours needed by employers and can help people improve them to get the job they want.