Careers Advice Blog

I can’t get a summer placement. What do I do now?

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The rumours of people getting summer placements always seem to start in about November, so it can be pretty rough if you don’t manage to secure one. It feels like you’re going to be so far behind everybody else by time the next academic year will start, but don’t worry: all is not lost! There are so many things you can do over the summer which will still support your CV and improve your chances of graduate employment. Here are a few ideas on how to make the most of your 13 (or so) weeks of freedom.

1. Get a summer job, or volunteer somewhere

If you don’t get work experience or a summer internship, it’s helpful to show that you didn’t spend your summer lazing around all day. Whether it’s in a shop, or at your local pub, a summer job is also a great way to earn a bit of extra cash for the coming year.

2. Travel

Once you graduate you’re (hopefully) going to be working quite a bit, so your summers at university are perfect for travelling. Not everybody will be working for the entirety of summer, so get a group together and go away for a while. You never know how valuable the experiences you learn will be.

3. Study

Tedious I know, but if you’ve got nothing else to do over summer you may as well get ahead with your course. It means that if any opportunities for work experience pop up during term time, you’ll definitely be on top of your work, and so can spare the time to get some experience in. Plus it might just help you get that 2:1, which would be more useful for graduate employment that a summer placement.

4. Enhance your social media platforms

Twitter can be a great way to connect with potential future employers. Spend a while getting to grips with it and discover how to make the most of this social media platform. Blogging is also useful if you’re looking to go into journalism, publishing or media. It gives you a chance to showcase an online portfolio of your work, plus it ensures that you don’t have too long a break without writing.

5. Get involved in your local community

Volunteering is a great way to show that you’re dedicated to working. Summer is often a time when environmental projects are going on. You could also apply for at a tutoring centre, as they tend to get a lot busier during the summer period.

All in all, the key thing to do if you don’t get a summer placement is to make the most of your time. Don’t get into a habit of spending every evening watching Netflix until 3am and sleeping in until 12 the next day. Keep your days structured and always be on the lookout for opportunities and potential employment.

What did you do over the summer if you couldn’t get a summer placement? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: Walt Stoneburner / Flickr

Stephanie HartleyI can’t get a summer placement. What do I do now?

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