What are you going to do with your Summer Holidays?
The Summer Holidays are awesome. Endless weeks of doing not-a-lot stretch out in front of you, the perfect antidote to a whole year of school work.
But some smart kids are using the school holidays to get ahead. I’m not talking about studying hard to get a jump start on next year – they use the holidays to build their CV
What’s a CV?
Basically, a CV, or curriculum vitae, is a quick and easy-to-read summary of you and what you’ve done.
You get to list all the good stuff that shows you’re suitable for the position, and it should make people want to hire/enrol you. A good CV is ‘well-rounded’, which means you don’t just excel in one area, but can show that you’ve tried lots of things and achieved across lots of areas, including sport, leadership, community service, hobbies, and academics.
More and more universities are asking to see your CV, and many offer special early offer programs for people who apply using your CV, rather than just your ATAR/OP.
You can use the summer holidays to build a fantastic CV
During term time, you’re probably already flat-out with school, extra-curricular’s, sport and everything else that’s expected of you. The holidays give you much more time to explore a topic of interest in-depth, or undertake a project.
Whether you choose to learn a new skill, give back to others, or take on a challenge, you’ll have done something that looks fantastic on a CV, and it’s got to more fun than sitting on the couch all holidays.
Stuck for ideas?
As always, we’d suggest following your passion and doing something you’ll find fun and interesting. There’s no point torturing yourself to build a CV – so pick something you want to do and go from there.
Here’s some ideas to get you started:
Learn a new skill
Every school holidays you can choose from literally hundreds of different holidays workshop and course options.
Your local TAFE will offer short courses on everything from business skills to baking, and it’s never too early to learn. You’ll find holiday workshops everywhere. Check out:
- Art galleries and art schools
- The local library
- Your city council (for lifesaving, horticulture, or general youth programs)
- Drama schools (NIDA are very good at workshops)
- Foreign language schools
- Cake decorating classes
- STEM workshops (like this one in Brisbane)
Or you could find a course online and learn at home. There are lots of places to find courses, and many of them are offered for free by leading universities. Check out FutureLearn and Open2Study. Craftsy is the place to head for courses on craft, art and photography related things.
Travel the world
Student exchange isn’t limited to living on the other side of the world for the year, so if you’d like to go on exchange but don’t fancy living away from home for that long, check out the range of shorter exchange programs:
Want to stay closer to home? Check out Outward Bound, they run some incredible youth outdoor programs that look brilliant on any CV.
Give back to the community
Volunteering looks AMAZING on a CV. It shows you’ve taken the time to think of others, found a creative way to use your time constructively, and learnt a heap in the process. And volunteering can give you opportunities you can’t find anywhere else.
There are lots of places to look for volunteering opportunities. You could start by asking local community groups if they need help, like your local Salvation Army or Red Cross branch, as well as local animal shelters, arts organisations, or your local council.
You can also find amazing opportunities online, Seek Volunteer have a huge database of opportunities and you can search by type and location. Your State Government will also have a website with links to the main state based volunteering organisations.
Start a project
With at least 6 weeks off, you’ve got the time to really sink your teeth into a project that’s worthy of your time and attention. If you’re going to start a project, make it something you love doing, so if you’re big into coding and want to build your own computer, now’s your chance.
It’s not as formal as a course, exchange or volunteer work would be, but there’s no reason why you can’t include it in your CV. Treat your project like you would your own business – write down your aim, make some short and medium-term goals, develop a timeline (and try to stick to it) and write a budget. You may need to learn a new skill as part of your project, so make a plan for this as well.
And your project doesn’t need to be grand – here’s our ideas:
- build a veggie garden (ask the boss first)
- make a quilt/table/computer/anything really
- start your own small business – printing on t-shirts, selling slime to kids, or writing a book to sell on Amazon
- train for a triathlon or multi-day hike
Make this Summer Holiday count, and you’ll have a CV you can be proud of
Plus, you’ll learn some new things, make new friends and have a great time along the way. If you’re stuck for ideas, or not sure where to start, try asking your folks (believe it or not they might have some good ideas) or teachers what they did during their holidays.