Ten tips to make the most of your winter vacation!

Now that the holiday season is upon us, have you considered how you might spend the break from University? If you want to make the most of the time, this can be a good opportunity to continue your careers and employability journey. 

Have a look at our top 10 tips to help you maximise the break from University: 

A festive dog.
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash


Know yourself – Ask yourself questions like: What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What motivates you and how does this fit with your beliefs and values? You may want to chat to friends and family about what they think your skills and strengths are, you might be surprised! The Bristol PLUS Award gives you a great structure to reflect on your skills and kick start your career planning – evidence shows that students who completed the PLUS Award are 10% more likely to record a positive change in their career planning than non-PLUS Award students!


Do some research – Investigate the career options that are open to graduates from your degree using the Prospects ‘options with your subject’. Also take a look at Bristol Connects and our website to see what Bristol graduates from a range of courses have gone on to do.

A photo of food stalls at a Christmas market
Photo by Arthur Edelmans on Unsplash


Volunteer and boost your transferable skills – December can be a busy time for the voluntary sector with lots of opportunities available, ranging from charity shops to homeless shelters and residential homes for the elderly. Have a look at myopportunities to see what opportunities exist or check out Bristol SU’s Festive volunteering opportunities



Earn some money – Part-time work at this time year can be a great way to help you spread some festive cheer and also help you to enhance the skills that all employers value; for example working in a team and communication skills. Lots of companies require an extra pair of hands at this time of year. The Careers Service has information on how you can find part-time work. 

Find out more about an area of work that interests you – Contact local employers to see if you would be able to do a day work-shadowing to gain an insight into their organisation and sector. Use our resources to find and research organisations. 

A festive desk.
Photo by Jane Palash on Unsplash


Personal skills audit – Look at graduate job opportunities in a field that interests you and list the skills employers are looking for, then audit yourself against these skills. Once you have identified any gaps, start to plan how you can fill them. 

Re-visit your CV – Make sure your CV stands out. For more help on CVs look at the Careers Service’s resources. Maybe one of your parents or family friends would read through your CV for you.


Develop your social media presence – LinkedIn is becoming an increasingly popular tool used by recruiters, so it’s important to have an effective profile. Join our LinkedIn group and explore our LinkedIn resources.

Apply for an internship – Relevant work experience can be a great way to ‘test-drive’ if a career path is right for you and help you explore your career options. The SME Internship Scheme is aimed at small and medium size enterprises in the UK, including charities, social enterprises and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). There are also opportunities available on mycareer, and sector-specific vacancy websites like Gradcracker for Science, Technology and Engineering students. 

A photo of a festive cat
Photo by Long Ma on Unsplash

Free Career Ready Courses – step confidently into the new year by doing one of our Career Ready Courses over the holidays. You’ll find bespoke information and advice, practical activities, and action planning prompts to get you moving in the right career direction. 

Most importantly, make sure you also take some time to relax and enjoy your break!

Best wishes, the Careers Service Team