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


What’s the worst piece of careers advice you’ve ever been given?

Here at the Careers Service, we’re not in the business of giving out bad careers advice. When we saw this Moment trending on Twitter, we thought it would be interesting to see what the team at the Careers Service had to say:


Using LinkedIn to research employers and network

As you probably know, LinkedIn is a social media site for professionals on which you can host a kind of online CV.

However, to really benefit from the site as a student it’s highly likely that you’ll need to actively use it to seek out opportunities, rather than hoping that the opportunities will come to you.

So, whilst it’s worth developing an “all-star profile” so the people you contact (or whose profiles you visit!) will quickly be able to get a sense of who you are and what you have to offer, LinkedIn will only really become useful to you if you actively use it to find potential employers.

Here are three tips on how to use LinkedIn to find relevant people and employers.


Your name in lights: how far would you go to get noticed?

What would you do to get your name noticed?
What would you do to get your name noticed?

This crazy festive job seeking story got us talking about some of the really creative ways people have tried to make themselves stand out when job searching.

From using social media  to infographic CVs, there are so many examples of how people are thinking beyond a traditional approach and using all the resources available to them to get themselves noticed.

However before you dive straight in and spend your Christmas break upgrading your CV with bells and whistles, take a moment to think about who you’re applying to. The examples below are successful ones because they are very tailored to the particular sector or employer, so crucially before you start designing, think carefully about your audience! What will wow one employer will be straight in the shredder by another more conservative sort. For example, Joe Kelso’s incredibly creative CV was successful but he admitted that it gained mixed reactions with different recruiters.

Speak their language

To demonstrate technical and marketing skill what better way than to use the social media platforms to prove your confidence? From a CV in the form of a Google Analytics page demonstrating online marketing confidence, to an innovative Google + CV, it’s a great way to put your money where your mouth is.

Thinking about your career timeline, Facebook has also been used as a template to demonstrate skills and interests. There are several excellent examples which have resulted in hiring success, again mainly in online and digital marketing. Claudio Ader was so successful he’s created a handy guide. If you need to prove your skills in getting your message across concisely then you may want to check out these Twesumes for inspiration. Ed Hamilton’s Google Maps CV got over 100,000 views, and is a really effective way of presenting  international travel work and study whereas Celine’s Magazine webpage CV clearly demonstrates her passion for the fashion industry and journalism.

Again, demonstrating creativity, Pinterest has become a good way to curate a lot of your interests and projects and even create a Pinterest CV. You can also see how Slideshare and Prezi  can be used as alternative online tools to present your career timeline to date in a more visual way. In his recent workshop on Social Media Branding at the Careers Service, Adam Lewis, a Bristol alumni, suggested splash pages as a way of creating an effective platform for your online presence. There are also websites like Vizify which curate your online feeds from Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook to create a timeline for you.

Get Interactive 

Famously, Alec Brownstein went all out when he was looking for his next position in advertising by buying Google Ads to attract the attention of the people whom he was targeting. It workedas did Graeme Anthony’s interactive clip and Sander Saar’s crowdsourcing idea demonstrating technical ability and creative flair.

Whilst there has been some debate about having QR codes on CVs , this example shows how going one step further really demonstrates skills and ability.

And if you really want to show off your technical skills? Build a CV app to show your portfolio, or how about creating a highly sophisticated social media persona in an attempt to get noticed by Google! (Google didn’t take him on, but somebody else did!)

So how far would you go to get noticed?

A very Merry Christmas from all at the Careers Service and we look forward to seeing you in 2013!

Sara Whittam

Careers Adviser