While a summer job can be a great way to gain some work experience, it isn’t the only way to boost your CV during the holidays. So if you didn’t manage to get one, don’t worry. There are plenty of other skills you can be brushing up on in the next few weeks before school starts again that might just help land you your dream job later down the line. Here are a few that will get your CV glowing!
Knowing how to administer basic first aid is something which could prove invaluable in an emergency, but it can also be a requirement for a number of jobs. If you decide to be a lifeguard, teacher, doctor, sports trainer or even an event assistant, you will need to have first aid skills. Various organisations in Hong Kong offer courses, including Hong Kong St. John’s Ambulance, Hong Kong Red Cross, the Auxiliary Medical Service and the Occupational Safety and Health Council. These courses normally cost between HK$200-HK$$1000, depending on what level of training you require.
Another useful tool to add to your tool belt is a driver’s licence. Granted, driving lessons are very expensive, and you may have no intention of owning a car – after all, it isn’t really necessary in Hong Kong – but if you plan on living abroad, the chances are you will need to know how to drive. For some jobs overseas, it might well be the difference between you getting the job or not. Even if your job doesn’t require you to drive, you never know when this skill might come in handy. You can even start planning that road trip!
If you understandably can’t afford driving lessons just yet, or if you’re not quite old enough (you must be 18 to apply for a driving licence in Hong Kong), you can still get a head start by learning the rules of the road in preparation for the theory test. The transport department website has a handy user’s code for drivers, and the Kwun Tong Driving School also has a mock theory test on its website. This will give you some extra confidence for when you actually take your first lesson.
Going on holiday may not seem like something you can put on your CV, but travel is one of the best ways to gain valuable life experience. You can become better at communicating and being self-sufficient, and develop planning, organisation and time management skills. Travelling abroad also allows you learn about new cultures and ideas, which can be great for journalism, design, architecture, cooking and photography. It also broadens your world view and teaches you how to become a global citizen. Most workplaces are multicultural spaces, and it’s important to be cooperative and open-minded of cultural differences.
Like driving lessons, travelling abroad can be expensive, but you don’t need to take a round-the-world-trip to gain experience. If you have a little pocket money to spare, there are plenty of inexpensive travel options. You don’t even have to go abroad; instead, simply take some time to explore Hong Kong and see what you can learn. You’ll still get the chance to practise being independent.
Volunteering is a no-brainer. It’s a valuable use of your time and a great way of giving back to the community. What’s more, if you treat it as job shadowing, it can also be excellent experience which could aid you in your career development. It gives you the chance to be in a working environment and build up a network of useful contacts. Ask the organisation you volunteer at to write you a reference which you can then pass on to employers. It’s really useful to have someone who can vouch for your character, skills and experience. There are usually volunteering roles at charities, hospitals and museums, so you’re bound to find something that interests you.
Writing it all up
So what about when you have these skills? Well, now it’s time to show them off on your CV.
No matter what career you’re interested in, it’s important to know how to express your ideas in writing. Your CV is the first impression an employer gets of you, and its up to you what kind of impression you give.
Try to spend 15 minutes each day writing, either by hand or typing. At this stage, it doesn’t matter what you write about; the aim is to get in the habit of practising regularly. Make sure you check all your grammar and spelling, and brush up on any basic grammar rules as you go along. The best writers are the ones who also read a lot, so try to find reading material that interests you. You don’t have to spend ages on these activities; it’s best to stick to practising little and often. When it comes to specifically writing a CV, spend some time looking at sample CVs online to get an idea of how it should be structured, what kind of information to include and what the writing style should be.
Just by having a go at accomplishing any of these goals, you can make your summer worthwhile. Good luck!