Are you a graduate or temp worker about to start a summer job or currently seeking work experience? If so, what do you plan to get out of your position and how can you prove you are a worthy candidate for permanent employment in the future? Here are our tips on getting your career moving.
Finding the right summer job
When looking for a summer job, internship or short-term experience, you want to make sure that you are applying for the right position. Here are some things to consider:
Engaged leadership means that employers are concerned with the personal development of their employees and foster a culture of quality, productivity and diversity. You want to work somewhere that will help you grow, but if a company doesn’t care about its existing employees, how do you think it will manage you?
If you are wondering how to gauge this, you can ask around for referrals, look at reviews on sites such as Glassdoor, or search for a company’s reports on Companies House to check employee numbers year on year.
Clear role & job description
If the job description is ambiguous and your role isn’t clear, this could leave you feeling lost and not sure if what you are doing is contributing positively to the business. Legally, businesses are required to provide you with a clear role and job description. If you are unsure about the job or have questions, contact the person or company listing the job. If they can’t answer your questions, you might want to look elsewhere.
All jobs pay differently, so you need to decide if you can afford to take a low-paid role that gives you valuable experience. You also want to be mindful of your legal wage rights in the UK. Even if you are an apprentice, you have rights to a certain minimum wage. If the company you are applying for has over 250 employees, check to see if they have a gender pay gap, especially if you are considering applying for a permanent position.
Mission, vision & values
The last thing you want to do is work for a company that doesn’t share your values and beliefs about customer care, business ethics and employee satisfaction. Are these evident in a company that you are considering applying for? If they’re not shared with you in the interview process or visible on the company’s website, don’t be afraid to ask.
Not all great companies are award-winning – many will be so focused on delivering excellent service that they forget to market themselves. On the other hand, there is much to be learned from companies who are award-winning, especially since there is measurable proof of excellence.
Company reviews are important because they are authentic. However, rather than letting one or two reviews inform your opinion, you should be critical and look for a general tone across all reviews. Reputable sites such as Glassdoor, Great Place to Work, Indeed, Vault, and The Job Crowd are your best port of call when it comes to finding reliable company reviews.
How can you use the role to your advantage?
Once you’ve secured your summer job or work experience, you need to ensure you get what you need out of it, otherwise it could hinder your chances of finding full-time employment.
Make a checklist of completed work and transferable skills
This will help when you are editing your CV and asking for a reference later on. Always make sure to keep track of results and reviews from your employer, which hold weight on your CV, and mark any accomplishments on LinkedIn. If you want to keep track of your individual tasks, you can use TeamGantt or Trello.
You want to make sure that your manager is giving you feedback throughout so that you can improve your work. If the company doesn’t have a format for giving and receiving feedback, take it into your own hands. The Muse suggests a really useful email template for this.
Take note of things you don’t like
It might sound like an odd one, but when it comes to finding permanent employment, this will help you tell your recruiter what type of company you would like to work for, allowing them to find roles that suit your unique requirements.
Seeking a permanent job
Before you have concluded your temp position, there are a few things you want to start asking yourself:
- What job do you want and how can you apply the knowledge and experience you’ve gained to a new position?
- What salary do you qualify for and is the salary you want realistic?
- What benefits package do you want? All companies are different, and depending on your personal situation, what you need and want will be different from other people.
- Is your CV updated and tailored to the type of position you want?
- Are you using a recruitment agency? What are the reviews like? How is the aftercare?
Are you looking for a full-time position following the completion of a temporary role or work experience placement? At DB Charles Recruitment, we can help get your CV in shape, match you with the right roles, advise on interview technique, and more. Get in touch today to find out how we can support your career.