We know it's hard enough doing GCSE coursework and preparing for exams, but it's never too early to think about your future too. However the road ahead can seem daunting. But don't worry, we asked a current university student for her advice on preparing for work experience, future careers and education.
Niamh Murphy is a fourth year medical student, and having been at university for a while has lots of experience of applying for work experience, jobs and going for interviews. Niamh tells us: "Applying for a job can seem like a confusing process with application forms, CVs and interviews. However by doing some careful preparation and believing in yourself, you can definitely achieve your goals."
Here are Niamh's Top Employability Tips for making the most of yourself.
Always include a cover letter when applying for a job. This should be addressed to the potential employer, and tailored specifically to the job for which you are applying!
Double check everything
Get a family member, teacher or friend to look at your cover letter and CV to check for spelling mistakes or grammatical errors [Bonus: they may also suggest things for you to write that you have forgotten!]
Niamh says: "My mum and best friend have always been very good at helping me with my CV. They know me so well, they can sometimes spot things that I would not"
Include a little spice!
Remember that your CV is trying to show your personality – try to make your CV stand out from the rest by adding interesting information that will catch an employer's eye!
Niamh says: "I spent a summer working in Disneyland Paris. As well as helping improve my French skills, I made lifelong friends and learnt so much from working in a completely different environment."
Make sure to tell the truth on your CV – if you are invited to interview, you may be surprised by what the employer asks – they might be interested in hearing more about your hobbies.
Everything on your CV helps to show your suitability for a potential job – from reading Jenny's CV, she seems to be trustworthy, enthusiastic and dedicated (qualities that she mentioned in her cover letter). It is not just work experience that is of interest to an employer – hobbies and additional information can also help to show your personality.
Ask your references if it's okay to put their names on your CV; you don't want them to be confused if they get a call from a potential employer asking about you.
Niamh says: "This happened to me once, and it was really embarrassing. I got the job in the end but I was lucky".