As the December vacation looms in the horizon, many students are contemplating vacation work. Some of these vacation jobs might be related to what the student is studying but often, it is casual work for some extra bucks. The question begs, should students add vacation work that is unrelated to their chosen career? The infuriating but simple answer is, ‘it depends’. In this blog, we try to unpack why certain jobs should be added, and why some should not.
Vacation work in the service industry, waitering or bartending, is, in most cases, beneficial to add to a CV because it shows that the student has social skills in dealing with a diverse group of individuals, however, students need to be aware that a potentially conservative employer that they might be targeting for after they graduate, may not appreciate it if the establishment the student worked at has a non-conservative reputation. In this situation, it is advisable for the student to weigh out their end goal career to the vacation job they are thinking of adding to their CV.
Vacation work at any non-profit or voluntary organization is always highly favored by any employer because it shows that the student is aware of social issues and wants to contribute to resolving them. It does not matter what industry a student wishes to enter; it is always favorable to add this to a CV.
House or pet sitting is a very common vacation job, but it does not show any incentive to employers. Essentially, a house or pet sitting job tells an employer that a student was paid to simply live in a different location. While the job itself is perfectly acceptable, it does not add value to the CV of a student so such jobs should not be added.
Administrative jobs are always favorable to add to a CV because it shows that a student is organized and willing to take instructions from a supervisor. This is regardless of the industry that a student wishes to enter in their future.
Some students work at their family business during their vacations which is seen as favorable to employers because it shows that the student has family values and loyalty. Students need to be aware of how they word such work in their CV, they should not just state that they worked at mum and dads store over December but list their responsibilities in a professional manner.
The question of ‘it depends’ is then ‘it depends on whether the job adds value to your CV’ and, ‘it depends on how a future employer will view the vacation work’. The best advice that Gradlinc can offer any student who is contemplating what to add to their CV is to try and see if from the perspective of an employer, and what they would see as favorable or not. An objective outside perspective is also very useful so students we encourage students to read other CVs and show theirs to others too.