5 CV-boosting activities you can pick up whilst at uni

Wake up, you’ve got a full day of lectures. Next, finish up that assignment - there’s only 48 hours until the deadline. Oh, and don’t forget your late shift at the bar - you’ve only got £3 to last the week otherwise. Try to get some sleep, too - but remember to get up early for that study-sesh with your coursemates. And repeat.

Sound familiar? There’s no denying that student life can get expensive, especially if you’re living away from home. If a part-time income boost is a necessity, you’re definitely not alone.

But juggling a job with full-time study can be tough, especially during the dreaded exam season. So what if we told you that you could earn money without rigid working hours? Even better, what if it was possible to top up your student bank account whilst also boosting your graduate career prospects?

Well, with a little bit of self-motivation and creativity, those prospects are totally within your reach. With that said, check out these 5 CV-boosting activities that’ll allow you to earn and learn at uni:

Take on some freelance work

Think freelancing or contract work is only for seasoned professionals? Think again.

While a sought-after hard skill such as coding will certainly land you higher-paying freelance jobs, there’s freelance work out there to suit just about anyone. From writing blogs and editing videos, to simple data entry and administrative tasks, freelancing online is an amazing way to earn money and comes with the added benefit of being able to set your own hours.

Additionally, freelance work is a fab addition to your graduate CV, especially if you carry out work related to your degree. For example, a marketing student could manage the social media profiles of small businesses, while a journalism student could refine their writing skills by writing blogs, articles and press releases. As well as building on your sector-specific skills, you’ll show dedication, commitment and passion for your field - which graduate employers love!

It’s a total win-win - why not head over to sites like PeoplePerHour, Fiverr and Upwork, set up a profile and get started?

Become a tutor

If you’re studying a more academic degree, you could find great success in becoming a freelance tutor. Whether it’s freshers year students who need extra support or GCSE/A-Level students who want to boost their grades, tutoring allows you to set hours and rates to suit your needs.

And guess what? Tutoring actually pays pretty damn well in comparison to your average student job. We’re talking no less than £15-20 per hour - but you might be able to charge more once you’ve built up some experience and positive referrals.

Additionally, tutoring looks great on a graduate CV, especially if you build up a few clients and can show that you helped them to boost their exam or assignment grades. Plus, it’ll allow you to refine your own subject knowledge and build upon a range of sought-after soft skills, such as communication and organisation.

Before you get started as a tutor, you might have to fork out £23 for a DBS check. It’s not a legal requirement, but if you’re working with kids under 18, it’ll add to your professionalism.

Apply for paid internships

Internships might conjure up images of long, unpaid shifts and doing little more than making cups of tea for the entire office - but times have changed. Unpaid internships are still out there, but they’re increasingly frowned up and don’t do much good for a business’s rep. Thankfully, this means that paid opportunities are increasing by the day!

It goes without saying that paid internships might require you to work certain hours, so they might not provide the flexibility that you’re looking for. On the plus side, they do allow you to build up relevant work experience whilst earning money. They’ll do much more for your CV than any ol’ part-time job and — if you impress — could even lead to a full-time role at the end of your studies.

Start a mini business

Did you know that Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his college dorm room? Countless businesses started as a pipe-dream in a student house, or as an income-boosting university side project - but they often lead to much more than that.

Starting a business as a student comes with countless benefits. You’ll pick up some serious business skills, show a tremendous entrepreneurial spirit and sense of initiative (which, trust us, employers will love!), meet interesting new people and (hopefully) earn some money along the way.

This idea won’t suit everybody, but if you’re itching to start a business, there’s no better time to start than now. If you’re successful, you could go at it full-time when you graduate - and if you’re not, you’ll still have gained an amazing addition to your CV!

Work as a campus ambassador

If you were able to socialise, build valuable skills and earn money in a job with flexible hours, would you sign up? That’s definitely a yes! Well, a role as a campus brand ambassador might just be the one for you.

Every year, the likes of Red Bull and Amazon hire a number of campus ambassadors (also known as student marketers) to act as an advocate for their brand and promote their products and services on a casual basis.

The roles vary, but normally include a range of marketing and sales tasks such as distributing products to your fellow students, generating social media content, attending freshers fairs and organising events. While this type of work is particularly beneficial for business and marketing students, the interpersonal skills you’ll pick up make it a valuable addition to any CV.

Roles like this are often casual and require just one or two full days per month or a set number of hours spread over a week to suit your schedule. The best part? It pays - and normally pretty well! The only downside here is that these roles are often limited to bigger cities and universities.

Are you ready to earn and learn?

Opting for a job or side project which comes with flexible hours and allows you to build upon your CV seems like a dream for most students - but why not make it your reality? Every single one of these ideas is within your reach, so get out there and grab those opportunities with both hands!

Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.

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