Do an internship this Easter

Abbie Baisden on the advantages of spending part of your holiday growing your CV
Application advice

Easter is approaching. It's the perfect opportunity for a relaxing break, right? Wrong. Easter is the perfect time to boost your employability by getting some work experience under your belt. I know you've been working hard, and you're looking forward to some rest, but hear me out.

The Easter break is probably your last opportunity to recharge your batteries and get a head-start on revision so you can go into the final term feeling refreshed, revitalised and ready to tackle exams. So why would you give all of this up for a couple of weeks of work that will, and definitely interrupting your eat-drink-sleep schedule?

1. Proactivity

While employers may question gaps in your employment history, they look very favourably on those who make time to gain work experience whenever they can. For students graduating this year, it's particularly important to jump at any chance to bulk up your CV before the big graduate application surge in the summer. Although the graduate jobs market is improving, it's still imperative to do everything you can to make your CV stand out.

2. Availability

Not all businesses work to the same schedule as universities. Many larger companies offer internships during the summer to help them recruit their next batch of graduate trainees, but some smaller firms may not have the workload to support an intern over the summer months.

Smaller companies may, however, experience an influx of work in the spring or autumn and be able to offer shorter placements that will benefit both parties: you'll get an insight into a business during its peak period, and the employer gets an extra pair of hands when they're needed most. If you're the only intern at a firm, or part of a small number gaining work experience, you'll also have the opportunity to shine and maybe secure yourself a summer job or graduate position.

3. All work experience is good experience

A short placement over the Easter break can allow you some time to dip your toes into an industry you've always been interested in, but without committing too much of your time. This is exactly how an Easter internship helped me.

In my second year of university, everyone on my course was required to complete a six-week work placement, preferably during the summer. I received positive responses from many of the PR and marketing companies I applied to, but they all wanted immediate starts and none were offering summer internships.

I bit the bullet and agreed to take on a two-week placement with a PR firm in London over my Easter holiday. I quickly realised that the role wasn't right for me, but I enjoyed the experience of working at a real media company and in my first office environment.

At the end of the placement I added the role to my CV and set about looking for other opportunities over the summer. Having that little bit of experience meant that within three weeks I secured work experience at a marketing company for 12 weeks.

If you have the spare time and the means, then an internship over the Easter break can be just what you need to set yourself apart from the competition. If you can't find any opportunities advertised locally, don't be afraid to search for businesses in your area that are relevant to your career aspirations and give them a call. Not only will you identify yourself as a proactive and enthusiastic student, but you may be the perfect solution for a busy company.