Starting college and sixth form is a new and challenging chapter in your life. You can make the most of your time there in different ways.

Careers Wales

Getting to class on time, doing plenty of revision and completing homework are essential in order to do well.

But there are the other important things you could be doing to make the most out of your time in college and sixth form.

1. The more work experience you do, the better.

If you’re not sure which direction you are headed and what career is right for you then work experience is an ideal way to explore different career options. Using your free time to work with an organisation while you’re studying not only looks great on your CV, but also demonstrates to future employers your willingness to learn new skills, your passion for the industry and your enthusiasm to steadily move into the world of work.

Find out more about how to get experience.

2. Be productive.

Don’t just do the work in class while chatting with your friend and never look at it again. Try to look over your notes and do some further reading outside the classroom. Being one step ahead will result in a better understanding of the subject, and will teach you how to work independently and how to make the best use of your time.

3. Prepare your CV.

Write or update your CV to include the new skills, experience and qualifications you get in college. This keeps your CV up to date, and you’ll be ready to apply for jobs or apprenticeships before the end of your course.

You can also use your CV to apply for part time or seasonal work to build up your experience. Ask a parent or your Careers Adviser to help. A second pair of eyes might pick up that un spotted typo!

Take a look at our guide to build a CV.

4. Volunteering is more worthwhile than you think.

What seems like working for free is actually one of the most beneficial things you can do while in college or sixth form. Volunteering helps to develop your communication skills, grow your confidence, make new friends and contacts and be a part of your local community.

It also challenges you, testing your abilities to work in different environments with people you don’t know. What’s more, it looks great on your CV or university application.

Find out more about the benefits of volunteering.

5. Get a part time job.

A part time job alongside your studies will introduce you to the world of work, and will also teach you about having responsibilities while balancing family, work, friends and studies. So whether it’s working in a café on a Saturday morning, or dedicating a few afternoons a week to working at your corner shop, it will make you more independent, more mature and will give you an idea of what it’s like to have commitments other than college and school.

Find out more about getting a job.

6. Use the new technology available to you.

In a world where social media and technology are a big part of our everyday lives, educational apps are a no-brainer. There are so many out there to help with your learning, whether that’s a to do list or a study log to help you manage your time better, pop up revision reminders, or practice exam questions.

Apps like Gojimo, BBC Bitesize, Microsoft One Note and Be Focused are all great examples.

7. Get involved in college or school life.

Joining clubs or doing activities run in your school or college are a great way to gain experience and to get to know people. Opportunities to become chairperson, treasurer or to organise events can add to your skills. Commitment in a club shows future employers that you have a wider range of experiences, and is great to include in your CV.

Visit Careers Wales for more information and advice on options at 16

Careers Wales