For most college students, summer means going home, visiting old friends, and enjoying some much-needed R&R away from stressful courses. If you’re looking to maximize your time and gain valuable insight and exposure in your future field, a summer job or internship is perfect for you. Let your summer work perform double-duty with these 5 tips.
- Polish Your Resume For Your Goals
Include every job you've had on your resume—even if they don't seem glamorous or they aren't in your desired field. Focus on the skills you gained in your position, rather than your day-to-day tasks. "Cashed out register at closing" can easily turn into "preferred employee to balance company registers due to a Math-focused background."
- Reach Out To Family, Friends And Professional Contacts
Utilize your existing contacts to assist you in getting your foot in the door. Ask working parents if their companies are hiring for summer work, or if they know anyone who may be looking for an intern. Ask friends if they are working over the break and if they, their parents or other close connections have open positions.
Before leaving for the semester, ask your professors and admins if they have any recommendations. A letter of recommendation from faculty is a great addition to your applications.
- Connect With Your Career Services Office
This is another reason to start seeking summer employment long before finals week. Set up a time to meet with a Career Services advisor about what you’re looking for in summer work, and ask how they can help. You may be able to land an interview for an on-campus assignment, or learn ways to reach off-campus opportunities.
- Audit Your Personal Social Media Accounts
If you don’t have all your accounts set to “private”, it’s important to take stock of your accounts as soon as you start applying for jobs. Take a look at your Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and other public accounts and remove or hide any inappropriate content.
- Embrace “Job-Appropriate” Channels, Too
Are you on LinkedIn? Create a professional-looking portfolio and live resume on the site to show future employers—it’s one of the top places they will search for you in a professional capacity. Connect with professors, former teachers, and job connections to fill out your profile.