It seems as though people are always making you feel like you should be planning on doing something productive and important during the summer. Whether that’s working full-time or having an internship, there’s a lot of pressure to start planning for your career during the summers during your college years. Speaking as a freshman about to start my first summer as a college student, I’ll have you know that the pressure starts pretty early on.
It’s important to resist the idea that you have to be applying for competitive and impactful internships that can make your career. Especially during the summer after your freshman year, there are plenty of other ways that you can spend your time that can help give your resume a boost. These are four stress-free, simple jobs that you can do to build your resume.
- Revisit old teachers and mentors
One way to help build your resume is to ensure that you have references and letters of recommendation. While you’re back home this summer, it’s a good idea to go visit some of your old teachers or mentors that you could potentially use as references. Visiting teachers at school or grabbing coffee with your old boss will make it easier to ask for that recommendation in the future.
- Find someone you know and shadow at their job
It could be a close family friend or your dad’s boss’ son’s girlfriend. However close or distant the connection is, find someone whose career you may be interested in and ask if you could spend some time with them at their job. This is an ideal way to be exposed to your potential career, and a great item to put on your resume. And the best part is that if you’re short on time, you only have to go for a day or two and can still put it on your resume as a career experience.
- Volunteer at a local nonprofit organization
Some employers place a very high value on community service. Volunteering can be a perfect way to build your resume without committing your entire summer. You can also find something specific to your major–For example, volunteer at a hospital if you’re a pre-medical student to get some career exposure.
- Pick up some shifts from an old high school job
As basic as it seems, babysitting for neighbors, walking dogs, or waiting tables will earn you money that you won’t have to stress about during the school year. Then, you can boost your grades and try for that internship during the actual school year. Even if you only commit a very small amount of your time, getting re-familiarized with your old neighbors or bosses increases your potential pool of references for your resume.
Regardless of what you choose to do over the summer, make sure that you’re taking full advantage of your time off. As long as you’re spending at least some time preparing yourself for the future, try to spend the rest of your time centering yourself and enjoying your stress-free months.