5 Small Actions To Advance Your Career Over Spring Break

Travel Around

Of course not everyone has the time to do serious career preparation over Spring break. Spring break is also a time for self-care, reconnecting with family, and more simply, a time to get away from academic stressors. You may be going on a trip. If this is the case, take the opportunity to think ahead towards places you may want to live or work after graduation. If you are traveling to another state (or country), walk around. Analyze the new location’s vibe. Does it feel right? If possible, do some research. Is your career path popular in this state? Is it a growing job market? Would it be easy to find an apartment? To make friends? To continue your desired extracurricular activities? Even if you decide you would never want to live where you are traveling, this is a step in the right direction. Identifying what you don’t want is just as important as identifying what you do.

Volunteerism

Volunteering is an excellent way to build connections. Unfortunately, job-seekers overlook these benefits. Spring break is a good time to commit yourself to a project within your community and/or abroad. Many universities run “alternative Spring breaks” where students participate in an immersive service experience. The outcome is personally rewarding and can look good on a graduating senior’s resume. Furthermore, volunteerism can unlock newfound passions. Chances are, if you like volunteering at an organization or supporting a certain cause, you might like it as a job too. Check out local volunteerism opportunities and see which ones most align with your interest or intended career path. Such activities can connect you with experienced professionals and potential mentors.

Update Social Media

Spring break is the perfect time to create your profile on an employment-oriented website. There are many to choose from including LinkedIn, Handshake, etc. You may not end up using this website for job hunting. However, these sites are great ways to make connections and keep in touch with current and old employers, professors, and colleagues. If you already have an account on one of these sites, Spring break is the perfect time to update and flesh out your profile. The key is to give recruiters the best possible version of yourself. If you are in the process of an internship, put it in your profile. Make sure to carefully edit job description sections and summaries of yourself. First impressions are key. Additionally, look through your social media. Make sure everything displayed is something you are okay with a future employer seeing. Rebrand your social media presence (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc) to be a true representation of you.

Give Your Resume Another Look

No matter how many times you look over your resume, it doesn’t hurt to do it again. Different companies prefer different experiences and qualities outlined in resumes they receive. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to make multiple resumes. Check for simple fixes like grammar, sentence structure, and experience relevance. One tip for looking over your resume is to give it a 15 second check. While this is not true for all companies, many hiring managers (especially those who get multiple job applications daily) do not take long looking over a resume before making a “yes” or “no” decision. Look over your resume for 15-20 seconds and ask yourself what impressions you get. If you are unable to do it yourself, ask a family member or friend. Take advice and revise your essay to make sure your resume positively captures the attention of a hiring manager. For further review, you can always make an appointment with the career services once you are back on campus.

Hone Existing Skills

Having a wide variety of skills will make you more marketable upon graduation. Think about the types of careers you want to pursue. Then, assign certain skills that will help you stand out and do that job better. For example: if you are going into marketing, hone your web and graphic design skills. It does not have to be difficult. Merely practicing painting or digital drawing can allow you to improve. Look into summer classes that can widen your technology knowledge. Many firms ask for Excel proficiency and there are a variety of online classes for certification.