Before spring semester gets crazy and summer arrives, it’s time to think about getting hired. Now is the time to act, whether you’re pursuing a temporary internship this summer or a full-time position after graduation.
It’s tempting to delay preparation until closer to the end of the semester, but that could mean forfeiting prime opportunities to get ahead in the pursuit of a career after graduation.
Here’s a list of action items to build a bridge to the summer and beyond:
1. Update résumé.
Feature this semester’s experiences using numbers and specific tasks. Check out sample résumés and read tips from professionals on what they want to see in a recent graduate’s résumé.
2. Fill portfolio.
Both digital and online portfolios are helpful. Create a space to collect all original pieces worth sharing with potential employers. If you already have one, make sure that your most recent pieces are included.
3. Ask for recommendation letters.
Did you work or have an internship last semester? Now is the best time to ask your supervisor for a recommendation, while your performance is fresh in their mind. Share some accomplishments for them to highlight.
4. Meet for lunch.
Asking your supervisor from a summer internship to meet you for lunch is a great way to network. Remind them of your active job search, both to see if they will hire you or know anyone else who is hiring.
5. Explore the area.
Think about where you want to live after graduation, and spend some time in that area. Familiarize yourself with local housing and communities now, so you’ll be ready to accept or decline an offer in that region.
6. Freshen up LinkedIn profile.
Like your résumé and portfolio, your LinkedIn profile needs some attention after a semester of new experiences. Add new skills and make sure your connections include people you met last semester.
7. Email connections.
All of those people you had good conversations with during the semester — internship supervisor, professors, local professionals — may need you to remind them of your connection. Check in with them and arrange a time to meet with them next semester.
Remember to balance your workload this semester, but don’t miss this opportunity to prepare either. Start your semester well by keeping your connections, communication and documentation relevant. Small decisions in moments of free time will serve you in the coming semester and after graduation.
What do you think is important to accomplish before this semester gets crazy?
Holly Vizino is writing manager for the Geneva College Chapter of PRSSA and a senior communication major at Geneva College. Last summer, she enjoyed interning with Make-A-Wish Foundation and Adaptive Computing. Connect with her on LinkedIn.
2 thoughts on “Building Bridges to Summer and Beyond”
Remembering last spring and the rush to find a summer internship, I agree that finalizing your resume, portfolio and LinkedIn are top priorities. I would add that making a timeline for yourself to get these things done could be really useful; so if you know you won’t apply anywhere until March, give yourself the four weeks of February to polish your resume, portfolio and LinkedIn. That way it’s all ready to go when you get to applying and networking!
Also very important in the internship or job hunt is the elusive cover letter. Every company requires one, but they are always so tough to write. Be sure to give yourself ample time to craft a well thought out cover letter that expands upon your resume and shows your passion for that particular position. Most importantly – don’t use a form cover letter because companies will know; give each one it’s own special touch.