Making the Most out of Your Last Spring Break
It’s Spring Break season for college students all over the country, and while this time of year is typically when college seniors celebrate their last uninterrupted hoorah in some tropical location before they graduate, this time would be better spent securing a job before being thrust into the real world. Although many college seniors started their job search back in the fall and may have already landed a position, don’t feel discouraged if you are still on the hunt. After all, there’s no time like the present to make yourself more marketable to future employers and find a job that is the right fit for you. If you are a college senior who is has yet to land a job, here are some ways that you can improve your chances of securing your first post grad job before graduation.
Work on your resume: Have you been sending out resumes without any luck? If so, you may want to use some time this Spring Break to work on making your resume stand out. There are many online resources that you can reference while editing your resume; however, there really isn’t a one size fits all resume template. The truth is that resume expectations can differ between industries; therefore, if you haven’t had any luck with your current resume it may be worth speaking to someone at a career center on campus about how to write a resume geared towards the industry that you are hoping to break into. Another option is scheduling a meeting with your academic advisor or a respected professor to discuss your resume’s strengths and weaknesses. If you are home during Spring Break, take advantage of local resume writing programs that are offered in your area.
Contact recruiters: Maybe your resume is stellar, but for some reason you are struggling to find a job on your own. If you are finding this to be true, I would recommend reaching out to direct placement recruiters who are experts at matching candidates with companies. If you are in the Seattle area, or plan on moving to the Seattle area after graduation, Business Talent Solutions is an amazing resource. The recruiters at BTS are prepared to arrange face to face interviews for qualified candidates to meet with potential employers. They will also help you to prepare for those interviews, which is especially helpful if you have limited experience interviewing.
Schedule informational interviews: Perhaps you are still unsure of what field you would like to utilize your degree in. If that is the case, consider setting up some informational interviews this Spring Break. An informational interview is an informal conversation with a professional who works in the field you are interested in. Although it is considered to be an informal meeting, make sure that you arrive dressed professionally and prepared with questions to ask. After all, you never know when the impression that you make will have a lasting effect on your future career.
Update your LinkedIn profile: While you have some time during your break, go ahead and check out your LinkedIn Profile. Is it up to date with your current education, skills and certificates? Is it polished and professional? Do you have an industry appropriate headshot? Make sure that you view your profile with a critical eye and remove any information that isn’t relevant to the jobs you are applying for. Your LinkedIn profile may be the difference between a potential employer putting your resume in the “yes” pile or the “no” pile so make sure that your online presence represents you as an educated professional.
Attend a conference: If you are feeling confident in the above areas, or if you have already have a job lined up that you will be jumping into as soon as you walk off of that stage at graduation, find a conference that will help you to succeed in your career. Whether the conference is broad, or specific to the industry you would like to start you career in, make sure that it is sponsored by a credible and professional organization. Your future employer and coworkers are sure to be impressed with your level of dedication in furthering your knowledge about their industry.
It can be tempting to use your last Spring Break as an excuse to lay on a beach and get a tan; however, with graduation and career uncertainty looming in the near future, it may be best to trade in that fruity cocktail on the beach for a cup of coffee at your desk this Spring Break.