Make the Most of the End of the Year, Part I

Spring is finally here, and that means summer is right around the corner. The three months of relaxation and warm weather will soon arrive. We still have a few months to go, though, so make the most of your time before the official end of the academic year. Your summer will be more enjoyable knowing that you wrapped up the school year on a high note.

One way to do this is to make some career-savvy choices – mainly, securing a last-minute internship or summer job. As great as it sounds to have nothing planned all summer, you’ll thank yourself later for doing something productive, which can help you build your skills and resume. Moreover, your school has resources to help you find a job that might not be available in the summertime. So if you don’t have an internship or job yet, here are a few tips for the last-minute search:

Visit Career Services

If you haven’t been to your school’s career services office lately, set up an appointment to meet with a career counselor. Make sure you bring your resume and a cover letter if you’ve written one in the past. Discuss your goals, such as whether you’re looking for an internship, job, or volunteer position, and talk about which industries interest you most. The counselor will be able to make suggestions on how to improve your resume and cover letter and may even suggest a few websites with job postings. He or she will point you in the right direction for finding summer opportunities.

Reach Out to Alumni

Many schools have active networks of alumni and maintain a database that can help you connect with them. Even if this is not the case, you can always search for alumni on LinkedIn based on the industries that interest you. Reaching out to alumni is one of the best ways to land a summer internship, since alums often take a personal interest in current students and are willing to help out in any way they can. Alumni can help guarantee your resume is seen and not lost on a recruiter’s desk. They might even put in a good word for you. Always be professional when you contact former students, and be gracious when receiving any help they offer you.

Ask in Your Hometown

You are probably accustomed to relying on your college community, but don’t forget that resources also exist in your hometown. Look into the businesses and stores in your area. You never know who may be looking for an extra hand to help out this summer. Even a volunteer opportunity is a great experience that can add color to your resume. Also consider your family, relatives, and friends at home who may have connections you can leverage in your search.

Be an Entrepreneur

If you’re struggling to get an interview for an internship, or if you don’t see anything that piques your interest, you can still create your own opportunity. Offer a service in your hometown so that you can stay productive and make some money at the same time. This could be anything from babysitting, mowing lawns, teaching swim lessons, or tutoring. Even though you have created your own position, you’ll be able to turn this experience into a great talking point in future job interviews. Chances are you’ll be surprised by your inner entrepreneur and how successful you can be with a bit of effort and creativity.

A summer free of classes, textbooks, and homework is on its way, but it’s not here just yet. Stay tuned for more tips on how to make the most of this school year before summertime!

Author Bio: Lindsay T. is a recent college graduate and writes for Skyo, an online site that helps college students save money with cheap textbooks and flexible rental options. Visit Skyo’s site for more on how to buy textbooks online