Five Tips for a More Productive Summer Break

June 26, 2012
Beating Summer Boredom for College Students

Summer Feet

For most college students, it’s over a month into summer which means that summer boredom is setting in. While during finals week the most tempting thought for students was doing nothing for months on end, that idea has now turned into a countdown to move-in day. But there are plenty of positive ways that college students can spend their summer to beat the boredom and improve their resumes too. Here are some tips to get you started.

1.)    Get an internship or job– While you may be thinking that the time for this is past, there are still some last minute jobs out there. Ask around with friends and family members to see if they know of anyone hiring. If you’re looking for an internship the best place to start is with your college career services since they often get internship listings and have a website where they post them and students can apply. If your school is far away from home, you can also use websites, such as internships.com to look for internships closer to home. Not only will you getting a job or internship help your experience, but it also might help you to network and make connections for when you are looking for a full time job after college.

2.)    Volunteer– If you can’t find a job then volunteering your time is always another option. This always looks great on your resume, especially if it’s something that you are passionate about. Find a cause and get involved. You will get to meet new people and you’ll have more to talk about in your next interview besides your summer vacation with your family. Try to pick a job that corresponds to your major in some way. For instance, if you plan to go into non-profit work, then Habitat for Humanity or the American Red Cross are great options. Or if you can’t find something for a large company, you could always just volunteer your skills to local churches or businesses in your area. Either way, you’ll be helping out and gaining great experiences at the same time.

3.)     Start a blog or website– Are you planning on going into marketing, tech or planning on working with the internet at all? Then starting a blog or website is a great way to set yourself apart and get some exposure. Make the blog about the field of work you plan to go into and feel free to share it on your resume or LinkedIn account. The website can act as an online portfolio of your work. Post your resume, any classwork or projects that you’re especially proud of, and anything else that would be relevant to your future career. One great website that allows you to create both a website and blog for free is weebly.com.

4.)    Take a class– Taking a class during the summer can be the best way to learn a new skill that you wouldn’t during the school year or to get ahead in credits. Since you have a lot of free time during the summer you could try to learn a new language or a skill on the computer that not everyone has. It will set you apart and be major bonus points because it shows you have the initiative to do something just to better yourself and not just because your school requires it. The best places to look for these are the local community colleges or online colleges like University of Phoenix or Kaplan University. Just be sure to check that your school will accept the transfer credits and you’re all set.

5.)     Learn more about your industry– You can never know too much about your field of study. While you may think that classes will teach you everything you need to know, there are some things that are best learned through research and reading. Do your homework and look up the major players and what’s going on in your field. You’ll impress a lot more in an interview if you can tell the person interviewing you something that they didn’t know. The best place to start is by simply reading newspapers, like The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal which cover the news in almost every industry. You can also search for blogs or articles published by companies in the industry or follow them on twitter to learn more.

Photo credit: Lizard10979

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