Many students enjoyed time off during the holiday break, spending time relaxing or vacationing. Rhodes College Career Services Expert Amy Ware suggests that students can now use the time after the holidays as the perfect opportunity to get ahead on career goals. Her advice for the new year:
Gain career-related experience and knowledge through an informational interview, shadow opportunity or externship. Shadowing and externships are brief (one day to one week) experiences in which students observe someone in his/her field. Students can arrange a career exploration experience for the next break by reaching out to family, friends, neighbors, etc. A one-day shadow experience with the hometown attorney, for example, can give the student an opportunity to ask questions and interview others on the job. Not only is it a learning experience, but also students are developing a network contact who they can refer back to for things like summer internships.
Attend career networking events sponsored by the alumni office. This is a great way to connect with professionals in your field of interest. Also, polish a resume so that it is ready for upcoming networking events and internship applications. Have you added your fall internship to your resume? How about recent volunteer experience? So many students wait to include their new internships and work experience and later forget specifics about a job. The start of a new year is an ideal time to sit down and update a resume.
Utilize online job and internship databases in order to search for spring and summer internships. Rhodes College, for example, has CareerLynX, which includes the Lasting Lynx alumni database as well as international internship and volunteer opportunities via “Going Global.”
Create and/or update a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn allows students to connect with professionals in order to secure networks and establish internship and job leads. It’s free and convenient. According to Ware, more and more professionals are utilizing LinkedIn, not only to connect, but to identify potential hires for their organization. Therefore, students should create a profile, and then make sure to complete it successfully by uploading a resume and adding a professional picture.