5 Ways to Use College Summer Break to Prepare for Your Career

in General

Summer break may bring sandy beaches and warm breezes, but it also brings an opportunity to prepare for your career after graduation. Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a restless senior, these adulting tips are perfect preparation for life after college.

1. Set up or refresh your LinkedIn profile.

If you haven’t already done so, summer break is the perfect time to set up or refresh your LinkedIn profile. More than 40 million students and recent college grads worldwide use this site to create a professional online presence.

Your profile will act like a public cover letter, so put the same care into creating and maintaining it as you would if you were writing a cover letter for your dream job. Upload an appropriate photo—not a selfie—and complete the profile with as much information as possible. Proofread the profile carefully, and ask a friend or family member to review it for you, too.

2. Create or polish your resume.

College summer break is also an ideal time to give your resume some TLC. The time investment you make now will save you headaches and stress later when a job opportunity unexpectedly arises and you find yourself racing to put together a resume. Learn more in Do’s and Don’ts to Create a Killer Resume that Lands Your Dream Job.

3.  Put together an interview outfit.

This simple tip to prepare for your career can make a significant difference in both your confidence and how you appear to recruiters or potential employers. Take time now to shop for or put together one complete, well-fitting professional outfit, including shoes. This eliminates the frustration of needing to find, borrow, or buy clothes at the last minute so you can dress to impress.

4. Start a career reading list.

Get a jump on your career by building a knowledge base you can’t always get in the classroom. Read industry blogs, follow industry leaders on social media, and listen to relevant podcasts. You can also hit the college library to find books written by thought leaders in your future field.

Is there a dream company you’d love to work for? Follow its social media accounts so you can get a better grasp of what the company does—and how you might be able to help when you apply for a job opening.

5. Take your summer job and/or internship seriously.

Whether you’re scooping ice cream for minimum wage or trudging through a demanding, unpaid internship, the way you handle job responsibilities now will set the stage for starting your post-college job the right way.

So, prepare for your career now: show up on time, do what you say you’re going to do, and treat managers, coworkers, and/or customers with respect. Ideally, your efforts will pay off with a stellar recommendation when it’s time to apply for career positions.

Bonus Life Tip:

Interest-free student loans will help reduce debt after graduation. Learn more about LDHL’s loan program, which awards loans valued at $1,700 each to qualified Lancaster County post-secondary students.