Finally, it’s time to relax after a busy first half of the semester—spring break is here! In between basking in the glow of the sun (or not…where is warm weather?) or just the glow of your computer screen, this time is also a great opportunity to work on your professional brand. Here are some tips to help you take advantage of all that extra time in a way that will benefit you in your future career.
- Update (or create) your resume.
During the school year, I tend to neglect my resume until I actually have to use it. It’s easy to forget to add new clubs, volunteer opportunities, or new jobs and internships to your resume when you’re busy. If there are no new activities to add, think about editing it. Is there a better word you could use to describe what you did in your position? Is everything formatted in an appealing way? If you’re a freshman who has yet to create a resume, now is the perfect time to start! Don’t worry if you don’t have much to put on it yet—there’s plenty of time. Many templates are available online to help you begin.
Relax over break, but also advance your career.
- Develop your LinkedIn profile.
I’ve found LinkedIn to be a great tool. It allows you to go more in-depth than a one page resume, and you can show off your writing skills and even include writing samples/projects if you’d like. Being able to connect with professionals and search for jobs and internships is another benefit of having a LinkedIn profile. If you already have one, take this time to update or edit it, or maybe even change your profile picture to a more professional shot.
- Search for summer internships.
It’s not too late to be looking for summer internships. Many places are still looking for candidates and holding interviews. Blue Hen Careers, a database with hundreds of jobs and internships listed, is a great place to start, plus it’s available for all UD students and even alumni to use. There is also a College of Arts and Sciences Career Networking Night on Thursday, April 9, if any communication majors are interested!
- Create an online professional portfolio.
Personally, this is my goal for spring break. Creating a way for employers to view your writing samples and other relevant projects online will really help you stand out when applying for jobs or internships, and allow them to view your work all at once. I’m planning on making a WordPress site to upload my writing samples to, but you can use any blogging platform, or even LinkedIn.
Hope you are having a great break!
By: Allison Knouse
Allison Knouse is a junior Mass Communication major with minors in journalism and advertising. Along with being a member of PRSSA-UD, she is a social media ambassador for the university and serves as the Vice President of PR for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at UD. Follow her on Twitter @BlueHenAllisonK, or connect with her on LinkedIn!