Winter Break: Not Just for Hibernation

 

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, students are hopeful that the end is in sight via something we all know as winter break. You’ve worked your butt off all semester, and nothing seems more appealing than sleeping late, playing video games, or hanging out with friends. While winter break should serve as an opportunity to relax and spend time with your family and friends, it is also a great time to think about the future and get a jump start on the job search while you don’t have exams and papers to worry about. Career guide website wetfeet.com provides this “Winter Break Checklist” calendar to help you to get in gear:

December 20 Update Your Resume with your most recent experiences and achievements and search online templates for ways to make it pop. “When you are seeking a job, internship or volunteer opportunity, there is nothing more important than having an attractive, well-written resume,” says White.

December 22
Build up your online profile. Take your freshly polished resume and post it on career search and networking websites, such as CareerBuilder, Monster, and LinkedIn

December 27 Make five new contacts. Ask family, friends, and professors for help expanding your professional network. “Begin gathering contact information [and] contact them by phone or e-mail,” White says. Don’t ask for a job, but request some of their time.

January 3 Get some counseling. January is actually a great time to meet with your career center as staff will likely have more time to spend with you, says Dr. Richard White, director of career services at Rutgers University-New Brunswick in New Jersey. “They can help you to develop a job search or graduate school action plan, provide employer contacts, and inform you of career-related events during the spring semester.”

January 5
Attend a career fair. Think one-stop shopping. At a career fair, you can browse a variety of recruiters and employers in the same location. Become a hunter-gather: track down companies of interest, learn more about potential employers, and walk away with even more contacts.

January 7 Complete a career assessment. If you haven’t zeroed in on what career path you want to take, an assessment can help with the decision-making process.

January 10
Apply for Internships. Once spring semester is in full swing, you’ll probably be too focused on studies to give internship applications the attention they deserve. Start searching and applying now.

January 12
Let someone else do the bragging for you. Talk to your professors, academic advisers, or past employers and see if they’re willing to write letters of recommendation or be contacted as a reference.

January 14 Send out applications for full-time jobs. Calling all seniors. Begin sending out resumes, line up a few interviews for spring and you might score a job before graduation day.

Don’t let this free time slip away! Winter break is your longest break before summer- use the free time to your advantage. You won’t regret it come spring semester!

Original article from wetfeet.com by Megan Sullivan
*See full article at http://www.wetfeet.com/advice-tools/job-search/winter-break-checklist

Written by: Kelly Gooch
contact: goochke@jmu.edu


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