Taking a Break to Work

ImageHello Eagle Nation! Now that spring semester is finally over, we can become full-time pool-sitters.  Nothing is better than water volleyball, tan-lines, and Luke Bryan playing in the background.  With sweet tea in our hands and Ray-bans around our necks, what more could we possibly want? Oh, that’s right, a little cash flow would be nice too.  So instead, we put away our sunscreen and swimsuits and begin the dreaded job hunt.  Before you begin your summer job search, check out the following tips to help you get started!

 1)      Direct your path.

Don’t just get a summer job; get the RIGHT summer job!  Utilize this opportunity as a stepping-stone to a prospective career path.  Envision what a typical day will be like in your future career and make a list of the skills and experience you need to get yourself there.  Do you need to enhance your writing skills?  Do you need more work with Excel?  Perhaps you need to work on your interaction with customers or potential clients.  Seek out an opportunity where you can gain transferrable skills that will help you develop as a professional.

2)      Update.

 Summer is the perfect time to focus on updating your résumé and cover letter.  If you do not yet have a résumé, make this a priority!  When an unexpected opportunity arises, you won’t have to scramble to put your résumé together.  Not only are there a ton of resources on the Internet, but lucky for you, Career Services is here to help you!  The summer is also a great time to start developing references.  So make sure you keep in contact with faculty, staff, and former employers!

 3)      Practice for the “real world.”

 Thinking about résumés, cover letters, interviews, and jobs can be pretty daunting…when exactly did we become adults again?  Although the process sounds intimidating, it’s important to remember that now is our time to practice.  Now is the time to make mistakes in our interviews and typos on our cover letters.  And that’s okay.  That’s part of learning and growing as both an individual and a professional.  The more practice we get now, the more prepared we will be when we interview for that dream job.

 4)      Volunteer.

If you are trying your hardest to find a job and are unsuccessful, don’t need the money, or just feel the need to serve, volunteer! There are several local volunteer agencies that really need help and would love to work with college students.  However, please take note that if you volunteer, this opportunity should be treated as a job.  Agencies do not mind working with students as long as they are committed.  A safe secret from one college student to another is that sometimes volunteering can lead to employment opportunities.  Remember, when you’re volunteering as a student from Georgia Southern University, you are representing the Eagle Nation.  Fly on Eagles, fly on.

5)      Intern.

Internships are another great option.  You have probably already noticed that most employers want to hire people who have experience.  This brings us to the great paradox of the job-hunt: How can we land a job if everyone wants experience, and the main way to get experience is to have a job?  Interning is a great way to get hands-on experience in your prospective career and see what a day at your dream job is really like.  Another safe secret from one college student to another is that internships can also lead to employment!

While sleeping, watching Netflix, and laying out by the pool may sound appealing, summer break is also a chance to get ahead of your peers in the fierce competitive job market.  By using these next two and half months to fine-tune your résumé and gain some new work experience, you will able to avoid a lot of the last-minute stress that many students feel during graduation.  And remember, just because you find a summer job doesn’t mean you won’t have any time to relax.   Just think of how great those hard-earned days off will feel knowing that each day you’re getting a little bit closer to that career you’re working towards!

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