Summer break is a great time to prepare for your job or internship search. Preparing your career documents and profiles is an important task to check off your to-do list. Then, you’ll have your resume, cover letters, portfolios and other documents ready for when opportunities arise.
Work on your resume
A resume is the most common document requested when applying for a job. If you are networking or interested in an opportunity, having a well-crafted resume ready to go will serve you well.
Build a resume showcasing your skills and experiences. For each highlighted skill, back it up with specific experiences. Your resume is an opportunity to sell yourself to potential employers. Be sure to include accurate and detailed information to help you stand out.
Career Services offers a free AI resume builder to help students enhance their resumes. This tool leverages AI technology to provide personalized feedback on your resume based on criteria gathered from employers and global best practices.
Customize your information
Adapt your resume, cover letters and other job application materials to show you understand the industry and job requirements. Research the industries and job functions that interest you to know what to include.
Industries are ever-changing. Staying current on industry trends and desired skills or experiences will help you have relevant information when building your resume and applying for jobs. Your research may help you understand industry language, formatting ideas and ways to show background information.
It’s OK if you don’t have a specific industry of interest. You can be open to various positions across sectors where you could apply your skills.
Create a template cover letter
A tailored cover letter can be the most vital piece of an application. The cover letter lets you elaborate on why you are applying to this specific role. A well-written cover letter will connect your reasons to your experiences and skills, showing why you are the ideal candidate for the position.
While you can’t finalize a cover letter until you apply to a position, you can develop a template cover letter as a starting point. Your template can include character traits, foundational skills, volunteer roles, involvement activities and other valuable information. You can highlight your personality, interests and passions in a way that may not shine through in your resume.
Update your online profiles
Online profiles are essential for finding a job or internship. In fact, Handshake is the number one way college students find jobs. Keep your online profiles, like Handshake and LinkedIn, up to date. You’ve likely expanded your skills and added experiences over the last year. Take time this summer to review your profiles and update them with any new information. Consider critical classes, part-time work, leadership roles, etc., to enhance your profile.
Rewrite and update your summary section on LinkedIn. Talk about your goals, projects and interests. Also, update your profile image with a recent professional headshot. Career Services offers a free self-service photo booth.
Build an online portfolio
For relevant majors and job positions, an online portfolio gives you a way to highlight your work and projects. Some positions may ask you to submit a portfolio with your application. Even when not required, you may still want to provide the link to your portfolio in your resume or cover letter.
Students can create a free online portfolio using BuffsCreate.
Prepare for recommendation and reference requests
Summer can be a great time to connect with mentors, discuss your professional goals and ask for recommendations or references. Consider people in your network. While past professors, work managers and volunteer coordinators are excellent resources, anyone who can reflect on your skills and professional identity can make a good reference.
You can also connect with CU Boulder alumni and other students on the Forever Buffs Network. Once you create an account, you can network or set up informational interviews with alumni to learn more about jobs or industries you’re interested in. Additionally, the Alumni Association has a variety of CU Alumni groups, including one on LinkedIn.
Use your time this summer to prepare for the job search
Take time this summer to get a head start on your job or internship search. Career Services offers events, training, workshops and career counseling to support students.