Published: May 10, 2024

student on computer in the grassSummer break is a great time to prepare for your next job or internship search. Working on career documents and online profiles is an important task to check off your to-do list. Then, you’ll have your resume, cover letters, portfolios and other materials ready for when opportunities arise. Here are five things to do this summer to help you prepare. 

1. 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 benefit you. 

Build a resume showcasing your skills and experience. For each highlighted skill, back it up with specific details. Your resume is an opportunity to sell yourself to potential employers. Be sure to include accurate and detailed information to help you stand out, and tailor your resume for each job application. 

Career Services offers AI Resume Editor by Quinncia, a free online resume review tool to help students enhance their resumes. The tool uses AI technology to provide personalized feedback on your resume based on criteria gathered from employers and global best practices.  

2. 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 won't be able to finalize a cover letter until you find a position you're interested in, you can develop a template cover letter as a starting point. You can build the template around the foundational skills you hope to use in a future role or the experiences you've gained that are relevant to positions you're interested in. 

3. Update your online profiles 

Online profiles are essential for finding a job or internship. In fact, Handshake is the place where many 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 classes, part-time work, leadership roles and other experiences you could add to enhance your profile. 

  • Rewrite and update your summary section on LinkedIn with your goals, projects and interests.  

  • Update your profile image with a recent professional photo. Career Services offers a free self-service photo booth you can use if you need a new profile photo! 

4. 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 it’s 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.  

5. 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. While past professors, supervisors and volunteer coordinators are excellent resources, anyone who can reflect on your skills and professional identity can make a good reference. 

Prepare for the job search 

Take time this summer to get a head start on your job or internship search. Career Services offers career counseling, on-demand tools and more to support students.