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