By Jackson Pollock, Peer Advisor
Although we aren’t quite done with the semester yet, winter break is not too far away. No, this blog is not about how to study for finals, if you want tips on how to study for finals you can direct yourself to my past blog titled “Study Tips” where I go into depth on ways to study right. This blog is about how to make good use of your winter break. Although winter break is not for a couple weeks, it’s good to think ahead and plan out your break. At UM we, students, get a whole month off from school to think and do other things than academics (you might see where this is going). Since you have academics off your mind you can start thinking of your internship and job search. Although there won’t be any Peer Advising hours (crying emoji) you can work on important documents, and important applications throughout the break without us to guide you. Take the first week or two of break to just relax and be with family, but for the rest of the time when you find yourself bored, out of Netflix shows to binge watch (The Office can always be re watched multiple times) you should sit down and check this to-do list:
1) Work on Your Resume
For some of you, your resume is pretty up to date from this semester, but for others you may have not looked at it in a while. Your resume is like your hair. It will look really good after you get a haircut, but that hair cut will only last so long and you will need to touch it up and get a new haircut. New experiences that you do should be added to your resume immediately. When grades come out and you made the Dean List, put it on your resume. If you just joined an activity on campus, put it on your resume. Acquire any new skills over the semester? If so add them to your resume. When you add all of this new information to your resume, make sure you are following our resume guidelines. Although you cannot come in to see us over break, our New York Times Bestselling Resume & Cover Letter Guide Book is available online at hireacane.com, under Career Resources in Guides & Handouts. After you find the obvious things, take a second to look back and make sure nothing fell through the cracks this semester. As a barber or hair stylist would, take that last final look and make sure everything is right before sending you out on the streets with a potentially bad haircut. For those of you who already have an up-to-date resume, use this time to look over it again to make sure there are no grammatical errors. Even the slightest grammatical error will displease an employer.
2) Find Internships & Jobs
So you have worked your resume to death and it is nearly perfect, and you ask yourself, “self, what do I do with this polished resume?” This resume will be, as DJ Khaled would say, the golden key to your success in applying for jobs and internships, but first you have to find these opportunities. There are tons of ways of finding different jobs and internships, but the easiest place to start is my personal favorite: Handshake. Never heard of Handshake? Please direct yourself to my article titled, “Handshake for Dummies.” This platform will link you up to tons of jobs and internships that are offered to UM students specifically. They range over many countries, and from many different disciplines and qualifications. Once you get your eyes set on a few that you like, you should take a closer look at the application process and see what exactly they need from you, because you might have to draft a cover letter.
3) Work on your Cover Letter?
If you have a job or internship that you are interested in and they require a cover letter, then winter break would be the perfect time to crank that out. Your cover letter is a very important part of your application and should be thoughtfully written. For more in depth information on how exactly to formulate and execute a stand out cover letter, look no further than our Resume & Cover Letter Guide book as mentioned above.
4) Apply to Internships and Jobs
Once you have your eye set on the internships and jobs you are interested in and have all your materials ready you should finally apply. This process is the easiest out of the activities listed above, but is the most important. Look at deadlines to make sure you have enough time to get all your materials together and apply. Also another important thing is to find how long it will take for them to get back to you, this is important for the next step.
5) Follow up on Applications
This is if you already have put in an application prior to winter break and haven’t received any form of contact from the employer. It is important, as I mentioned before, to check the date they said they would get back to you before following up.
If you do all these things during winter break and find yourself bored, I’m sorry I have no additional tips for you, although it is good every once and awhile to just have nothing to do.
Good Luck Canes, and Happy Holidays!