Summers are for spending time with friends and family and taking a well-earned break from the stress of college or university, right?
While we grew up thinking that, if you’re a university or college student, this is also the time to spend enhancing your skills and build a great resume.
Surprisingly, even summer jobs that aren’t directly related to your field of interest can be valuable – labour work, serving, or even customer service positions!
A different way to think about your summer job is a process that acts as a vehicle to help you build different life experiences and skills, and can teach you how to cope with rejection and problem solve.
Knowing the theory behind why something may or may not work, or understanding a procedure on paper is never the same as actually having done the work yourself.
If you want to make the most out of your summer, take advantage of hands-on opportunities and immerse yourself in the different experiences.
Whether that’s running a small business, or asking how to perform a search engine optimization or systems analysis, these types of experiences are always more impressive in an interview.
You’ll be able to speak to a personal experience, instead of simply regurgitating theoretical information.
When talking about your summer job, it’s especially effective to highlight instances where you were given responsibilities or took initiative on projects.
Responsibility builds resiliency and allows you to expand on any self-imposed boundaries you may have set for yourself.
From the perspective of a future employer, candidates who have taken on responsibility in their past jobs are more likely to be successful in their interviews because it shows they are committed to their work and invested in the process of achievement.
Creating a portfolio or website that includes any and all work you’ve done during summer internships or job placements, if applicable, is another great way to stand out (especially during the Covid-19 era we are all living through).
A portfolio or website not only presents your work to future employers in an organized and aesthetic medium but demonstrates proficiency with technology.
This is especially helpful since many companies are looking to build websites, or improve upon existing content. Personal websites also give you the chance to highlight your personality and expand upon non-work-related pursuits (for instance, volunteer work, hobbies, and side hustles).
Lastly, it’s crucial to reflect on your experiences so that you can talk about yourself effectively.
Hiring managers and recruiters often look at hundreds of resumes every day, so be sure to include relevant work experience, carefully format your CV, and tailor the content of your resume to your prospective job.
If you want to really stand out, detail all of the technologies that you are familiar with; in an increasingly digital environment, anything from Google Docs to Slack is useful.