5 Ways to Build Your Résumé This Summer

The summer season is the perfect time to build your résumé. Learn how to get a leg up on your career by using your summer break wisely.
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With the extra free time you may find in your summer schedule, this season is the perfect time to bulk up your résumé. Use the long days to gain some valuable experience, and you'll have a long list to add to your résumé when the fall semester rolls around.

When it comes time to compile your résumé, check out this CF post about how to create the perfect one. In the meantime, just be sure jot down notes as you go. Creating a short list of everything that you do during the summer will make it a lot easier to compile it all when the time comes. Read on for 5 ways to build your résumé this summer:

1. Rock Your Internship

If you managed to lock down your dream internship this summer, don't let the time go to waste! Here are three ways to ensure you're a memorable intern:

  • Do everything that is asked of you without hesitation, and offer to do that which is not. Even if it's just endless coffee runs, it is these tasks that allow you to prove your dedication and ambition.
  • Take the time to forge connections with your coworkers and other people in the industry. Getting to know those in your field of interest will be a valuable asset when you are later on the job hunt.
  • Be sure to ask many questions - as many as you can think of! After all, an internship is supposed to be a learning experience. Gaining knowledge now will definitely give you an advantage in your future endeavors.

And don't worry if you haven't found a dream internship yet. While it may be too late to nail a spot this summer, start making preparations for next semester. Search through some job sites and start applying to any opportunities you may see available for the fall. Use this time to get ahead of the crowd, and soon enough you'll find the perfect position!

2. Continue Your Education

Itunes u screenshot

Photo Credit: iTunes U screenshot

Whether it's through your university, a local library, or a community program, find some "mini courses" available in your area this summer. If you can't find one, consider an at-home option such as iTunes U, which allows you access to the course content from a wide variety of prestigious universities. Available in a huge span of subjects, you can learn the basics of courses that you might not be able to fit into your regular schedule. It's never a bad idea to keep expanding your knowledge, because you never know what will be applicable to future potential jobs.

Consider a course in a foreign language, which is a valuable skill to many employers. Even if you just learn the bare minimum, it will give you an edge over another applicant who has no experience. Or perhaps a course in a business field, like accounting or marketing, is a good option for you. These subjects apply to a wide variety of fields, and will give you useful skills regardless of which path you end up taking.

3. Volunteer Your Time

Volunteer experience is always a bonus to have on your résumé. It demonstrates that you're kind, charitable, and willing to do what it takes to help others.

In addition, volunteering provides you with a free opportunity to develop a whole new set of skills. Whether you're performing manual labor or tutoring children, these activities will develop characteristics that will make you a valuable asset to future employers. Plus, volunteering is another way to build relationships with people who could later provide useful connections or be reliable references. The more willing you are to get your name out there now, the more opportunities you will create for yourself later in life.

4. Brush Up on Some Skills

The "skills" section of a résumé is one that can always be built upon, and the more you know, the more marketable you will be. Use the summer to become fluent in Microsoft Office, which is applicable to jobs across a wide variety of fields. Also look into blogging sites or other programs that might relate to your field.

Future employers will be on the lookout for applicants that have the basic knowledge of certain software, so this will give you an edge over the competition. Plus, summer is a great time to hone these skills because you can teach yourself through trial-and-error.

5. Do Something Adventurous!

While "adventure" is not exactly something you'll ever put on a résumé, it will give you some valuable life experience. Use your free time in the summer to travel, or do anything else that interests and excites you.

The experiences you will have and the lessons you will inevitably learn will give you a new perspective. Your experiences can be great conversation starters in interviews, or provide you with the answers to future application questions. Expand your horizons and show the world what a well-rounded person you are!

Your Thoughts?

In what ways do you plan to build your résumé this summer? What are your tips for making sure you're a must-hire? Let us know in the comments section!

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