Often, especially early in your college carer, it's hard to land your dream summer job or internship. Instead, you might find yourself stuck working a minimum wage seasonal job or working for a family friend. This doesn't have to mean you can't use these money-making experiences (along with other ones, too) to expand your resume and make the most of your summer!
1. Don't have an internship? Make one.
So you didn't land the internship you wanted this summer. Well, there's still ways to get creative. If you're on the same boat as I am – having a summer job is a must . So, maybe get creative and if you're working with close family or friends, or even somewhere you've never worked before, reach out to you're boss about the possibility of treating your summer job as an internship or even ask for their permission to list it on your resume as such.
If you have any free days in your week, think about volunteering. Wherever it is you live, there are organizations, companies, and institutions that are in constant need of volunteers. Their need for volunteers often means that you can simply reach out to an institution and request to start volunteering there without the rigorous commitments and processes of a job or an internship. Furthermore, they often allow for flexible schedules. Volunteering is a great way to gain a diversity of hard and soft skills while serving your community. It is something that reflects well on your resume. Websites like VolunteerMatch.com can help you find local community service opportunities.
3. Job shadow
The summer is a time when many people, even college students, are looking for opportunities to do anything that can add to their professional experience and help their networking efforts. Reaching out to someone who you might know that is immersed in a similar line of work as you are interested in and requesting to job shadow them once or even several times a week/month is a smart move both for your resume, your work experience, and can ultimately help you figure out whether you like that field or not based on observing others in what they do.
4. Do odd jobs
Whether it's working on a project for your next-door neighbor, or canvassing for a local politician, odd jobs are often a great way of earning money and gaining real work experience. For example, political candidates often pay young people to canvass all day in a certain location or municipality at high hourly rates. This is a temporary job that can definitely be added to your resume, and will teach you customer service skills as well as it will reflect other skills necessary for the tasks such as communication skills. Websites like QuadJobs.com, provide opportunities for the latter.
5. Work on a personal project
Not everyone would think that working on a book, poetry, a portfolio, or a research project on your own could serve as a valuable addition to your resume. However, immersing yourself in it and truly tracking the progress of your personal project or even bringing it to completion can reflect your dedication, hard work, and commitment skills. If you bring the project to fruition over break, adding it your portfolio and even to your resume, or mentioning it to potential employers can be a useful way to talk about what you like to do in your free time or your hobbies in a workforce setting.
6. Create a blog
Putting time and effort into creating an aesthetically pleasing, visually arousing, and professional-looking blog to vent or share all of your summer activities on can be more fruitful than you think. The reason why blogs can serve as a useful reference to employers is because they can reflect qualities about you as an individual, who you are, what you like to do in your free time and how you express yourself, among others things. Learning how to use blogging software or how to create your own website through famous tools like WordPress or Wix can also be viewed as valuable assets for employers looking for candidates with knowledge in these areas.