How To Get Ahead In Your Career Over Spring Break

How To Get Ahead In Your Career Over Spring Break
Beth Dumbauld

[Updated 3/2016]

Plans fall though, budgets shrink, and even Florida gets cold sometimes. You can use this to your advantage by embracing a travel-free Spring Break this year – and focusing on your career.

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Use your time off to get a jumpstart on your job search, tap into a network of professionals, and be confident that you have all the credits you need to graduate on time. Here’s how:

Give your resume the 15-second test.

Hiring managers typically spend 15 seconds looking over a resume before making the keep-it or toss-it decision. What kind of first impression does yours give off? Ask several people to look over your resume and make the necessary changes to ensure that yours is a keeper.

Join LinkedIn.

Employers use LinkedIn to network and find suitable candidates for open positions. If you don’t have an account yet, sign up. If you do have a LinkedIn account already, tighten it up. Model your profile after others who have the careers you aspire to – but be sure to highlight your own unique talents and skills. Let your network know you are available and looking for a job in a particular industry or company.

Meet with Career Services.

Use your class-free time to travel over to the Career Services department on your college campus or through your college's website and meet your new best friends – skilled professionals available to assist you in finding your dream job. Career Service employees, whether you meet them in person, or talk with them on the phone, are trained specifically to help students find internships while in school, careers upon graduation, and provide ongoing support to alums.

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Grow your career network.

Use your Spring Break to schedule informational interviews or conversations with individuals who have the connections to the careers and companies that interest you most. At an informational interview, always ask the question, “Who else in your network do you think I could talk to?” Making career connections now will pay off big before, and after, you graduate.

Visit the Registrar.

Before break begins, verify you are on track to accumulate all the credits you need to graduate. If you find that you will be a few credits short, use your Spring Break to develop a plan to get the college credits you need to complete your degree. Don’t let a few credits get in the way of you and graduation.

Diversify your skill set.

Are you close to graduation and beginning to worry about how your degree will transform into a lucrative career? Take a deep breath.

Your college degree, no matter your major, is valuable. However, you can make it even more marketable by using your vacation to complete classes that show you mean business. You can start an online college course like accounting, statistics, or business at any time. Completing a college course on a tight schedule may require focus, determination, and motivation, but it is doable. Plus, these courses are valuable to any hiring manager.

Lighten your course load.

Even if you aren’t graduating this Spring, completing a self-paced online college course over Spring Break is a worthwhile goal – for your wallet. There are extremely affordable options that allow you to transfer your online classes for credit into your current degree program.  Doing so could allow you to lighten your course load another semester, or even shorten the time to complete your degree.

With the average college graduate leaving school with over $35,000 in debt, and the average spring breaker spending around $1,100 a week just to blow off steam – focusing on your career this Spring Break makes more than a lot of sense.

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