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College seniors, here are 10 summer activities
to help your job search
Get ahead of the class with this summer job search to-do list.

Jon Simmons, Monster contributor
Prepare for a job search—and your future—
this summer.
As you head into senior year, you’re
probably feeling some conflicting emotions.
It’s your last summer of freedom, so you
want to make the most of it. On the other
hand, the clock is starting to tick, winding
down to that dreaded day when you’ll have
to start adulting for real—aka, get a job.
If you don’t want to end up graduated and
unemployed, now’s the time to get ahead
of the pack.
“Summer is your time to build your
confidence, gain experience, and expand
your leadership capabilities, all things that
will help you nail those job interviews in
the future,” says Tami Kesselman, chairman
of the U.S. affiliate of AIESEC, the world’s
largest student-run organization for
volunteerism and professional internships.
To help you make the most of this pre-senior
year season, we talked with career experts
and came up with the ultimate summer
to-do list: ten activities you can do to make
your job search feel less daunting, prepare
you for next year, and still leave some wellearned downtime in the sun.

1. Volunteer

Add experience? Check. Learn new skills?

Definitely. Network? That too. Volunteering
at an organization or brand is one of the
most productive ways to prepare for your
job search. Unfortunately, it’s an untapped

According to the Do Good Institute, college
students make up the smallest percentage
of volunteers, with just 26% donating their
time to philanthropic causes. Not only is this
a bummer for your career and emotional
growth, it also means many of these
students won’t volunteer as adults, which
is a blow to charitable organizations that
depend on this manpower for support. Tip:
Get involved now, and everyone will benefit.
“Hiring managers love hard data points

that they can pass on to decision-makers,”
says John Liston, director of growth at
Springboard Retail. “Spending the summer
dedicating 20 hours per week to a non-profit
where you increased your responsibility
from event manager to fundraising
coordinator and were responsible for raising
over $5,000 will show extremely well when
you are trying to land an internship or postgrad position.”

If you’re still unsure about what specific
industry you want to pursue, there are
conferences on topics that are relevant
to multiple fields, for instance, sales or
marketing. “If you’re interested in social
media marketing, imagine how much you
could potentially learn by going to a social
media marketing conference,” says Alex
Reichmann, CEO of iTestCash, a counterfeit
money product testing retailer.

2. Take an improv class

Or, to find conferences that interest you,
search to find an event
relevant to your major.

Nearly every job in the world requires the
ability to think and speak on your feet. So
why not master this skill and have fun while
you’re doing it?
“From listening and responding, thinking
in the moment, and developing confidence
in speaking in a variety of social situations,
improv offers an awesome professional and
personal development opportunity that is
rivaled by none,” says Jen Brown, founder
of The Engaging Educator, an improv
education program in New York City.

3. Professionalize your social media

Remember those pictures you uploaded
from the party last weekend? You’d better
double-check that they aren’t public-facing.
One wrong impression can cost you the
opportunity for a job interview. But a strong
social media profile just might lead to a job.

“Before you reach out to even one person,
scrub your social media, untag yourself from
any and all ‘interesting’ posts, and Google
yourself,” suggests Carlota Zimmerman, a
career success strategist in New York City.
It isn’t just embarrassing pictures that
may raise red flags for recruiters or hiring
managers. One of the biggest turn-offs is
misspellings and grammar mistakes. So turn
on spell check and start editing.

4. Attend a conference

Attending a conference is a great way to
learn more about your target industry as
well as network with people who may be
able to help you get a job.

5. Read books relevant to your
desired field

While industry-related books might not
seem like ideal beach reading material, this
is something you can do for your career and
still enjoy a fabulous summer day. You won’t
just learn valuable information, you’ll also be
armed with conversation material for future
Looking for a place to start? Check out these
10 must-read books that promise to give
your career a boost.

6. Learn to code

For students not studying engineering or
computer science, learning to code might
seem daunting–and even unnecessary. But
today, with some skills you can learn in no
time, you can create an app of your own
to put in your portfolio and wow hiring
“Creating something demonstrates true
passion for your field, allows the interviewer
to make a real-life assessment and says
to a prospective employer that you are a
go-getter,” says Dawn Qi, founder of LadyQs.
com, a site dedicated to providing trusted
answers to questions from women. “Show
me your ingenious app, and I know you’ve
got what it takes.”

7. Travel abroad

Have you been looking for an excuse
to get away this summer? Consider us

your inspiration to book a last-minute
trip abroad. Traveling to a country with
different customs, languages, and way of
living adds perspective—and oftentimes—
unforgettable experiences. That said, don’t
book a week in Cancun just to sit on the
“On the resume side, a lot of companies,
whether startup or multinational, nonprofit
or for profit, value international experiences,”
says Kesselman. “It shows you understand
and appreciate diversity. Bottom line, that
experience will likely make you a better

8. Build an online portfolio

Today, getting a job offer requires more
than waving your diploma in front of
hiring managers. It often calls for an online
portfolio of work to demonstrate you can do
the job from the get-go.
A portfolio for design students might have
designs of different media—web banners,
infographics, etc. One for marketing
students might contain results from social
media campaigns or links to blogs.
“Create different versions of your portfolio
to highlight different talents for different
opportunities,” suggests Deb Everhart,
VP, design and innovation at Cengage, an
education and tech company.

9. Create your career manifesto

Yes, it is possibly your last summer of
freedom. So allow yourself to take time to
relax. “Reflect on the semester, on clubs,
a job, on friends,” says Jane Scudder, a

career coach at Career Contessa in Chicago.
“Reflection is a really little-taught skill but it
is so critical to success and happiness.”
It doesn’t necessarily mean daydreaming,
though. It can mean coming to terms with
what you want out of your career. You
might even want to create your own career
manifesto, a written declaration of career
intentions—a kind of road map for your job
search—that can help you stay focused and
get ahead.

10. Work on your resume

If you don’t have a professional resume,
you’ve got three months to create one
that’s good enough to impress any hiring
manager. Have a resume, but haven’t
updated it since last year’s internships?
Now’s the perfect time bring it up to date—
and maybe even give it a makeover.
As a start, “share your resume with someone
in your field of interest, and ask for their
editing help or suggestions,” says Amy
Cooper Hakim, a consultant at The Cooper
Strategic Group, an employment agency in
Boca Raton, Florida.
A quick and easy option is to take advantage
of Monster’s experts. Need some help finetuning the details of your resume? Get a free
resume evaluation today from the experts
at Monster’s Resume Writing Service. You’ll
get detailed feedback in two business
days, including a review of your resume’s
appearance and content, and a prediction
of a recruiter’s first impression. Think of it
as continuing education that can pay off
handsomely in the very near future.


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