5 Career-Planning Activities to Tackle Over Summer Break

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Okay, before you freak out at the title, I know – summer’s supposed to be fun! It’s when you get to hang out with friends during the day, sharpen your Fortnite skills or just have a chance to relax after another crazy year.

But…

It’s getting closer to graduation. Another year under your belt means another year closer to finishing high school. And whether you plan on going to college or diving right into the workforce after you get that diploma, you’re going to need to polish that personal brand of yours.

So what are some constructive ways you can fine-tune your professional image? Well here are five things you can do

1. Set up a LinkedIn

I can’t stress this enough. Set up a LinkedIn! Do it as soon as you can. A LinkedIn is like a perma-resume that works for you even when you’re not at your computer. It acts as a record for all the places you’ve worked and gone to school

Not only that, but LinkedIn is an easy, fast way to apply for jobs online! Since your profile is pretty much your resume, you won’t have to worry about that part of the application process. LinkedIn also gives tons of work advice and tips on how to get hired. Their webinars and online courses are great for those taking their first steps into real, full-time work. Go sign up now

2. Update your resume

This should be easy if you set up your LinkedIn first. Use your profile as a guide, having a summary, skill set, work experience and education all organized onto a single page.

My Perfect Resume is a great site to use to update your resume. The online templates will help you keep the info organized and professional looking. Not to mention their website has an online job search engine and cover letter templates, too

3. Make your wardrobe ‘Shark Tank-ready’

Your business wardrobe should be nice enough that you could pitch to Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank! Trousers, jackets, blouses, dress shirts, simple dresses, pencil skirts, flats, dress shoes, ties, cufflinks – these should be on your shopping list the next time you visit the mall. Some great stores to hit would be TJ Maxx, Forever 21, JC Penney, and Kohl’s.

Black, dark blue, beige, and dark brown are all great, neutral colors that you can find business clothes in. Try not to get fancy with the colors, because that will just make you look unprofessional. You don’t want to have an interview scheduled, only to have to run to the store the day before because all you have is that sparkly suit or dress you wore to junior prom

4. Figure out your goals

Two months gives you a lot of time to think! As you’re on a coaster at Six Flags with your buds, think about whether or not engineering interests you. While you’re fishing with your dad, ask yourself if a game warden sounds cool to you. Try to figure out what you like and what you might want to do for the rest of your life!

Once you have a good idea of the career paths you might like, you can check out our online summer camps to give you a better idea of what specific jobs you should go for after graduating. If college is on your radar, knowing what jobs you want will help you pick a major quicker, too!

When the school year starts, you can also use this knowledge of your career goals to decide where you can intern or job shadow for your senior year – because chances are you’ll need to do one or the other to graduate

5. Work!

Sorry, but it’s something to think about! Not only are summer jobs a great way to earn some money, but gaining work experience as a teen will put you ahead of the pack! A solid amount of people start working after their teen years are over, so having a job or two under your belt by the time you start college is an awesome advantage to have.

Having work experience will also keep you from having to do more entry-level work after graduating. Nothing is worse than having a diploma in your hand (whether it’s from high school or college) and having to start at the bottom at your first serious job! Get some experience help you climb ladders faster.

So as you can see, you have plenty of opportunities this summer to really build your future career! You’re at the point in your life where you need to think about your future, and these are a few good places to start. And if you need some college prep resources, Career In STEM has a wide selection to help you out!

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