How to Help Your Future Career with Your Summer Job

While landing a summer job or internship in your field can do wonderful things for your resume, there are far more long-term benefits to these opportunities than adding another bullet point to your list of experiences. Any time your line of work is involved, from meeting a  new contact, to working temporarily at your dream company, you have the opportunity to help move your career forward. Check out this list of tips on how you can seize these opportunities at your internship or job this summer!

Save Everything:

If you’re spending this summer assisting an advertising company, assuming you have permission, save copies of what you worked on. If you have to give a presentation to a group of people this summer, save all of the materials. If you came up with a list of ideas for a project that got pulled before you could even share your thoughts on it, don’t toss out the legal pad! By saving everything you’re working on, you’re creating the contents of a polished portfolio that will highly benefit you at your next big interview. By saving your ideas and thoughts from a variety of projects, you’ll have a well of inspiration for future similar projects.

Make Contacts (And Keep Them):

During your time spent at your summer job or internship, try to meet as many people as you can, as well as you can. Get their contact information so you can stay in touch when you’re back in school.  Update them periodically on your life and your achievements. When graduation comes, these will be the people who may be able to point you in the direction of a job opening, and it doesn’t hurt to have them on your side.

Get Letters of Recommendation:

Before you leave to go back to college at the end of this summer, have your employer write you a general letter of recommendation. This will allow you to have one on file when you need it, and it will likely be written well, having your capabilities and achievements fresh in the writer’s mind. If you wait a few months or even a few years to ask for it, they may say no, the letters won’t be as specific or accurate, or worse, they may have trouble remembering who you are.

Get Advice:

One of the best benefits you can get out of your summer job or internship is advice from those who are already in the real world, doing what you want to do. Pick the minds of a variety of people there, from those at the top of the hierarchy who have been around for a while, as well as those only a few years older than you. They’ll be able to tell you how to break into the field, what can best prepare you for an entry-level job, and other secrets that may not have reached the academic realm just yet.

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