Thursday, March 19, 2015

Finding an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Summer Experience

It’s Spring Break!  Are you thinking how you’ll spend the summer?  Here are some useful tips to help you design a summer work experience that will sharpen your skills, build your CV, and broaden your horizons.

Your first task is to figure out what posting is right for you.  Consider these questions: Where do you want to go?  What skills do you want to build?  What kind of income do you need?  How much time do you have?

And most importantly, what do you love to do?

A summer internship, research position, or job can lay the groundwork for a career, so be creative – and proactive.  Mentors in your program can help you search and may have contacts to pass along.  Many program websites have resources for summer internships and work-study opportunities. 

Try to start your search early, so that you can cast a wide net and develop a finished cover letter and CV.  You may need transcripts and reference letters, so reach out to your professors as soon as possible.   A simple spreadsheet in Excel or Word can help you keep track of deadlines and materials. 

Your CV and cover letter should include basic information, including updated contact details.  Follow the three C’s: Concise, Clear, and Consistent.  Think of your CV and cover letter as a presentation of your skills and abilities.  Open your cover letter with a formal solicitation, and close with a thank you.  Remember: proofread, proofread, proofread!  Nothing derails an application faster than spelling and grammatical errors.  

When you interview, be sure to dress the part – no jeans or sneakers.  Arrive on time or a few minutes early.  If you can, research the organization and job ahead of time, so you know what questions you will likely be asked.  The more prepared you are, the more professional you’ll seem.  And don’t forget to smile! 

Check out these sites for more tips and leads.

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