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Professional Confessional

A blog providing tips and resources for life after college

Your Winter Break To-Do List – Part 2

Winter break is the perfect time to get ahead on the career development process. If you have already created and updated your resume and LinkedIn profile, you are ready to move forward with conducting informational interviewing and seeking job shadowing/internship experiences.

Here are some additional action items to consider completing during break:

1) Conduct informational interviews. A productive way to learn about a job, career, or industry is to speak with someone in the field. Get started by reaching out and connecting with alums through LinkedIn. Wake Forest alums are a wonderful resource for gathering information and connecting with a professional in the field. Use this list of questions (select the most appropriate questions) to discover more about the position, company, and industry. Don’t ask questions when you can find the answers on their website unless you need clarification. Always send a thank you note after the conversation!

2) Research and apply to internship or job opportunities. Now is the time to be researching and applying for internship/job opportunities on DeaconSource and other job databases.  Many internship applications have deadlines as early as mid-January. Companies will be posting jobs soon after you return from break. The “Find an Internship” and “Find a Full-Time Job” pages on our website has a multitude of resources to aid in your search.

3) Seek job shadowing experiences or a mini internship. Job shadowing allows you to experience a day in the life in a position or industry that you may want to pursue. A mini internship provides you with experience in the industry and an opportunity to develop skills. Both are great ways to add to your work experience. Make the most of your experience by following these great tips. Remember you will meet individuals who are professional networking contacts. After the experience, follow-up with your contact(s) by writing a thank you note.

4) Give back to your community. The holiday season offers many opportunities to give back to the community. Volunteering at a local non-profit will provide assistance to those in need, add to your resume, and build your professional network. Seek positions and/or responsibilities relevant to the skills you want to develop relative to your career interest. Most importantly, focus your energy towards helping those in need.

5) Be social. The season is filled with social opportunities from dinners, parties, to visiting with friends and family. These are unique, safe environments to practice your elevator pitch. When appropriate, share your career interests and goals. The conversations may lead to helpful information for future reference. You never who may be listening that can provide timely advice and leads for internship/job openings. It is a natural space to build your network.

6) Prepare for the Career and Internship Fair. On Wednesday, January 22th from 12-4 pm, employers representing a wide variety of industries will be on campus to meet with students about a myriad of internship and career opportunities. Update your resume with your current GPA, study abroad experience and extracurricular activities. Research your career interests. Prepare and practice your elevator pitch. Purchase a suite to wear to the career fair and interviews. Refer to the “Interview Attire” page on our website if you have questions about appropriate attire for the event and interviews.

Check back next week for one more action item for your winter break to-do list.

Category: Professional Development

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