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Winter break. Get ahead of the game.

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Winter break is upon us and at last it's time for a few weeks of R & R.  You deserve it! Definitely recharge for the coming semester, but consider setting aside a block of time to get a jump on your job or internship search. You will have the opportunity to "focus" on your search without the pull of multiple demands once you are back on campus.   You will be glad you planned ahead once the crunch of the spring semester rolls around.  

Don't make it complicated. Start by reviewing "Manage your Job Search" or "Pursue an Internship" in the CEC Career Toolkit to get things rolling.  Following the CEC STEPS Career Development Plan, choose some of these simple activities to weave into your time off. 

Assessment: Get to know yourself

  1. Make a list of your strengths and accomplishments
  2. Ask family and friends what they see as your key strengths.  Review written evaluations
  3. Take SkillScan's Career Driver online to learn more about your skill sets and TypeFocus to explore your personality preferences

Exploration:  Research career opportunities

  1. Jump online to do some company research.  Go to the  Careers Research Guides to Careers on the library website and click on "Careers by Discipline" for resources
  2. Review some job postings to see who is looking for your skills
  3. Network!  Build new connections and reconnect with old ones.  Don't overlook family gatherings
  4. Set up some informational interviews to learn about your potential career path/industry.  It's slow now in most offices, so professionals will be especially willing to meet
  5. Research YOU by Googling your name.  Would potential employers be impressed?
  6. Check out "What Can I Do with this Major"

Preparation:  Develop marketing tools and refine career goals

  1. Take some time to revisit and update your resume and review cover letter guidelines
  2. Prepare and practice your "elevator speech" or two-minute "infomercial" to market yourself verbally when networking
  3. Review "Prepare for an Interview" and develop answers to the most common interview questions
  4. Plan your job search strategy and set goals and timelines for the upcoming semester
  5. Set up an appointment with a career coach after the first of the year.  The CEC reopens January 2

Implement:  Develop and implement your job search

  1. Search for jobs and internships on CareerLink, Simmons job posting board
  2. Look for internships that other students have done by going to Simmons' Peer Internship Network
  3. Apply for internships or jobs                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Putting the time in over winter break will give you a head start that will set you up for success in your search, while making your spring semester less stressful!  Enjoy your break and happy holidays!