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Top 4 Things Your Student Should Do Over Winter Break

The fall semester will come to an end this week and finals will be over before you know it. The holidays are a great time for your student to recharge after finals; however, it can also be a great time to begin to look into summer internships or job opportunities. Consider this list of four things your student can do to make the most out of their winter break.

1. Resume Updates

Winter break is a great time to refresh and revise one’s resume and will save them time during the semester when classes start to pick back up. For tips on how to update a resume check out the Career Center’s Resume and Cover Letter Handout. Your student can also make an appointment to have their resume checked by a Career Peer or Career Advisor when they return to campus. Having an updated resume will make the internship and job application process that much easier in the spring. Once your student has finished updating his or her resume, encourage them to take a few minutes to create or update their LinkedIn profile and join the Washington University Alumni Group if they haven’t already. WUSTL alumni continue to serve as great resources to our students!

2. Explore CAREERlink

Encourage your student to browse the Career Center’s web-based recruiting platform! CAREERlink is where local and national employers post over 5,000 jobs, internships and co-op opportunities each year for Washington University students. In addition to newly posted positions, CAREERlink also gives our students free access to valuable online resources such as Vault, a career information website that provides employee surveys of top employers, career advice, job listings, and career guides to individual industries. If your students has never used CAREERlink before encourage your daughter or son to look at our help section for students. They may also drop by during our walk-in hours Monday through Friday, 10am – 5pm.

3. Make a List of Companies of Interest

Compiling a list of companies of interest will be extremely helpful next semester when they begin the summer internship or job application process. Your student can then bring this list to a Career Advising appointment to create a strategy on how to tactfully reach out to these organizations. Whether it’s their product, their service, or their company culture, it’s important to familiarize oneself with an organization before applying. Showing the recruiter how much you already know about their company goals and values will make a lasting impression. Our Career Advisors are an excellent resource for your student during this process. Encourage them to make an appointment and bring their list! Here are some sites that provide helpful tools to discover insider information on several employers: http://careercenter.wustl.edu/tools/resources/Pages/Research.aspx.

4. Network, Network, Network

The last and most important task your student can do over winter break is to network! Encourage your child to schedule informational interviews over break to expand their professional network and learn more about the different career options that interest them. Check out the Career Center’s advice on networking here. As a parent, you can also be a fantastic resource and help your student connect with colleagues, neighbors, family friends, and other helpful resources. As mentioned before, the LinkedIn Washington University Alumni Group is a great place for your student to start the networking process. Learn how you can open up your own network for your child here.

For more information on how to make the most of one’s winter break, click here.

We wish every student, friend, and family member of Wash. U. a safe and happy holiday season and look forward to welcoming your students back in the new year!