6 ways to focus on your career this summer

female first year student wearing a face mask and holding a backpack on ASU campus

By: Julia Tebben, assistant director, Career and Professional Development Services 

Students often get so caught up in the grind of the semester that when a break comes along, they find themselves at a bit of a loss for how to use their time. This summer, I recommend you set aside some of your time for professional preparation. Start with these six quick ways to start focusing on your future career:

  1. Check off career milestones. Find the career center’s recently updated career milestones on My ASU under Campus Services in the Career Planning box, or on the ASU Mobile App. The milestones are easy-to-follow stepping stones built to help launch your future plans. They include recommended steps every student should take before graduation to become career ready. The best part? It's more than just a checklist. Each milestone provides suggestions for resources to use, activities to try and events to take advantage of that are tailored to your career interests.

  2. Reflect on your interests. If you have time to take a step back this summer and really consider your goals and interests, use it. Remember, your major is just one piece of the larger puzzle. Take some time to review the Career Interest Communities to see which types of opportunities speak to you and your long-term goals.

  3. Bulk up your experience. Professional experience can mean a lot of things, from skills you learned while studying abroad to a part-time job, internship, volunteer role, job shadow or research, to name a few. What’s important is that you find experience in your areas of interest in order to gain transferable skills and build your professional network. Learn more about how you can gain necessary resume skills and how to translate your past experiences to your resume.

  4. Update your resume (and get help). If you haven’t created a resume yet or want to update your current one, you’ve come to the right place. The career center has tons of resources to get you started, including helpful videos, handouts and sample resumes. Once you have a draft, submit it for a review by our career experts. You can bring your resume to drop-in hours or submit your materials to the 24/7 resume dropbox (you’ll receive feedback in three to five business days). 

  5. Activate (and complete) your Handshake profile. ASU’s Handshake is the number one way college students get hired. But it’s not just for those nearing graduation. With Handshake, you can search for jobs and internships, find career-related events, explore organization profiles, get an inside look at employers and jobs through student reviews, and moreAnd here’s our not-so-secret secret: Recruiters are five times more likely to reach out to someone with a completed profile. So what are you waiting for? Activate your account (use your asurite@asu.edu login at asu.joinhandshake.com), complete your profile and start exploring.

  6. Grow your network. The importance of a strong professional network cannot be overstated, but it shouldn’t be overwhelming either. Start small with short informational interviews with a staff member at an organization you're interested in, or by scheduling a conversation with one of the hundreds of volunteer mentors on the ASU Mentor Network

It’s our goal to make it easy for you to further your career goals during your busy summer schedule (even if you’re just busy relaxing). Give one or all of these ideas a try this summer, and remember that our team at Career and Professional Development Services is here to support you year-round, both in person and virtually.

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