In a flash, it’s August and the summer season is quickly winding down. For those of you who chose to intern this year, your time learning from mentors, completing tasks efficiently, and hopefully gaining beneficial work experience is nearly at its conclusion. Make sure to savor each moment these last few weeks before returning back to school!
With many years of experience hiring entry-level candidates for high-demand positions, I can definitively state that summer internships provide a tremendous advantage for job seekers. Those who have interned gain an understanding of what it takes to perform successfully in the professional environment, develop important skills, and are able to quickly immerse themselves in their new full-time role.
Although not all internships offer the same experience, (Perhaps you didn’t learn a single thing even after sipping your hundredth cup of coffee!) With summer ending, now is the time to make sure you maximize all of your experiences! Here are three simple steps that will help ensure you get the most out of this season:
1. Refresh your resume and LinkedIn profile in order to boost your job prospects.
After a rewarding internship, you may be itching to take time off and relax; however, now is the ideal moment to update your resume and LinkedIn profile while recent experiences are still top-of-mind.
To begin, create a detailed “master list” of all your accomplishments and tasks from this summer. Make sure to store it in an easily accessible document as you never know when these experiences may become useful for future job applications! Having this information handy will save you time and effort should there come a need to reference them down the road.
When you include your summer responsibilities on your resume, make sure each point is eye-catching and specific. For example, instead of simply saying “Took notes during weekly meetings,” try something like this: “Managed action items for weekly team meetings with over 15 members to ensure accurate organization and communication.” Be honest in your writing but never downplay the significance of what you’ve achieved.
To maximize the impact of your summer internship experience on your LinkedIn profile, consider adding a brief description of what you did. By doing so, recruiters who are looking to hire proactively (even for entry-level roles) will be able to get a better idea and gain more insight into your past experiences. A few details can make all the difference!
2. Express your gratitude.
All of the people who made your summer a success, from recruiters and program directors to managers, deserve recognition for their hard work. Taking even just a few minutes out of your day to express gratitude and show appreciation can have an immense impact on strengthening relationships—so don’t forget to say thank you!
Showing your appreciation to those who have supported you is an essential gesture of kindness and respect. A handwritten note, a small gift, or even an in-person conversation are all wonderful ways to express gratitude as you say your goodbyes.
3. Keep in communication.
Don’t let the meaningful connections you made this summer diminish away! From your colleagues, manager, and people you collaborated with on projects – these valuable relationships should not be forgotten. You never know who will come in handy for a future career opportunity or even someone that you can help out with down the line as well!
Devise a plan to remain connected and reach out every couple of months in order to fortify these relationships (it’s wise to schedule calendar invites right away). If you are aware that your team has tasks they need assistance with, whether remotely or during school holidays, don’t be hesitant when it comes time to give them a helping hand. Don’t let the first contact after some time apart consist solely of asking for something like an introduction, recommendation, or even employment opportunities; instead, make sure you stay up-to-date and offer your services where relevant.
Utilizing LinkedIn to keep track of your professional connections is an excellent way to stay abreast of what people are doing and be informed if they ever change positions or companies. I strongly suggest using it for organizing your new professional contacts!
Reflect on your summer experiences, both good and bad, to find ways in which you can use them as an asset. Utilize what you’ve learned by sharing stories of success or resilience with others and prioritize connection-building within your professional network. Best of luck!
Jaime Petkanics, Founder & Job Search Consultant of The Prepary authored this post. Prior to starting her own business, Jaime had seven years of experience in Recruiting and Human Resources fields. Now she helps clients find their dream jobs and progress in their respective careers. If you want to learn more about working with Jaime, click here!