Skipping Cancun for Cover Letters

For Temple students, Spring Break officially starts tomorrow. While a few of my friends may be skipping the colder Philadelphia weather for bikinis and sandy beaches, I know several others who are using this next week to catch up on their job search. With many of us so bogged down by classes, internships, jobs and student organizations, Spring Break is the perfect chance to get in gear for the job hunt. Here are a few ways home-bound seniors can spend their Spring Break productively:

1. Perfect Your Resume.
Putting together a great resume takes a lot of time. Use this as a chance to read up on a few blogs about ways to spice up your resume and really make it pop. Make sure you’re including links to your social profiles such as Twitter (only if you’re active and professional), LinkedIn and your personal website if you have one. Also make sure you are quantifying your previous experiences. Here’s an article from Come Recommended on ways to get your resume noticed.

2. Learn the Art of the Cover Letter. Often times, the cover letter is the most important document you submit for an application. It’s the employer’s first impression of you and you need to wow them. Cover letters also take a lot of time to put together because you should tailor each letter to each different job. Here is a great article on how to write a “knock ’em dead” cover letter from US News.

3. Link in with your LinkedIn. I know I created a LinkedIn account for myself a few years ago, and until about a week ago, it still said my profile was only 90% complete because there were missing fields I wasn’t taking advantage of such as writing a summary about myself or including searchable keywords about my skills. I now have a complete profile, but there are so many components to the site all job seekers should be taking more advantage of such as joining groups and participating in forums. Corn on the Job has a great post about 5 Ways to Boost Your LinkedIn Profile.

4. Phone a Friend. I’m told by everyone I know that when it comes to the job search, its all about who you know. Take advantage of your professional network. Call up a mentor and see if you can treat them to coffee or lunch during the week so you can get advice and see if they have any insight about potential opportunities. Mentors are incredibly important during the job search process because they’ve experienced everything you’re going through and can offer valuable advice on how to be successful.

So yes, while a pina colada and the beaches of Cancun may sound more appealing than looking for a job, just remember sometimes you need to work hard before you can play hard.

1 thought on “Skipping Cancun for Cover Letters

  1. This is a terrific post, Niki. As much as having fun is an important part of life, focusing on your much more important next step trumps the beach. Spring break is a perfect time to set up in-person chats with mentors and/or potential job possibilities.

    I'd also add one more to this list. Tweak and perfect your pitch. Who are you, what do you do, etc.?

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