Don’t Put Your Career on Ice: Tips for Maximizing Winter Break For Your Job Search
by Joseph Kearney
Associate Director, Career Services Office
Finals are over and that delightful December calm has spread out over campus. Ahead are festive weeks of time to spend with friends and family. Surely, your career search can be put on hold until January, right?
Wrong! Though it is certainly important to take some time to rest and rejuvenate after the stress of finals subsides, the time off also affords a unique opportunity to “get ahead” in your job search. No matter how close to graduation you are, here are a few tips.
Update your resume
For those of you who worked this semester, the relatively slower time of December and early January is perfect to make relevant updates. First semester 1Ls should be sure to have a resume ready to go even if they have not yet had legal experience.
Don’t forget to use the CSO’s Job Search Guide to aid you in creating descriptive bullet points detailing your experience in the most substantive way possible. If you do not have a paper copy of the guide during break, you can find a version online at: http://www.jmls.edu/career-services/pdf/resumes.pdf.
Don’t forget to email an updated version to your counselor when you are done to get additional perspective.
Check Symplicity Regularly
Though the volume of postings sometimes decreases during the holiday season, Symplicity is a great resource, even if you are not immediately in the job market, or have something lined up for the Spring Semester.
Talk to your counselor about postings of interest as he or she may have more information about a given position that could be shared. Also, winter break is a great time to check out the “Documents Library” tab in Symplicity, which has a variety of lists and resources to explore.
Be Aware of Networking Opportunities
Holiday parties and family gatherings can also be wonderful networking opportunities in disguise. That second cousin with whom you had lost touch might be able to share useful information with you about your dream organization, or be able to put you in touch with someone who can.
While you certainly don’t want to “overdo it,” being open to discussing your goals and ambitions at gatherings with family and friends can bear fruit for your job search. Just remember to hone your elevator pitch beforehand!
Visit your Career Counselor!
Finally, although the Career Services Office will be closed briefly around the holidays (at press time, the exact dates were not available, so check in with the office in early December), your counselor will otherwise be available to answer your questions and offer advice during the winter break.
Relax and Enjoy!
Okay, once you’ve diligently done at least some of the above, enjoy your break. We will look forward to seeing you back on campus in January, rested and ready to tackle your next challenges!
-Your CSO team