How to Have a Productive Thanksgiving Break…

The long awaited Thanksgiving break is finally upon us! After a few days of catching up on sleep and recharging, doing laundry (thanks mom!), hanging out with your friends and family, and watching endless TV those SVU marathons will get redundant.  Now is a perfect time to do a little personal branding makeover before the internship search picks up!

Here are a few easy tasks you can accomplish during Thanksgiving break (and winter break as well) to enhance your personal brand and make you the top candidate for internships and jobs.

  • Create an online portfolio

An online portfolio is a great way for recruiters to see all of your work without overloading your résumé. For those of you, like me, who aren’t HTML savvy, I suggest using www.weebly.com or www.wix.com.  I use Weebly, and I love the variety of templates it gives you to create a website design you want. Collect all of your clips and scan in the work you think best showcases your skill set. A PDF of your résumé and your contact information is important too.

  • Update your LinkedIn

Utilize your LinkedIn profile as a more detailed résumé. Make sure your LinkedIn Profile picture is a professional headshot. Update your information on LinkedIn, making sure your information and dates for internships and positions are current. Remember, when requesting to connect with someone on LinkedIn, personalize the request message—do not leave it as generic. You could include how and where you met the person, but employers have said they tend to ignore any generic LinkedIn requests.

  • Clean Up Your Social Media

If you have one Twitter account that you use for personal and another one for professional, clean it up. This recent NY Times article discusses the influence of applicants’ social media usage on college acceptance. This applies to internships and jobs too. It is also possible to create a separate professional Twitter account that you only use for your professional life, but employers can still search and find your personal Twitter account. Bottom line, be careful what you tweet.

  • Compile all of your connections

Through your classes, different organizations on campus and your internships, you have met a lot of different people who you may or may not realize could help you with furthering your career. Networking is key in communications and the internship/job search, so make a spreadsheet of who you think would be a good resource for advice about internship or job guidance. Include their name, what company they work for, how you met them, and their contact information. This will help you figure out who to contact when you’re not sure where to start! Happy networking!

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