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3 Tips for Advancing Your Career this Summer

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3 Tips for Advancing Your Career this Summer Summer is here and many people are gearing up for vacations. Time to trade in long hours at school or the office, for pool parties and flips flops, right? Wrong! With the great weather ahead, you may be tempted to spend the next two to three months kicking back and relaxing, but you may want to spend your time a little more wisely. While a little rest and relaxation is good, time off during the summer also provides a unique opportunity to spend some time preparing for your next career move. Whether you’re still in college or navigating through corporate America, here are a few ways that you can productively spend your not so lazy summer days. Educate Yourself Summer break is an ideal time to build your skill sets and enhance your value in the marketplace. Taking a course or a certification program is a great way to make your resume stand out, and can provide you with a targeted set of skills that will be appealing to current and future employers. If you’re looking to advance within your current company, find out which degrees or certifications may help you secure the position you are seeking. Check out free college courses on Coursera or enroll in a summer class at a local university. Students and professionals can also become certified in ethical leadership through the NASBA Center for the Public Trust’s Ethical Leadership Certification Program. Hone Your Networking Skills According to a study conducted by The Adler Group, up to 85 percent of jobs are now filled through networking connections. This means that it is vital to have a strong professional network to call on when it comes time to begin the search for your next job. Luckily, summer is a great time to begin building your rolodex of business cards. One way to do this is by setting up informational interviews with professionals in your field of interest. This type of meeting is an informal, exploratory conversation that provides insight into a particular job or field. Most universities have alumni relations or career services departments that can connect you with like-minded professionals. You may also want to consider reaching out to professionals through other avenues, such as fraternity and sorority networks, family friends or former classmates. Build Your Personal Brand When it comes to finding the right candidate to fill a position, more and more employers are looking beyond the resume. A recent study of HR professionals shows that 67 percent of hiring managers feel that a candidate’s online presence provides helpful insight when making employment decisions. Use your summer downtime to get ahead of this trend by developing a personal branding strategy. This can be as easy as creating a LinkedIn account. A personal website is also easy and affordable to create, using tools such as WordPress and Squarespace. Taking these personal branding actions give you control over your online presence and ensure the potential employers can gather further insight into your professional and academic activities. — Sydney Shearer Development & Student Programs Specialist, NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT)

Sydney Shearer