Many students graduating from college find themselves in a conundrum: businesses don’t want to hire them without experience, yet they can’t afford to take an unpaid internship to gain that necessary experience. Some of them may have been working so hard just to keep grades up and pay for college while they were enrolled that they weren’t able to work in a position that would’ve given them that experience. In circumstances like that, options are limited. Hopefully, if you’re a Utah college student, your summer schedule is a little more flexible. If you’re close to graduation or just need to pad your resume, try a few of these options.
- The Provo Library offers classes on Internet trends and programs. You can learn about social media, Internet safety, the Cloud, and other information that is valuable in any career that uses a computer. The classes are free and only an hour long.
- Brigham Young University offers free online classes that you can take at any time. Although most of the options are religious, there are also classes on study skills, mathematics, personal finance, government and politics, and spelling.
- iTunes U offers free lectures online. When professors teach classes in universities all over the world, including Yale, they record their lectures. That’s what you get to listen to for free at iTunes U. Listening to this podcast-like format is a lot like auditing a class in person, except you can do it anywhere! Classes are on a variety of subjects, such as math, history, biology, entrepreneurship, literature, and more.
- The Red Cross regularly offers health-related classes at a minimal cost ($30-60) in Utah County. Classes include lifeguarding, first aid, CPR, anaphylaxis, and more.
- Volunteering is always on every resume-building list, and there’s a good reason for that: volunteering really does look good to potential employers. You can try to volunteer for an organization or in a position that relates to your ambitions, or you can find something that you are passionate about. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s something you enjoy. Visit http://www.volunteermatch.org/ to find a variety of opportunities in Utah County.
- Unpaid internships can be difficult on struggling college students. However, they also give you more flexibility. If you find a business that you think you could learn from, inquire about internship opportunities. They may be very strict about what they expect from you in exchange for their knowledge, but that depends on each company. Some businesses might be grateful for extra help with busy work without having to pay for it. If you find a flexible business, it may be possible to only commit to a few hours a week.
- A fast typing speed is always a valuable skill to have, and it only takes practice to get there. Try websites like http://www.typingweb.com/ to work on your typing abilities.
- If you are an expert of a certain topic, you can write about it in a blog post and submit it to guest blogging websites for website owners to publish. There are free websites, such as FreeGuestPost.com, and then paid ones, like TextBroker.com. Although you won’t make much off of an opportunity like this, having an article of yours published on a trustworthy website can be brag-worthy in interviews. You can send the article to potential employers or list it on your LinkedIn profile to not only demonstrate your knowledge of the topic, but also to show versatility in your abilities.
- Join a relevant meetup at Meetup.com. There are plenty of meetup groups for people who just want to have fun and be adventurous, but there are also some in Utah County specifically for networking and learning new skills.
- Update your LinkedIn profile! Even if you aren’t yet looking for a job, keeping up with your LinkedIn account regularly will be a huge help when you are. Have a good profile picture, fill out as much of your profile as you can, and post statuses from time to time. It’s also helpful to join groups that are relevant to you; groups can be a good place to network and potential employers often look there for job candidates.
What are some ways you’ll be padding your resume this summer in Utah County? Let us know in the comments!