Sure, summer is a time to relax and enjoy yourself, but it’s also an ideal time to do something productive in terms of your future. These are five fairly basic, but hopefully helpful, tips for how you can build up your resume. My hope is that these tips are the less obvious suggestions that you haven’t yet thought about. The obvious way is by getting a part time job and building up your work experience in that respect.

1. Volunteer work in your community

I hate to speak on behalf of all high school students, but some that I know participate in community service for the required hours only. I personally find the entire process of volunteer work really rewarding because it manages to make your resume look good while you simultaneously help people out. Colleges like to see students who go above the minimum and are involved not only the school, but also the community. Obviously, colleges look at other things aside from this, but you can’t forget the importance of volunteering as well. Summer is the ideal time to do this because you don’t have homework to worry about and you typically have more time on your hands.

2. Building connections

Research and discover more information about those that are involved in fields that interest you or that you want to do later on down the road. If you’re not sure what field you want to go into yet, that’s not a problem. Just focus on several different ones that you find enjoyable and see who you could contact. For example, if you want to have a career in journalism, then you could reach out to some journalists and ask them more about the job. This might not seem all that important right now, but it gives you the chance to build up your connections. You could possibly use them as references on a resume later if you build that relationship to the best of your ability.

3. Think about what clubs you want to join

Another thing that looks good on resumes is if you’re apart of many clubs and organizations in high school. It’s obviously best if you join these clubs your freshman year, but it shouldn’t be the worst thing if you join it later on in your high school career. During the summer, you have the chance to open up your yearbook and look at the club pages. You can then look at all the members and consider whether or not you want to join that club. I suggest making a list of at least three or four clubs that you want to join. Don’t overbook yourself completely, but at least make an effort to put yourself out there.

4. Make a list of new references

If you have made a resume in the past, you probably have a list of references that you faithfully rely on. It can be easy to rely on that trusty list of three or four contacts for every resume or job application that you fill out. It might be a good idea to think about some other people that you have yet to consider. This can be a nice way to go outside of the box and think about different contacts who you can call on. Make sure these are people who are well aware of your work ethic and what you are capable of doing. Being versatile and establishing different people makes you look like a better more rounded student.

5. List everything that makes you special and stand out

There are tons of students that have probably participated in just as many activities as you. Therefore, you need to be able to offer something special. That’s what will ultimately make colleges accept you. During the summer, the best thing that you can do is make a list of about 10-20 qualities, leadership roles, skills, community service, jobs, projects you led, etc. that makes you look better. Making an ultimate list like that is useful because you can see how far you’ve come throughout your high school career.

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