By: Gracie Covarrubias, DePaul University organizational and multicultural communication major ’18 and Career Center communications assistant
Among the many perks of DePaul’s quarter system is the six-week winter break; an opportune time to fast track career success by revamping your personal brand and tying up career-related loose ends you’ve put off all quarter. With that said, we’ve compiled a list of four simple things you can do this break—in between rounds of Netflix and holiday get-togethers—to maximize your free time.
Polish your LinkedIn profile
Being a LinkedIn superstar is a title not many can claim. There’s always something to be added, edited or endorsed. As a general rule of thumb, when it comes to LinkedIn, if you initiate, others will reciprocate. For example, if you go through your connection list and begin endorsing your peers for the skills you know they possess, they are likely to respond by endorsing you in return. The same goes for recommendations; if you’re not already connected with previous and current employers and coworkers, connect with them and write a recommendation on their behalf based on the work experiences you’ve shared. Get into the holiday spirit by giving as much warranted praise as you can on LinkedIn, there’s no doubt it’ll come back to you.
Visit the Career Center
Just because school is out for winter break doesn’t mean that the Career Center is; in fact, the Career Center operates from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, throughout break. In one simple visit you can chat with peer career advisors (PCAPS) to get your resume looked at or you can meet with your advisor to discuss upcoming job opportunities and go over job and internship search strategies. Won’t be in the city over break? No problem, PCAPS are available for online resume reviews. Plus, the Career Center website offers a unique online chat forum to connect with PCAPS.
Please note: The Career Center will be closed during the holidays, from December 23rd to January 1st. Regular office hours will resume Monday, January 2nd.
Build a digital portfolio
Admit it, free time during break usually means extra screen time. Well, what better way to maximize your favorite online platforms than by developing a digital portfolio? You get that screen time you desire, all while doing something majorly productive—win-win, right? If you’re willing to invest a bit of time upfront to build your digital portfolio, you’ll see long-term payoff. Register for a personal site with WordPress or Wix, for example, and start organizing a comprehensive list of your work for potential employers. Check out Career Advisor Michael Elias’ beginners guide to crafting digital portfolios for more tips.
Take personality assessments
Looking for a productive alternative to BuzzFeed quizzes this break? Take a crack at common personality assessments that are actually used in the workplace. One of the more well known assessments utilized by human resources gurus is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). A condensed version of the assessment can be found at 16Personalities. Other popular alternatives include Gallup’s StrengthsQuest and Marston’s DISC Assessment. Spend some time this break identifying your key strengths and personality traits. Remember, the more you understand yourself, the easier it is to convey to potential employers what you bring to the table.
Regardless of what you’re up to this break, be sure to squeeze in time for career development! Stop by the Career Center for more tips and tricks on curating the most productive break possible.