Congratulations you have completed the fall 2012 fall semester!  You think it is time to kick back and enjoy the holidays; not fully think again.  The holidays are also the perfect time to explore internship and job opportunities and much of this can happen without leaving the comfort of home or while visiting family and friends for the holidays.

It is very tempting to come to a full stop and just relax over the holidays, but ignoring the internship and job market over the holidays can be a big mistake.  December is a great time to reach out to perspective employers, former employers, and professionals knowledgeable about fields you wish to pursue for guidance perhaps even hard leads.  We might be on break, but most professionals are at work.

HR and career development specialists know, “workplaces that are open will typically be quieter, which is an ideal time to make that connection by phone, email or even setting up an in-person meeting, says Laurie Ruettimann, a human-resources consultant from Raleigh, N.C. “You’re not competing with the regular rush of business. Just remember that many people work half days during the holidays or may work from home.”

Make the most of your holiday break by conducting informational interviews with professionals in a field that you wish to pursue; make in-person applications for summer internships; volunteer at an organization where you want to become known; send holiday messages to former teachers, supervisors, and other friends to tell them how you are progressing with your degree and seek their advice about how to use your summer; give your elevator pitch to family, friends, and even strangers at holiday parties; follow-up with employers you are already speaking with about jobs; and, build or enhance your LinkedIn account.

The Loyola break can pass very quickly and we certainly want you to get a break, but just know that finding a way to have equal amounts of relaxation, social time, and strategic career-related activities can be the best gift you give yourself this holiday season.  Have fun, stay safe, and get a jump start on your summer plans.

Ready to get started?  Use these tips to help you make the most of the holiday break:

The Informational Interview:  http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/careers/students/learn-about-careers

The Elevator Speech:  http://www.careerealism.com/how-impressive-elevator-pitch

Networking: http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/careers/students/networking

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