Top 5 Things to Do over Winter Break

Winter break is a precious two weeks for corps members.  We get to see our families and friends and share our experiences about what our five months of service so far has brought us.  However, a common question, “What are you doing next?” adds pressure during an already stressful year.
To combat that, we’ve compiled the top 5 things you should do during winter break in order to prepare yourself, for the next step.
1. Find a proof reader
Do you have someone in your family who doesn’t understand what City Year really is? What about someone that hires employees (a business owner, HR representative, manager etc)? Show them your resume, cover letters, personal statements, etc. to see if they understand your story and your duties.  Think of them as someone who may be looking at your application materials and get their honest opinions. If you can clearly convey what your service year is to them, other people will understand it as well
Here is a link to common verbs used in resumes.

2. Send holiday updates

The holidays are a great excuse to catch up! E-mail your references, mentors, and people whose career advice you may want in the future.  Let them know what you are up to in the District and how it is impacting you.  Talk about your next steps (or what you are thinking your next steps may be) and make sure to ask what they are doing too!

Here is a link to Do’s and Don’ts of getting references

3. Find your old writing samples

Oftentimes applications will ask you for writing samples.  Sort through your old files, whether they be hard copy or electronic, and find the papers you felt best about.  Compile them so you can easy shoot off an electronic copy with an application whenever needed.

4. Connect with your parents’ friends

We all know that going to your parents holiday parties aren’t the most riveting thing to do over winter break, but it is a great time to get people interested in what you are doing.  Your parents may not have the job that you want, but there is a possibility that their friends may.  Doing a year of service is something that many will be interested in hearing about.   Use that opportunity to talk yourself up and develop a connection with someone you may want to rely on in the future.

Come back on the 23rd for our Do’s and Don’ts of Networking

5. Update yourself

Take this time to really think about what you need to do to make yourself an ideal candidate. Whether that be updating whatever form of social media you use, resumes, cover letters, wants from a future position, etc. really take the time to think about it.  Then think about concrete tasks you can complete to get there!

Here are some tools to use for long term goal planning.


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