While they are preoccupied with academics, athletics, co-curricular activities, volunteer work, internships and a busy campus social life, it is very challenging for college students to devote the time needed to conduct an effective job search during the semester. For students who want to work summer or post grad jobs in locations far removed from their campuses it is hard to travel to these places to network and/or interview during a busy semester in additions to this. The semester break is a crucial time for students to ramp up their searches when they are freer to take the steps necessary to land good summer or post grad jobs in this difficult job market. So what can students (often with the help of families) to capitalize on this window of opportunity? It can be fun to think about where you'd like to spend your summer or start your career!  Research job openings in that location and apply to as many opportunities as possible once you have area of interest. Let employers know that you are available during break for an interview or even an informal meeting (if they are not yet conducting formal interviews) in case the location is far from your school.

How to job search during semester break

In case you will be abroad during the semester and not available to meet with employers during that time, this strategy will be particularly important. It is be equally important to identify employers in fields of interest even if you haven't seen any job ads from them since many jobs will not yet be advertised. As well as a variety of other resources research prospects, you can use local chambers of commerce and employer directories. Send a resume and a letter of interest or even visit some local organizations and inquire about summer or entry level opportunities. Traveling to check out new locations can be exciting. Think about family and friends in those areas who might allow you to stay with them for a couple of days while you conduct your meetings. Semester break is an ideal time to reach out to contacts in locations, fields and organizations of interest. To ask them for advice about your search, information about their field and suggestions about jobs and internships, use informational interviews. These meetings can often lead to job referrals and are a critical piece of any summer or entry level job search. Ask your college career and/or alumni office for a list of contacts in fields and geographic areas of interest. Parents can help by pulling together a list of family contacts to approach for informational interviews. Consider asking them if you could shadow hem or a colleague over break in case you identify any people eager to help. A shadow experience will give you great insight into the field and the opportunity to meet and make a favorable impression with lots of people on the inside of that organization.