Whether you’re going on a trip, relaxing with family, or making some extra cash, you probably already have a ton of plans for winter break. However, winter break is the PERFECT time to get a jumpstart on your job search because you don’t have to worry about classes, homework, or other school-related obligations. Make this break a productive one by doing the following job search activities:

Creating a "master" resume.

When you apply for jobs, you don’t have a ton of time to waste. In fact, if an opportunity presents itself, you want to apply as soon as possible. However, it’s important to customize your resume for each opportunity. This is where people typically run into problems. They try to create a resume from scratch whenever they apply for a job, which is insanely time consuming.

Instead, create a “master” resume that has ALL of your experience, skills, and accomplishments. That way, you can just copy and paste the most relevant content into a template, which will save you a TON of time each time you apply for a job.

Nailing down your branding statement.

You use your branding statement every time you introduce yourself at business functions. Essentially, it’s a statement that describes who you are, what you do, and what you want to do next. Create a brief statement that articulates all of this information, so it’s easy (and natural) to use when you introduce yourself to people at networking events.

Creating a company list.

Instead of applying to random companies online, be more strategic. Figure out what companies you’d LOVE to work for in the future, and make a list of your 10 favorites. This will act as a “map” in your job search. When you know your “targets,” it’s easier to focus on the high-payoff activities that will get you a job (i.e. networking with the right people, researching the right companies, and so on).

If you need more help building your career strategy, book an appointment with Longwood University Career Services and work with a career coach.

About the Author

Ariella Coombs

Over the last 4 years, Ariella has been creating fun, yet educational blog posts and videos to help professionals build the career lifestyle they want. Her work has been featured in 12+ online publications, including TeenVogue, Business Insider, H&R Block, USA TODAY College, and more. One day, she hopes to host my own TV or web show for career-minded millennials.

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