So maybe you didn’t land that dream internship you’ve been wanting all year. You may be discouraged that you’re not working your ideal summer job. Sure, it might not involve sun and sand, but there are ways to not totally waste your summer break. Instead of feeling hopeless, make sure you’re proactive about your career using these helpful tips.

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1. Update Your LinkedIn
You’ve likely been busy all school year focusing on your studies. Now that it’s summer, you have plenty of time to renovate your LinkedIn. Update your professional profile by editing your profile picture, expanding your resume, updating your contact information, and adding new connections. With a new and improved profile, it will expand your network with other professionals. Employers will like your clean and polished profile. Sure, maybe you didn’t get that “perfect” internship this summer, but with a great LinkedIn profile it can help you land one in the future.

2. Stay Connected
Did you go on countless interviews for jobs and internships this summer? Make sure you follow up with employers to make a lasting impression. Send them a thank you card or email to show your interest and gratitude. Employers will appreciate the effort of this small and easy gesture.

3. Take Summer Classes
If couldn’t find a job or internship, don’t just sit at home. It’s never too late to sign up for a summer course. Whether it’s through your school or another local university, see if you can fast track your studies. Taking summer classes can knock out some requirement classes or even fill in as electives. While they may be expensive, see if you can find a scholarship to help pay for the course. It can even help you graduate earlier than expected.

4. Volunteer
If you don’t feel like studying over your summer break, donate your time to a volunteer activity. Channel your passion through helping others, whether it’s teaching students, working at an animal shelter, or offering your services at a nursing home. There are businesses in your area that are actively looking for volunteers to help with daily activities. Not only does it look great on a resume for future employers, but it also allows you to give back to your community.

5. Find a New Hobby
If you’ve got extra time on your hands, channel your energy into learning something new. Finding a new hobby can be an educational and fun way to pass the summer days. Grab your friends and try a new activity together!

Dreams don’t work unless you do. Make sure you take control of your summer break by working to expand your career and improving yourself for the better.

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