COVID-19 has brought about many unexpected circumstances. With the cancellation of many internships, college students may be wondering how they can continue to develop new skills for their future careers this summer. Here are some ways students can continue to build on their skill sets, even without an internship.

If you are looking to revamp your resume and learn valuable career skills, certifications are great assets to acquire. There are all sorts of online certifications ranging from learning basic graphic design skills to learning a new language. These courses can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks and allow you to work at your own pace. Although some come with a fee, Jobscan Blog and theCours are websites that highlight some of the best free certification courses to enhance your skills.

Another way to grow in your career is by beginning to build your brand. Branding yourself is all about figuring out your strongest assets and how to showcase them. Start by coming up with a list of key skills and goals you want to accomplish. Once those are defined, it is important to highlight them on all platforms.

A simple change you can make to your social media is updating your bio to contain personal, yet professional information. Including your school, studies and place of employment can spruce up your page. Changing the settings on social media platforms, like Instagram, to be a business account can allow users to track data. This can help someone learn when it’s best to post or what your followers tend to enjoy more. After some practice and research, it can help with trying to build your brand. To keep learning in other ways, try creating a profile for a social media you don’t have.

Another way to help develop a brand for yourself is by creating a website. This is a good way to present your portfolio. Your website should contain items such as contact information, a professional photo, projects or papers relating to your career, a résumé and a blog. Sites like Wix, Weebly and Wordpress are free and easy to use to create a website. Show off that new website by adding the link to your social media platforms. A last touch to building your brand is to create a logo that will give you a professional edge. Canva and Tailor Brands are simple sites to design a creative and professional logo.

Finally, take this summer as an opportunity to practice what you want to do. Although internships are an ideal setting to learn and immerse yourself in a future career setting, you can still practice skills you’ve learned thus far to create content for career development. 

No matter your major, there are plenty of skills to improve on in your freetime. Engineering students can brainstorm innovative ideas, film students can write a script, fashion students can design clothing and more. Whatever career you’re pursuing, practice and take time to grow within the field this summer.

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