School’s out, and you finally have some time to yourself – or at least you do when you’re not busy working and saving up for another fast-approaching school semester.
Summer isn’t just a time for you to make some extra cash. You should also take some time and focus on developing your skills and building your portfolio to prepare yourself for your career pursuit after graduation. Believe me, it’ll come sooner than you think!
Here are some tips for pumping up your portfolio this summer before homework and studying kicks in.
1. Add your school work
More than likely, you spent the last school year working away over lots of school assignments and projects. Although you may have thought it seemed “useless,” or figures it would have no value after it was returned back to you and marked, school work is a great addition to your portfolio.
Since you’ll probably be lacking in real world experience when you graduate, outstanding samples of your school work – such as projects or presentations – can be a great way to show potential employers what you’re capable of.
2. Make it digital
You’re probably thinking “easier said than done”. The truth is, it is pretty easy to turn your portfolio digital.
Digital portfolios are great because you can easily send them to potential employers through email or a link, as opposed to only having a physical copy that you can only show in-person. Plus, employers can keep digital copies on file, and refer back to them whenever they like.
Check out places like Wix, Square Space or WordPress and spend some time this summer creating an online portfolio and resume. Once you get the initial work done on this, it’ll be as easy to update it with new samples of work, and experiences as your acquire them.
3. Take on freelance projects
Is your portfolio looking a little bare? Building it up can be tough when you have to work a full-time job in the summer to help pay the bills and your education.
Some people are lucky to land summer jobs in their field, which means they’ll have great samples of work to add to their portfolio at the end of the summer. However, students that didn’t land a career-related summer job can still build their portfolio too.
Search websites like Freelancer, eLance or even social media networks to look for freelance opportunities that you can take on this summer. If you can, attend some networking events, as you never know who you may run into that is looking for some help. Even taking on a few small projects can go a long way!
Spending some time in your summers building your portfolio may seem like you’re planning ahead too early. But once you graduate and begin that job hunt, you’ll be happy to have a solid portfolio to set you apart from the crowd.