Michelle Adams, Staff Writer

Summer-long internships and jobs are great for gaining professional experience while in college, but sometimes it isn’t feasible to give up your entire summer to career-building. Make the most of your summer with these low-commitment resume builders.

#1: Get A Part-Time Job

If you’re looking for experience (and some extra cash), a part-time job is a great way to go. It's a minimal time commitment, and bi-weekly and weekly scheduling make it easier to request time off. Addtionally, you're building a resume and a reference list.

#2: Take an Online Class

If you want to get ahead in school or knock out a few of those pesky required courses, consider taking your education online this summer. The benefits of online learning far out weigh the traditional brick and mortar environment. The courses can be taken anytime, anywhere, and at your own pace, which will afford you the opportunity to work or travel during the summer months.

#3: Work on Your Summer Reading List

This doesn’t just include your personal literary canon. Instead of finishing up To Kill A Mockingbird and Gone With The Wind (although both are amazing novels), add career-focused pieces to your summer reading list. Finish books relevant to your industry and prepare for the job ahead. Plus, you can bring the books with you on the road. When it’s a path you love, it won’t feel like work. 

#4: Volunteer

One of the best things about volunteering is that you do it on your own time. Whenever you’re back from your day trips and vacations, you can head to a local animal shelter, food bank, or children’s club to help and make a difference in your community. Besides the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel, you’ll be happily building your reference list, with great people who may even have connections in local businesses. Try to find something related to your career path and something you enjoy, so you get the most out of your time helping others.

#5: Start (And Finish) A Personal Development Project

Your seasonal break is a great time to restart a project you’ve been delaying. Whether this means writing that novel or building your portfolio blog, you can work on your project little by little throughout the summer. That way, it isn’t a huge time commitment, and you can pace yourself to fit your schedule. Try to work specifically on something that typically falls at the bottom of your to do list. Without tests and homework, you’ll have a few spare minutes to work on a fun project for yourself!

There’s no reason not to make the most of your summer, even if you can’t commit to three months of full-time work. Whether you try one of these ideas or all five, you can better yourself, and your resume during summer break.