Most of us jump for joy when the last bell of the school year rings, as summer is the time for fun, sleeping in and catching up with family and friends.  Summer can also be a great time to build your college resume.  Extra-curricular activities help to make you more desirable to colleges as they want students who are dynamic, active and involved.   So what could you be doing this summer that is fun and will help your future?

Here are some summer tips to help you build your college resume and also have your fun in the sun!

Find a local organization and volunteer your time.  Volunteer work will not only help out your community, it will also help to build your resume for future paid work.  Instead of thinking of it as “free” work, think about being paid with experience and skills.  When looking for the right organization to work with, think about the kind of job you may want to have in the future.  Seeing what people actually do in their professions provides great experience and may help you to figure out what you want to do with your future.   Ask family and friends about opportunities and also go online to our local volunteer center, which has an amazing database of possibilities.


Apply to local businesses to get a job that pays.  Do you need funds to support your summer fun? A paid summer job offers skills, experience for your resume and money at the same time.   There are many different ways to look for a job, but having a resume in hand is always a good idea.  Don’t be afraid to walk into businesses and ask if they are hiring.  Many places have more customers in the summer from tourism, so they may need more help.  The mall will also hire summer staff.  There are also programs to help you find work: and


Become an entrepreneur by creating your own job.    There are many tasks that need to be done and if you are reliable and responsible you can create your own business.  Some ideas include baby sitting, lawn mowing, pie baking, Facebook classes for those new to the site, etc.


Take a summer course.   High school students are welcome to take courses at the local college (SRJC) or in our community, providing a great opportunity to learn more about a subject that interests you.  Have you ever wanted to learn about green building?  How about alternative health?  Are you interested in pottery or painting?  There are also many courses on a variety of subject matters posted on bulletin boards and on-line.  Do some research for opportunities in your community.


Having the opportunity to travel can add a lot to your summer and your college resume.   Take the time to stay with an aunt (or other family member) on the East Coast and do a photo blog or volunteer for an organization there.  Take language courses or participate in a cultural activity.   Look at taking a Gap summer and traveling with a group overseas.

So, now that the bell has rung you have more time to seek out opportunities that are fun and provide professional experience too.   You may also get a lot of praise from your parents and community.