Summer break … two words that are music to a college student’s ears. While it’s nice to get a break from the books, don’t overlook the opportunity that awaits you with a great summer job!

More than mad money in your pocket, the right summer job will give you something meaningful to put on your resume—and that will mean more than you know once you have graduated and a prospective employer asks you about your past experience. While sleeping in and nice tan lines may count as a valuable summer experience to some, it is not going to impress an employer

Here’s my advice to you. Start making your summer job plans now. Get your resume and cover letter ready and map out a list of up-and-coming job fairs. Visit your university’s career center and scope out the latest opportunities. Make your own wish list of jobs and skills you want to acquire and start networking now. The more proactive and intentional you are about finding valuable summer employment, the more successful you will be.

Make this summer work for you. With some diligence and motivation on your part, you’ll be the candidate outshining the others when the all-important topic of experience arises!