What to have ready for the Fall semester
Updated: Jun 27
It doesn’t fit in a suitcase or shopping cart, but there are several things related to career prep that you should gather before starting your fall semester. Whether this is your first semester at Lehigh, or your final year, these should be on your to do list before the end of the summer.
What have you spent time on this summer? Whether it was a part-time job, volunteer work, remote work, micro-internships, personal projects or research, be sure to take 2 critical steps before you end your summer job. First, talk with your supervisor or manager about serving as a reference. Ask “Would you be willing to serve a reference for me for future job or internship applications?” If they agree, verify you have their complete contact information including their formal job title, email, and phone number.
Second, be sure to update your resume with the job description, duties, project details, technology or tools you learned and any training you received. Its best to at least get a draft of this information while it is still fresh in your mind. It also might be helpful to review how you organized the information on your resume at your exit interview with your manager. They might have insightful suggestions on how to describe your work and help you communicate the details to others.
Since you have taken some time to at least start resume updates, it's easy to also update your LinkedIn or Handshake profiles as well. Add summer experiences, add new skills, share media examples of summer work, verify your GPA is accurate, update your profile picture, include career goals and see if new profile sections are needed on your profile. You can also include new education details for courses you completed on Udemy, Coursera, or edX. August can be a very busy season with the start of classes and campus programs, but it's also the start of recruitment season. Getting a jump start to all your online profiles will help you make job or internship search progress.
It's time to prep or purchase your suit or professional attire. Its likely that you will be invited to participate in virtual or in-person networking events, career fairs, interviews or special events throughout the fall semester that require professional attire. Prepare 1-2 complete looks which include shoes, socks, pants, skirt, dress shirt, blouse, tie, suit jacket, hosiery, belt, and/or accessories. While you have some flexibility in how you coordinate your look be sure it follows the professional guidelines here. Be sure to have your items dry cleaned, tailored and ready to wear. Especially considering the Fall Career Expo is typically hosted the third week of classes, in early to mid September (check the Handshake event tab more more info).
If you need to shop for professional attire, consider participating in the “Suit Up” event, which provides significantly discounted options from JCPenny. Get the coupon for discounted suits and accessories, and you can shop in person at the event or online. The event details are on the Handshake (Handshake event tab).
Virtual Interview supplies
If you expect to apply to jobs or internships, it's likely you will be invited to interview digitally for some or all of your interview rounds. Be sure you have access to either a laptop with a build in camera or a webcam that can connect to your computer. Depending on your workstation, you may also consider purchasing lights or items to create a professional backdrop.
Work with a Career Coach before the start of the semester
Need help with any of these steps or want to get a jump start with your job or internship search? We want to help! The Career Center is busy preparing for the fall semester and we can’t wait to engage with students again. Feel free to reach out before the semester, appointments are available via Handshake or join the career team during the semester in Career Lab, our drop-in career question hours from Monday - Friday, 11 am - 4 pm, MG Hall Ste. 500. Virtual Career Lab may be offered during the summer, check out Handshake Events, and search Career Lab for details.