Summer internships for college students are an important step towards getting a job after college, but there are other smart ways to use your summer, so you advance on your career path.

Your Job Search Starts When?

Now. Yes — summer should be fun, and a change from the rest of the school year. Summer is also an opportunity for growth and development. Since you know you want to find a job after college, have your summer be shaped by a sense of purpose that aligns with your career path. You want to become the confident young adult with a marketable skill set who is focused on the future. This will make you attractive to employers after you graduate.

Priority Candidates’ college and graduate career coaching services help college students (and graduates) build comprehensive career-focused strategies tailored to who you are. Our customized career planning process focuses on your career path and where you are. The steps below are critical building blocks you can start working on now.

Internship? What About Finding a Job After College?

Summer is a crucial time you want to fully leverage so you build career-ready skills and assets. As a college student you are in the process of preparing to position yourself for the career of your choice. Our experience shows that clients who map out a strategy with these key elements, can leverage their summer months to maximum advantage.

You Need a Comprehensive Career Assessment

We always guide clients to begin with this step. Maybe you don’t know what career path is right for you, or you have some career directions in mind but you’re grappling with two or three ideas, or perhaps you and are unsure how to get a job with no experience. We know it can be overwhelming and difficult to commit energy to your job search when your career path isn’t crystal clear.

Move Beyond Your Typical Career Assessment Tools

You’re probably familiar with one or all of these standard tools.

  • career assessment test

  • career interest assessment

  • career assessment inventory

  • career personality assessment

These assessment tools cause frustration for many college students and job seekers because they’re designed for the masses, do not tell you what career/job you’d actually be good at, and they don’t provide the holistic personalized insights you need to start mapping your ideal career path.

Our professional career coaches help you…

  • find the intersection of your thinking styles, behaviors, and interests

  • learn how you align with others in roles

  • discover your optimal career alignment

  • identify the skills you need to get to your desired career

If you’re struggling with how to choose a your career path, or your previous career counseling experiences have fallen short, learn more about how to choose your career path. Summer is the ideal time to lay this essential foundation for your future. Your results will help set the stage for kicking off a focused career journey.

Your No-Summer-Internship Career Plan

We work with clients to build action plans for the present and the future. If your summer isn’t mapped out, that’s the next step.


Employers hire based on skills. It is critical to develop hard skills relevant to the specific career and roles you want to target. We partner with a technology training company to provide immediate training in crucial, high-demand areas used across industries, including Advanced Excel, coding languages, social media, and more. There are over 150 skills that are considered “hot” in the current economic marketplace. We help you objectively assess what you should aim for, determine your level of existing competence, and then get underway in active skill-building.


We help you consider personal projects, as well as paid and unpaid work assignments, so you can apply new and developing hard skills. Equally important — look to identify opportunities to develop soft skills such as communication, project management, and time management. You can reach out to your school to see if faculty need help with any projects. Professors and Club faculty with whom you have engaged, might know of last-minute industry opportunities where your new-found skills could be of value.


Start reaching out to people to learn more about their industries and roles. This vital work – cultivating a network and engaging with professionals – is often the “secret ingredient” in how to find a job after college graduation. Your Priority Candidates coach will work with you to identify the right people, craft appropriate communications, and follow through on the valuable ideas and suggestions that emerge. Early outreach in the summer might even lead to unexpected internship-like projects.


Yes. Helping others can help you. Employers have a broader perspective of what experience includes. Identify causes and non-profits that are meaningful to you and volunteer. Many are virtual now so you might find an opportunity where you hope to start your future career. Whether you fundraise, help with finances, design communications, perform social media, mentor others — these are all skills you will add to your personal inventory, and are transferable. Plus, you will feel good about what you did to help others!


There is a void in the hospitality industry during the summer – everyone wants to enjoy summer pleasures and travels, but there are not enough individuals to serve the public. Capable teens and college students are in high demand. Many hospitality positions are part-time, which gives you time to work on your career building and job search plan. A summer job will also give you more to story-tell prospective employers when they ask you what you did this summer.

Get Help & Make This Your Best Summer

Priority Candidates can help you make your summer something you are proud of, and not having a summer internship could be the best thing that ever happened to you. Use this time to clarify your direction, make a plan, start working on the next steps, and get your job search going in a meaningful way.

Imagine how you’ll feel if you can look back on this summer and see a series of accomplishments. Think about the future interview when you talk about the pivotal changes you made to sharpen your professional focus, establish your plan for the future, develop your skills, build your network, give back to your community, or even better — gained experience in a relevant summer job!

Priority Candidates will partner with you to make this your best summer. Having a team behind you, cheering you on, giving guidance when you need it most, supporting you, can make all the difference.

Personalized career coaching can start as early as your Freshman year, and if you’ve already graduated, we are experts at helping young adults get hired into right-fit careers and jobs. Contact us today so we can start working on your comprehensive, career-focused, job search strategy.