1. Update Your Resume.
When applying for opportunities, your resume, cover letter, and application materials are your first impression. These documents will help you land an interview, so it is important to detail your experience and accomplishments clearly and concisely.
While there is no one right way to write a resume, there are guidelines you should follow to convey a positive, meaningful message. Additionally, for each position you apply for, you should write a new cover letter that is geared toward that specific job and company/organization.
To get started:
Review the Resume and Cover Letter Guide for all majors and industries. This guide outlines suggestions for formatting, organization, and content and can walk you through the process of creating either document. Included is also a list of action verbs.
Utilize the list of Core Professional Competencies to highlight the skills you have gained during your experiences
View resume samples here
2. Start a First Draft of Your Personal Statement.
It is never too early to work on your personal statement. Starting early can relieve a lot of stress when it comes down to the application cycle. Starting early allows you to have family, friends, and your advisors read it over. Expect there will be many drafts over time. Learn from the experts:
Use your break to dip your toe into a service opportunity. Or research where you’d like to volunteer
when you return to campus. Service of some kind is fully integrated into the health care professional’s undergraduate experience. Most applicants have a strong sense of service, of wanting to help others feel better, making health care work better, and, in many cases, giving back to their communities. There are many ways for you to engage in the community and you can design your own service path. Admissions boards value engagement in community service as a way to demonstrate respect toward others with very different life circumstances, empathy, and cultural sensitivity. They want students to demonstrate a desire to help others and sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings. Ideal applicants demonstrate a desire to alleviate others’ distress; recognize and act on his/her responsibilities to society, locally, nationally, and globally. The average medical school applicant has 100 hours of community service when they apply.
Again, consider using this time to research clinical shadowing experiences. A strong emphasis is placed on your clinical exposure to medicine and patient care, including time spent shadowing, working in clinics, and other patient-care settings. Clinical experience is defined as direct interaction with patients and hands-on involvement in the care of conscious patients in a health care related environment, attending to their health maintenance, progression, or end of life needs. The average applicant has 45-50 hours of patient contact.
5. Take a break, have fun, be yourself.
Spend time relaxing and celebrating with family and friends. After giving your all these last few months, you deserve it!