By: Clare Roche

The moment you’ve been waiting for all semester is finally here – winter break! It’s time to relax with family and friends, catch up on sleep and your favorite TV shows, and over indulge in holiday treats. Although it is hard to imagine, there will come a time when you’ve exhausted your Netflix options and eaten one too many cookies. When that time comes, AcademyHealth has you covered. Why not utilize your winter break downtime to prepare for upcoming career and professional developments opportunities at AcademyHealth? Below you’ll find four tips and tricks to not only keep you occupied over the holiday, but also help you prepare for 2016.

  1. Update and Edit Your Resume: While you may not need an entirely new resume, you should constantly be updating and refreshing your credentials. If you’ve been recently published, , expanded your responsibilities, earned a promotion or changed jobs, your resume should reflect these accomplishments. It’s also imperative that your resume communicate your goals and career objectives now and in the future. When making edits to your resume, constantly ask yourself, “Is this relevant to my career goals?” Finally, proofread, proofread, proofread! And always have a second pair of eyes review your work.
  2. Start Abstract Drafts Early: Online submission services allow applicants to create drafts of abstracts multiple times prior to submitting. Utilize the downtime over the holiday to prepare a draft submission in advance. Do yourself a favor and avoid stress created from last minute submissions and possible technical problems or unexpected events that may occur.
  3. Don’t Forget Your Online Professional Presence: Like your resume, your LinkedIn profile is an effective tool for networking and advancement opportunities. Many hiring companies rely on social media sites such as LinkedIn to assist them in finding capable candidates in the field. Therefore, it is important to maintain a professional, streamlined profile that clearly depicts your career trajectory. Use a professional looking headshot, differentiate yourself in your summary statement, and stay active/join LinkedIn groups that are in line with your goals.
  4. Stay Informed: Stay up-to-date on current events in regards to health services research and health policy. To effectively position yourself in the field, you need to form a solid understanding of what’s shaping it. Read articles on hot topics, stay connected with professors and mentors, start identifying potential networking events – the possibilities are endless!

Being and staying involved is an ongoing process that takes commitment. Proactively taking the next step will aid in positively positioning yourself in your desired career. We encourage you to check out upcoming opportunities on the AcademyHealth website. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Warm Wishes!


Clare Roche is the Student Membership and Chapter Coordinator at AcademyHealth where she manages all student chapters and student members, as well as coordinates the scholarships and awards programs. She encourages you to get involved with AcademyHealth through the formation of student chapters which enhance the learning and professional development experience for students in health services research and health policy. Clare graduated from the George Washington University as a double major in Communication and Business. Contact her at