Many students don’t realize that the Career Development Office isn’t just for seniors: it can be a gold mine of useful information, networking opportunities, workshops, and more.
It’s best if you visit your career center before you’re a senior. This way the people who work there will be especially excited about helping you and they may even send you information directly. You also won’t waste precious time your senior year becoming familiar with their services.
Here are some of the things you’ll find at your career development office:
Cover letter and resume help: Even if you’ve written a cover letter or resume before, writing one for an internship or an entry-level position will be a lot different than for a job on campus. You’ll likely have access to free, one-on-one coaching to help get your cover letter and resume just right.
Internship searches: Your career development office can help you search for those coveted internships, and they may even have a private database just for students at your school.
Database of alums: Being able to talk to alums can be incredibly valuable. If you contact someone in the field you’re interested in, he or she can let you know what to expect and advice for how to prepare for that type of career. These “insider” tips can give you an advantage over others in the field, and may even lead to an internship or full-time position. You can also just get ideas for what people do with their majors after graduation.
Choose a career path: Choosing a major is hard enough, but choosing what you want to do with it can be even harder. Your career center will have the tools to help you decide which path you want to take: personality tests, one-on-one consultations, books, databases, and more.
Career fairs and recruiting events: Even if you’re not a senior, you might still be able to find internships at these recruiting events. Your career center will know of other career fairs other than the ones they are sponsoring, and they may even offer transportation.
Workshops: In addition to one-on-one advice, your career center might have workshops for everything from how to use their research tools to writing cover letters to how to landing your first job.
Mock interviews: Whether you’re applying for an internship or your first job after graduation, mock interviews can prepare for the questions and help calm your nerves.
You won’t find these services for free anywhere else, so take advantage of them while you’re in college. If you’re not ready to visit the office in person just yet, you may be able to find useful tools on their website such as tip sheets, internship databases, workshop schedules, and more. Is there any other way you’ve used your career center?