Let me share a secret – the campus Career Center seems to be the best resource students seem to miss using!
For some reason, college students get an odd idea in their heads that they have to do it all on their own. They sit down with a catalog, choose a bunch of classes, and then proceed to plow through them with the expectation they’ll have a job waiting for them when they complete the final course. Surprise! When they hit their senior year and realize they have no idea what’s awaiting them after commencement it can be traumatizing.
Your campus has a place specifically designed to prepare you throughout your entire college career for a prime position when you graduate. The Career Center is available from the first day you start, and it doesn’t cost anything to use it! If that’s not a good enough reason, here are ten more.
1. Professionals trained to help college students with career issues.
A high percentage of career counselors actually have a masters degree in counseling or a similar area. Plus, they often bring in experience from professional careers in a variety of industries. They understand how a university works and what skills you need to develop to successfully position yourself for a career. They’ll sit down with you to review your resume, discuss your goals, help you set up your networking strategies, and even encourage you when you are feeling a bit lost or overwhelmed. And they can help you explore your options if you don’t yet know what you want to do.
2. Career specialists work closely with employers who hire in your field.
These folks work daily with a variety of employers and stay informed on trends in career directions. Whether talking with industry professionals on the phone, interacting online, or reading up on what’s going on in a variety of fields, staying up-to-date on careers is THEIR career. Odds are they know a thing or two about what’s happening in the job market that will help prepare. They also function as liaisons with employers in helping find great candidates for their companies. If you want to get knowledgeable advice from a career professional, go to the career center!
3. Great place to clarify your career goals.
The Career Center is not just about helping you hunt for a job. Their usefulness extends as early as trying to even envision what you want to do. They can help you ask yourself the hard questions about what you enjoy, what are your strengths, what are you passionate about, and where do you want to be in the future. Getting on the right path early can save you time and money in the long run.
4. Amazing source of online, print and video resources.
If you want to learn more about a particular career, or what you can do with a specific degree, the Career Center is where you’ll find answers. In addition to online access to numerous career databases and information sites, they also have skills videos, industry overviews, salary information, and often publications specific to industries. It’s more than a library; it’s a guided resource to your future.
5. Students who become familiar to the staff have better chances of being thought of when an opportunity arises.
In all fairness, a career counselor doesn’t play favorites. They work to provide opportunities to all students equally. Still, if you are a regular in the career center, know the staff, and work with them as you work to explore your interests and improve your skills, your name will be there when they are talking to an employer about an internship or position in a company. Your visible commitment to your career goals get noticed!
6. It offers a mix of workshops, speakers, and help sessions to raise your confidence and skills.
Learning from someone else makes the lessons stick, and your Career Center is geared to make that happen. Workshops on resumes and interviewing, career fair preparation sessions, and even on-line workshops can help you get the skills you need to stand out from the rest. Plus they host career fairs and networking events so you can get your name and face in front of the employers who you want to work for!
7. It’s a great hub for networking with sources of information, advice and opportunities.
Face it – it’s the people who are doing the work that can offer you the greatest insight into a field. Career Center personnel are connected to alumni and local employers who are willing to advise, mentor, and assist students as they work to find their way to their dream career. Plus they can open the door to job shadowing opportunities, and even internships where you can work in the job for a while to see how it feels. Building your professional network begins at the Career Center.
8. Dedicated technology to aid in your career ambitions.
Career specialists have access to online resources that link them to industries and employers around the world. They can access data, trends, articles, webinars, discussion groups, job listings, and more to inform you about your career area. Staff can connect you with information on major companies, industry profiles, job descriptions and company reviews. The more you know, the more effective you can be at identifying what you want to do and how you can fit with a new employer.
9. It offers a variety of assessment tools to help you understand yourself and your goals.
Are you an ISFJ? Are you a Harmonizer or Strategic? What do your SAT results and skill test scores say about you? And what does any of this have to do with getting hired? Your Career Center can help you understand what makes you tick, what you seem to excel at, and how you handle a variety of situations to match you with careers where these aspects of your personality are appreciated and encouraged. If you like deep concentration and a quiet spot to deep dive into a project, working as an emergency room nurse is probably not for you. However, medical research, forensics, or diagnostics might be where you’ll excel. Ask your Career Center what tools you can access to help you know yourself.
10. You are already PAYING for it!
Okay. If for no other reason, you should use it because YOU paid for it! All those dollars that you pay to the university makes this resource completely open to you. If you’ve already purchased the resource it only makes sense that you use everything about it you can!
While you might vaguely remember a mention of the Career Center at orientation, now is the time to actually go through the door and take advantage of top notch services in preparing for the future.
Inspired by the book Career Wisdom for College Students by Peter Vogt, @2007.