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More Career Tips for You


5 Tips for Utilizing Your College Career Center

Career Advice |

I often hear complaints from new college graduates that career services didn’t get them a job. Something many students don’t understand is that career development centers are not placement organizations. Career services professionals are there to help provide you with the tools to figure out what you want to do professionally and how to best market yourself for the job search.

 

Here are five tips to using your college career center:

1. Create a meeting agenda

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having several needs, but it will make easier for everyone if you consider what those needs are before heading into your career coaching session. If you can, think about how you’d like your career advisor to help and what areas you feel need the most attention.

2. Career development is a process

Our lives are in a constant state of evolution. Our wants, needs, and goals change based on our experiences and the things we learn about ourselves. The mistake many people—not just students—make is feeling like a failure for changing their career plans. It is not uncommon to realize you don’t fit in with the culture of a company or professional field. You are not a failure for realizing a career path is wrong for you in your senior year or because you don’t know what you want to do with the rest of your life as a college freshman.

3. Come back for multiple sessions

In the same way that career development is a process, your job search does not end when you submit your resume. Career services can help you edit your resume, prepare for interviews, understand your personality type, and deal with the stressors that come with choosing a profession. Develop a relationship with a career coach and maintain it through your time in college.

4. Don’t be afraid to utilize alumni career services

Most colleges and universities have programs, career advisors, and assistance for alumni. Sometimes these services cost money, but they can help you tailor your resume to the different organizations or career fields you’re pursuing and learn to be a proactive professional.

5. Find the right partner

If you meet with a career advisor and don’t feel like they are listening to you, or you don’t feel comfortable speaking openly with them, ask for another career advisor! Every student and every advisor is different—sometimes one person isn’t the right fit for you and that’s okay.

Finding the right career can be one of the most rewarding things you do in life. We spend so much of our lives at work—figuring out what you want to do with your life is as important as knowing the kind of person you want to be. Career advisors are here to help you make the journey from college to career a rewarding one. Take advantage!

Have you had a particularly bad or good experience using your college career center? Got some tips for making the most of it? Share with us in the comments!

Ask Levo Mentor Arielle Patrick, director of publicity at The American Reader, how she used her career center while still in school to elevate her career.

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Topics

careeradvice career coaching college student

6 Comments

Candace, I love this article. I have switched my major 4 times in the first two years of school as I have been struggling to find a major that is going to put me heading down the right path. I am very interested in how you decided to become a career counselor as I feel that with all the research I have done myself I might enjoy helping other students do the same.

2y

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2y

As a fellow college career advisor, thank you for sharing these great tips! They are all so helpful and I hope this will encourage some college Levo ladies to reach out and visit their career centers!

2y

I really like these tips about the Career Center because they promote student use of the Career Center over a long period of time. I think students sometime are afraid to go to the center because they believe the services are only for seniors or geared towards upperclassmen- but really Career Centers want to be meeting with freshmen and it's never too soon to schedule your first appointment!

2y

I think this article is really necessary. I've always had difficulty finding the right partner at the career center, because I do feel like they often don't understand, or they don't have enough resources to help. At the same time, it is a very accessible resource, and it seems silly not to use it. I'd love some more advice on how to use the Career Center. This article is a great start.

2y

Career centers are a really great asset to college campuses and I don't think students know how to properly utilize them. These are great tips for getting a jump start on using the career center!

2y
Candace Lamb

After helping countless friends, family, and random strangers edit their resumes and prepare for job interviews, Candace decided to pursue a career in—well, careers. A Southern girl, Candace graduated from the University of South Carolina Upstate with a degree in Non-Profit Administration and Women’s Studies. After this, Candace moved to Louisville, KY to pursue a Masters of Education. Candace currently works as Assistant Director of Career Services at Indiana University Bloomington where she instructs a career development course, Marketing Yourself for the Job Search. Candace also writes articles for her career blog, The Proactive Professional. In her spare time, Candace enjoys traveling, playing with her nephews and nieces, and being with AJ, her partner of four years.