Many recent college graduates approach me with the same complaint: that their school’s career services department didn’t help them get a job. However, what these students don’t realize is that these offices are not responsible for placement. Instead, development professionals are present to support you in figuring out your professional aspirations and how best to sell yourself during the job hunt.
Here Are Five Tips for Using Your College Career Center:
1. Create a Meeting Agenda
It’s okay to need multiple things from your career coaching session, but it will be more productive if you come with an understanding of what those needs are. If possible, consider how you want your advisor to help and which areas require the most focus ahead of time.
2. Career Development Is a Process
We are always growing and changing as people, so it stands to reason that our goals will change too. It’s a natural part of life! The problem comes when we refuse to accept this and adjust accordingly. Many people get caught up in feeling like they’ve failed because their plans changed. However, it’s not at all uncommon to discover that you don’t fit well with the culture of your chosen company or field. If you find yourself in this situation, know that it doesn’t make you a failure. You’re allowed to change your mind – even if that means starting from scratch!
3. Come Back for Multiple Sessions
Just like career development takes time, your job search doesn’t finish when you turn in your resume. Career services can assist you with tasks such as editing your resume, prepping for interviews, comprehending your personality type, and managing the pressures that come along with choosing a profession. Build a relationship with a career coach early on and keep up communications throughout college.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Utilize Alumni Career Services
Many colleges and universities have programs, career advisors, and assistance for alumni. Services such as these can help you learn how to tailor your resume to different organizations or career fields you’re pursuing, and how to be a proactive professional. In some cases, there may be a fee for these services, but they are often worth the investment.
5. Find the Right Partner
If you’re not feeling heard out by your career advisor, or if you don’t feel comfortable discussing things openly with them, ask for another one! It’s perfectly normal for a student-advisor relationship to not work out sometimes, so don’t hesitate in finding someone who better meets your needs.
Your career will be one of the most fulfilling aspects of your life, so it’s important to choose wisely. We spend the majority of our lives working, so discovering what you want to do with your time is essential. A career advisor can guide you through this journey and ensure that it’s a positive experience. Don’t hesitate to ask for help!
We want to know about your experience using your college career center, good or bad. 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.