I often hear recent college graduates complain that their career services center didn’t get them a job.
What many students don’t understand is that it’s not the career development centers’ duty to get them a job. The center is not a placement organization. Career services professionals provide students with the tools to figure out what they want to do professionally and how to best market themselves for the job search.
To get the most out of your career services center you need to know how to best utilize what they offer. Here are five tips to help you get the most from 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 which areas you feel need the most attention.
2. Know 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, as a college freshman, you don’t know what you want to do with the rest of your life.
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!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Levo League!
About the Author: After helping countless friends, family, and random strangers edit their resumes and prepare for job interviews, Candace Lamb 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.
Image courtesy of iub.edu… thank you!