As a college student, you have access to an invaluable tool that most professionals wish they still had at their disposal: Career Services. Although the Career Services office at your school might not seem like the most exciting place to spend an afternoon, do not underestimate its importance in helping you find a job or internship. No matter what year you are, Career Services has resources from resume editing to career planning that can help you at any stage in your career search. Here are several tips to make Career Services work to your advantage.
Start early. Freshmen and sophomores tend to believe that Career Services is a tool for juniors and seniors. In reality, Career Services has resources for students of every year. Getting to know the people in Career Services can help you figure out what careers might interest you and what requirements you potentially need for a job that might not be required for your major. Counselors also have information on career fairs or visiting companies that might help you determine what path you want to pursue after graduation. Creating a close relationship with Career Services as a freshman demonstrates that you take their resources seriously, and will give you a leg up as an upper classman when appointments become harder to schedule.
Explore the Career Services website. In order to see what features the office has, visit the website and look around for online tools they might have, such as sample resumes or guides to writing cover letters. Many schools also have databases for job opportunities that are compiled from alumni, companies they work with, or other jobs they come across. The site might also give your information about scheduling appointments with an advisor or counselor.
Make an appointment. As simple as it sounds, many people don’t feel the need to physically visit the Career Services building for an appointment. The online resources are a great way to begin your search, but sitting down and meeting with a counselor will make your search even easier. Their job is to help you land a job you actually want and meeting with them can narrow down locations or companies that might or might not be a good fit. Most likely, they also have additional information about job openings or connections to alumni that might not be available on the website. Even just talking things through with a person qualified in finding jobs for students might open up career possibilities you hadn’t previously thought of.
Career Services is not only designed to make your job search easier, but to find the career path that best suits you. So the next time you walk by the Career Services building, don’t just glance at it and keep walking. Take advantage of all the resources it has to offer, while it’s still free and at your disposal.