It must have been sophomore year when I stumbled into the career center at my university, freaking out about what I would do with my major and what career path to follow. I made an appointment with a career counselor, determined to plan out my future. When I met with the career counselor, surprisingly the first thing she did was sit me down at a computer so I could complete a lengthy, in-depth self-assessment and personality test. While I secretly love personality tests, I wondered what this had to do with a career and figuring out what I was going to do with my life. When I met with the counselor to go over my results a week later, the assessment had provided insight into the types of things I wanted and valued in a job, as well as some possible occupations I would be well-suited for.
As it turns out, a lot of the careers it listed were already ones I was considering, but it was helpful to see everything laid out as it was. After that, the career counselor introduced me to the college online alumni network and job database, LinkedIn advice and some helpful tips to networking with professionals in the field. It didn't seem like much at the time, but when I started searching for jobs again a year after college, how I wished I had made use of the services offered at the career center! The campus career center is one of the best kept secrets at colleges, and it's included in your tuition and fees, so you might as well take advantage of it.
Most students are only vaguely aware of the existence of a career center on their college campus but the earlier you locate and step foot in your career center, the better. Many students will tell you they wished they had come to the career center sooner to take advantage of the abundance of information, resources and counselors who are there solely to help students find their way into careers upon graduation. You don't need to have a specific reason to go into the career center either, just have a look at the workshops and information sessions they have scheduled that might be useful to you. Don't underestimate the value of having a career specialist to look over your resume, give you personalized tips into developing your career or teaching you to write a cover letter. You won't find the kind of quality and abundance of career services available for free once you graduate, so reap the benefits while you can!
Gavin Redelman is the Founder, Managing Director and Senior Resume Writer at RedStarResume. Gavin is a highly skilled resume/CV writing expert and career expert who also specializes in creating, writing and developing career content, working alongside student and graduate job seekers and developing career content for newsletters, partners and career websites. For more, visit RedStarResume.
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