I currently work as a career ambassador, meaning I’m a student worker at my college’s career center. It’s a rewarding position that I’ve already gained a lot from. While it might not be as glamorous as the student activities center, it’s just as, if not more important.
However, one of the main struggles my office has is getting students to come to events. If you want to be successful and find a job after college, it’s imperative that you use your career center. Here are 5 reasons why you should be using this resource.
Most career centers will offer one-on-one appointments to students. These are an excellent opportunity to get personalized advice. Often these include resume and cover letter reviews, mock interviews and career counseling. The employees are eager to help guide you in any way they can. They’re professionals with lots of wisdom and experience that they’re happy to share.
Maybe you feel unsure about how to use your major or what kind of jobs are out there. Maybe you just can’t seem to get your resume right or have never written a cover letter. Maybe you have a huge interview coming up and you really want to practice. Personal appointments can help you with all these things and more; you just have to be willing to take time out of your day to make one.
There are many types of events hosted by career centers and it’s good to take time out to attend them. They might not be as fun as some other on-campus events, but they’re highly beneficial. However, don’t think that all career-related events can’t be fun. Just because they’re in a more professional office doesn’t mean the staff isn’t personable and friendly.
The types of events offered can range from networking get-togethers to resume workshops. Often these are a great way for you to build connections, something that’s essential in the professional world. Remember there are a lot of people with degrees, so just having one isn’t going to get you a job. You need to have the skills to get yourself in.
3. Career Fairs
Another great opportunity, especially for upperclassman, are career fairs. Chances are your school is hosting at least one and often career centers will take students to other fairs in the area. This is one of the best ways to get a feel for what kind of opportunities are out there and it gives you a chance to network with employers. Perhaps you might even land a job from attending one.
Usually, your center will have some kind of informational event to help you prepare, giving you the best chance for success while attending. Even if they don’t, it’s helpful to go in and ask. They might even have guides and handouts for you.
4. Job Opportunities
If you’re stuck trying to find a local job, an internship or an on-campus position, your college’s career center is a good place to go when searching. Often companies will send positions they want to fill to different career centers in the area, so yours should have plenty of job listings. Also, it’s common for on-campus employment to go through that office as well. At the very least, they usually have the resources you would need to find them
The workers there are typically very knowledgeable about the job market so they would know many of the best places to look. They can help you find websites to get internships or search for jobs. They also can connect with professional organizations that can help get you more established in your field along with giving you more contacts.
5. Social Media
One of the easiest and simplest ways to connect with your career center is to follow and engage with them on social media. Most career centers have Instagram pages now and use them to interact with students. They’ll post about any upcoming events and will often add in helpful tips.
They might do stories dedicated to how to dress for an interview or how to do a good elevator pitch. Usually, these are quick and digestible nuggets of information that can be very useful. Taking a few minutes to check out their page can give you a lot of insight.
Overall, a good career center might be one of the most important resources a student has, yet many don’t seem interested in it. While it might not seem fun or exciting, it’s essential to learn these things if you want to have professional success. Even if it’s just one event, following their page or taking time to make an appointment, these small things will benefit you in the long run. Maybe after some career counseling, you might have a more confident answer when someone asks: So what do you want to do after college?