In the process of applying to college, a college’s career center doesn’t seem to be an important factor to consider. Sure, it may be mentioned on a few of your college tours and your parents may like that there are job resources on campus, but it rarely goes beyond that. Once you are a student, however, a college’s career center becomes more of a necessity than you would originally think.
A career center is one of the largest untapped resources a college can have. It can be responsible for many different facets, such as on campus jobs, internships, mock interviews, resume and cover letter critiques, etc. The opportunities of a career center are endless and here is a list of reasons why you should go visit your college’s career center right now.
1. No matter what year you are, they can help you.
There is a preconceived notion that career centers can only help the juniors who are looking for internships and seniors that are looking for “real world” jobs. This is definitely not true; most colleges have career centers that are geared towards students of all years, including alumni. Don’t be afraid to visit if you are a freshman or sophomore because in the end, you have the most to learn from an initial visit.
2. Your resume can never be edited too many times.
Whether you are applying to an on-campus job or that internship you’ve been dreaming of for months now, your resume is the first thing an employer looks at. It is their first impression of you; if your resume doesn’t interest them, they won’t even glimpse at your cover letter and your application might as well be in the trash. A visit to the career center will give your resume another pair of eyes, an expert opinion, and a second glance from an employer.
3. Not sure how to answer that question correctly?
Interviews are absolutely terrifying, there’s no denying that. Truth is, you can only google “popular interview questions” so many times. A career center consultant can tell you things that the internet will never be able to; your body language, your tone, how many times you say “um,” your nervous ticks, etc. Sometimes all a consultant needs to know is some information about the job position, the company, or the nature of the interview in order to give you valuable advice. A mock interview or two with your career center could mean the difference between getting the job and losing it by that much because of one answer.
4. What even is a cover letter?
Ah, the cover letter. The first time I sat down to write a cover letter, it was a mess. I read it out loud to my friends and they laughed at me. After I revised it, I took it to the career center, and then proceeded to write it all over again. Not one line from the original letter was included in the final product, and it was much better off that way. Cover letters are tricky and they come with a lot of questions and a career center can give you the answers.
5. Figuring out what to do with your life is hard.
One of the biggest concerns of any college student is what comes after college. Whether it is grad school or a job, it’s hard to think about life after a degree. At my college’s career center, there is a personality test that gives you a list of your most beneficial qualities. While this test may not tell you what to do with your life, it gives you something to work with. This list gave me skills to write on my resume and a good foundation for describing my previous experiences on a cover letter. The test also made me think about what careers would be most opportunistic and a better match for me personally.
A college career center is a resource that pays off. Visiting it may seem intimidating, but all in all, the opportunities it can provide you with are endless. So don’t let whatever is stopping you, stop you!