Guest Post: How to Get the Most Out of a College Career Center

Get the most out of a College Career CenterWhether you’re a current college student or recent grad, you might be struggling to find a job. Recent labor statistics suggest that almost half of recent college graduates have difficulty finding work and those who haven’t obtained their degrees yet often have even more difficulty. College career centers can be a huge help as you search for jobs. The career experts employed by your campus career center will be able to help you network with professionals, find job leads, and maybe even get a job. Of course, whether or not you have a good experience at a college career center will largely depend on the amount of effort you’re willing to put in. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your college campus center experience:

Bring your resume
Your resume is your most important job search tool. Unfortunately, many inexperienced jobseekers don’t spend enough time creating exceptional resumes. The college career counselor you meet with will be able to help you edit and format your resume to make it more impressive to potential employers. Your career counselor will also be able to give you some tips and tricks for tailoring your resume to specific job openings that are of interest to you.

Explore all the resources available
The career center at your current or former school may be able to offer you career tests, interview lessons, and access to the school-run job bank. Take advantage of all of these resources and whichever other resources the career center offers. A career test may help you focus your job search, especially if your academic background is in the liberal arts and you aren’t quite sure what you want to do professionally. Interview lessons will help you feel more at ease when you eventually land interviews. And you may be able to find a number of promising job leads on the school-run job bank.

Don’t expect a job to fall in your lap
The career counselor you meet with will have connections in the professional world and may be able to get you a few interviews. One of those interviews may turn into a job, but there are no guarantees. You’ll need to spend a lot of time on your own applying to jobs in addition to the steps you take with your college career counselor. In this economy, finding a job requires a lot of hard work on your part. Until you land a full-time gig, your full-time job should be applying to jobs. This means you should spend the bulk of your time during the day reaching out to potential employers, filling out applications, and searching for jobs.

If you have access to a college career center, you should absolutely set up an appointment to visit it. You’ll receive valuable advice and guidance from career counselors. Just remember that it’s ultimately up to you to put in the hard work that finding a job requires.

Kate Willson is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about higher education, job searching, and technology for collegecrunch.org and other education-related sites. Kate appreciates your feedback. Please leave your comments and questions below!

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