Why Your Student Should Take Advantage of Career Services
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By Lorena Roberts, Uloop
One of the most overlooked services college offer is their career services department. Every college has something similar to an Office of Career Services, even if it’s in the form of specialized advisors. If your college student isn’t taking advantage of the career services their school offers, you should urge them to look into it! Resources from this office range from career exploration to aptitude tests, to counseling students through what their interests are and where they want to end up in five to ten years. As a recent college graduate, I can advocate for the specialized attention career service departments provide to enrolled students. If your college student hasn’t taken advantage of the career service department at their school, urge them to at least look into what’s offered. Here are eight reasons why your student should take advantage of career services while they’re still enrolled in school:
Trained professionals are waiting, at the ready, to help your student succeed!
Whether it’s a degree in counseling, experience in a specific field, or specialized training, employees in college career service departments have ideal backgrounds to help your student! There are a number of stages your student can be in when they seek out career service assistance. Maybe they’re in their first year of college and they’re feeling uneasy about the major they picked. Maybe they love the major they’re in currently, but they aren’t sure what to do with it after graduation. Maybe your student is feeling overwhelmed by the internship application process or doesn’t know where to begin searching for an internship altogether. Or maybe they need assistance brushing up their resume. Whether your student is at the beginning or end of their college career, the professionals in a career services office can assist them with a number of things.
Career service employees are the first to know when an employer is hiring!
The more your student is known in the career services office, the more likely it is that staff members will reach out to them when a job opportunity becomes available. This is especially important for college students who are approaching graduation and likely looking for employment. Urge your student to get to know the career services staff on a personal level. Once they have reviewed your students’ resume and discussed possible career opportunities, the staff in these offices will know exactly what kind of employment opportunity to match them with.
Peer mentors have experienced the same worries as your student!
Most career service centers will employ peer mentors that can guide your student in the right direction. Sometimes this is through walk-in resume review hours. Other times this is advice on what kinds of courses to take to steer them in the right direction. Peer mentors can be a really useful tool when it comes to your student feeling secure in their college career.
Most universities have career services centers that offer free professional headshots to students. It’s tough to apply for jobs with your Facebook profile picture, and career services centers know that! Urge your student to look into their university’s career services office if only for a chance to receive a free, professional headshot they can use on job/internship applications… and their LinkedIn profile!
Occasional workshops and speakers are offered.
Some of the most valuable things a career service center can offer a student body is through programming. Workshops on applying to graduate school or internships, or inviting speakers from different professions, will often be on the list of things a career services center will offer on campus. If your student is interested in exploring different careers, or needs help with an application process, more than likely this is on the docket for a career services center to provide. Urge your student to take advantage of career services and check out what they offer online!
Career services isn’t just for seniors.
The earlier your student visits their university’s career services center, the more prepared they will be to enter the workforce after graduation. A common misconception about career services is that they only help graduating seniors. This is not the case. They’re more than willing to work with freshmen exploring majors, sophomores applying for internships, and juniors who have no idea what they’re going to do with their degree after graduation! The office of career services has endless opportunities and resources to help your student be the most successful they can be!
Strengths/weaknesses, interests, and values identifier test.
Oftentimes, career services offers testing to help your student decide what’s important to them in life. An aptitude test will help your student determine what they’re good at. Then, they can brainstorm possible career options based on what they value and also find interesting.
If your student hasn’t at least looked at their university’s career services website, strongly urge them to at least explore what’s offered. Many students don’t even realize this office exists – much less the endless number of resources they offer to their students!
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