Some folks argue that career services represent the most significant part of a post-high school education. Yet, what exactly is career services? Why is career services so important? And how can you make sure that career services really are making life-changing, long-lasting changes in your career?
The first step to take when considering career services is to look for a comprehensive program geared towards preparing you for a fulfilling career. Some consider this a basic part of a higher education plan. Others prefer to think of career planning as an investment in themselves and their futures. Still others view career services as an excellent way to learn about what you want to do, who you want to be, and what skills and talents you have.
You don’t have to sign up for a full package when you use career services. Instead, you should focus on finding programs or internships that focus on areas of particular interest to you. If you’re a bookish person with a strong interest in reading, for example, you could look for a graduate degree in English or American literature, or some other major. Or perhaps you’re interested in working in the media and would like to learn more about television production. There are numerous ways to get this sort of education. You can find out more information on various topics in career services publications and on Internet websites, and you may even be able to find internships in local studios or newsrooms.
Another thing to pay close attention to when considering career services is your resume and cover letter. When it comes to a resume and cover letter, career services less frequently advise applicants to write their own resumes, and to craft them so that they stand out. This is especially true if you’re a young applicant with no job experience, or if you’re applying for entry-level positions.
As far as the actual application process goes, it’s still a good idea to do a little bit of career exploration on your own. Look at various companies and try to determine which one you’d feel most comfortable working for. Then, contact them! If you follow this step correctly, it’ll help you land an interview. You can also contact career services groups and request information on interview preparation; remember, however, that career exploration should be an independent effort.
One important thing to keep in mind when deciding whether or not you’re on track to pursue a particular career path is whether or not you’re in line with employers’ needs. For example, some employers prefer applicants with a bachelor’s degree in the core majors (business, engineering, accounting, health care, etc.). Other employers require candidates with at least a master’s degree. Don’t let career services interfere with your career readiness; in the end, it will make your life a lot easier if you have a plan and know what to expect from your employer.
A final note about career services: some employers are more interested in having candidates do on-the-job activities (e.g., seminars, workshops) than they are in hiring a full time employee. For this type of position, however, career centers may be able to help. Some workshops or seminars are focused on specific majors; for example, engineering workshops may focus on the following: mechanical engineering, electronics, or energy efficiency. So, if your dream is to become a mechanical engineer, but you don’t think that’s a good major to major in, consider speaking to a career services counselor who will be able to tell you whether you’re eligible for workshops that focus on your major or whether you could find a work-study program that would allow you to get valuable skills while you work toward your degree without having to commit to long-term college courses.
Overall, career services can be very helpful to help you make informed decisions about your career path. It’s a wonderful way to discover what types of careers fit your personality and aptitude. It can also save you lots of money as it provides scholarships, financial-aid support, advice on which career fields to choose, and many other opportunities for learning and development. These services often offer services in over 100 career fields. They are also great for cross-boarding students when it comes to selecting the best majors to suit their interests!