Sometimes it can feel like you’re completely alone when it comes to finding a dream job — but if you’re still in college, that’s definitely not the case. College career centers exist to help students find ah-mazing jobs post-graduation, or even just dole out career guidance if you’re still not sure what field you want to go into. Many students, however, graduate college without ever stepping foot in their career center — don’t let that be you! Here are five ways you can get the most out of your college career center:
Browse your school’s exclusive job postings: One of a career center’s most valuable tools for students is its online job listing system, where companies in the area — and even alumni all around the country — post job openings that you won’t often find on public job boards. Alumni often give preference to candidates who graduated from the same school as they did, so submitting your resume through your school’s exclusive job posting service may give you a leg up on the competition. Sometimes access to these job listings are also available to young alumni, so if you graduated a few years ago and are looking for a new job, contact your career services center to see if you can gain access.
Connect with alumni for networking and mentoring opportunities: If you want to get an inside look at a certain career, but aren’t ready to apply for a job yet, your college career center can probably still help. Many career centers have databases that list alumni by location, the company they work for, and their job title, so you can connect with alumni in a field you’re interested in. Your career center can also help you craft the perfect email to reach out to these alumni, so you come off as respectful and genuinely curious about their line of work — and not like you’re just fishing for a job.
Take quizzes and tests to determine your career strengths: If you have no idea what you want to be when you grow up, no worries — your college career center can help you out there too! Many career centers offer different kinds of tests and assessments that will help you determine your strengths and interests, so you can find a career that matches. The most famous of these tests is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Some of these tests may come with a fee, but it’s a small price to pay for career peace of mind.
Attend your career center’s job fairs: What’s easier than searching for a job through your career center? Having all the jobs come to you! Career centers often host job fairs a few times per year, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to talk directly with company representatives who visit your campus. Just remember to dress a little nicer than your typical student uniform of a tee and sweatpants, and bring plenty of printed resumes to leave with recruiters.
Get resume and interview help: Speaking of resumes, many career centers offer one-on-one help to students who need some direction on getting their resumes in ship shape. Check to see if you can make an appointment for a resume critique — just come with an open mind! Some career centers may also offer interview prep, including advice on what to wear to an interview, and perhaps even a mock interview with a career counselor. Career centers not only help you find jobs to apply for, but help ensure you snag ‘em too!
Have you used your school’s career center in other helpful ways? Share how in the comments below!