Most college campuses have a career center with services for current students, and even alumni. Many students roll their eyes when they think of their career center, assuming all they do is review resumes and put on an occasional career fair. In actuality, spending some time at the center and getting to know what they have to offer may surprise you! For example:
- Career Fairs. You probably see flyers around campus about upcoming career fairs. Visiting the career center before the event is a good way to learn about best practices. Showing up at the fair without a plan in place can be a big waste of time, and the career center can give you guidance on how best to take advantage of the opportunities. Many campuses hold big career fairs in addition to fairs focused on a smaller industry or sector, or just internships. Join the career center email list to be sure you don’t miss anything.
- On campus interview programs. Did you know that many campuses host recruiting and interview programs on campus? These are great opportunities because you don’t have to travel to be interviewed, even for employers that may not be local. Also, the career center coordinates the process, so getting your resume in front of the right people is much easier than using online job sites. You can also feel confident that the employer is interested in students like yourself, because they are making the effort to visit your school.
- Networking events. Networking may not be your favorite thing, but practicing during events with students and alumni is a low-pressure, fun way of going about it. And who knows, you just may make a connection that can open some important doors for you. Your career center likely holds several networking events a year. Bonus: they usually offer free food!
- Alumni network. Many colleges collect the names and contact information of alumni that would like to help current students progress in their careers. Looking through the database, you may find alums that work in jobs that sound very interesting to you. Since these alums already volunteered, reaching out to them for informational interviews will not be awkward at all. Very different than randomly pinging people on LinkedIn.
- Volunteer opportunities. If you are looking to beef up your resume for future job (or graduate school) applications, doing some community service is a great way to go. Your career center probably has good resources for you to use in order to find some fun and rewarding opportunities.