What are college and university career centers really for? You may know that your school’s career center is where you go to get your resume perfected before you join the working world, but I promise you, there’s so much more to it.
College and university career centers offer a wide variety of information and knowledge that can help guide you through the craziness of today’s working world. From tips for reaching out to prospective employers to what to wear during a job interview, there’s plenty worth your time at the career center!
To help you out, I talked to Dianne Twombley, the interim director of York University’s Career Centre, located in Toronto, Ontario. Here are five things Twombley said career centers can do for you:
1. Help with your resume
According to Twombley, students usually associate career centers with resume help — this is an important part of any career center. Finding a job upon graduation is not always easy and a lot of it depends on your resume. Having a professional resume with all of the correct and important information can help you find the job you want. Visiting your school’s career center gives you the opportunity to touch up your resume and improve your chances of finding the job of your dreams.
2. Provide job opportunities and connections
After you’ve touched up your resume, you might be wondering what the next step is and how to go about applying for a job. Career centers are a great place to find job postings and opportunities, according to Twombley. Career centers also give students the opportunity to connect with employers and alumni. Making connections with people in your field can help you learn more about working in that field, including how to land a job.
3. Explore different career paths
Career centers are also a great way to learn about what you can do with your degree, such as what kind of jobs you can get. You may not be aware of all of the possibilities that your degree offers. York’s career website offers some suggestions on how to find a job opportunity, including the benefit of creating a professional LinkedIn profile, using an online job posting website, and more.
4. Explore volunteer placements
If you want to know more about what it’s like to work in your field, a volunteer or internship position could be highly beneficial. You may not even have to go to the career center for this one because, according to Twombley, “most career centers also have websites containing valuable career development resources, and many also help students secure and participate in internship and co-op programs.” Such programs and internships are a great way to expand your network and build your knowledge and skill set.
5. Learn job search strategies and skills
- Visiting your career center can provide you with numerous important skills that you’ll need when searching for a job. For example, according to Twombley, career centers can “help students put together solid job search strategies.” Job searching skills can benefit students who are stressed about graduating and who are worried about not being able to find a job. According to York’s career center website, developing an effective job search strategy can include understanding the importance of a targeted job search. York’s career website explains that students sometimes panic upon graduation and think that they have to find a job immediately, but reminds students not to rush and that it is more beneficial to send out fewer, stronger applications for jobs instead of a high volume of weak ones.
Career centers exist for a reason. They are there to help students who have questions about their career path. “Students invest a lot of time, energy and money into their educations and they’re developing a vast array of transferable skills via their academics and co-curricular activities that are valuable to employers,” said Twombley. She added that many students are unable to identify what skills they have and how they can be relevant outside of school. Visiting a career center is the best way students can connect what they learned in class with future career options, Twombley adds.
So what are you waiting for? Go visit your career center. All the stress of your future and career path may be keeping you up at night and who knows, maybe a visit to your career center is exactly what you need to feel confident in your post-grad future.