Career Planning Guide - A Four Year Plan

Freshman Year - Ask Questions!

  • Start a career information file.
  • Schedule an appointment at the Academic & Career Center.
  • Obtain and complete interest and career inventories.
  • Identify four skills that employers value and develop a plan for acquiring them.
  • Attend on-campus career events.
  • Explore your interests, abilities, and skills through coursework.
  • Talk to faculty, alumni, advisors, career advisors about possible majors/careers.
  • Join college organizations that will offer you leadership roles in the future.
  • Collect information on majors, internships, summer jobs.
  • Consider volunteer positions to help build your skills, experience and resume.
  • Review the Occupational Outlook Handbook (containing occupational information) and review other career-related information.
  • Take a one credit six week Career Planning course (COL 150).

Sophomore Year - Complete Research!

  • Update your resume and ask a professional to critique it for you.
  • Consider an internship and summer job related to your interests.
  • Explore at least three career options available to you through your major.
  • Attend a resume and cover letter workshop.
  • Attend on-campus career events.
  • Identify professional organizations and associations in your interest areas and explore student membership rates.
  • Join at least one professional or honorary organization related to your major in order to network with practioners in your field.
  • Begin to collect recommendations from previous and current employers and internship supervisors.
  • Subscribe to and read professional journals in your chosen field.

Junior Year - Make Decisions!

  • Narrow your career interest areas.
  • Review your internship and job experience to identify gaps in relation to your goals. Develop a responsive plan.
  • Participate in interviewing, resume and cover letter writing, and other job search workshops.
  • Review your progress in learning four or more skills employers seek in new hires.
  • Take leadership positions in clubs and organizations.
  • Consider graduate school; Obtain information on graduate entrance examinations (Some exams assume that specific coursework has been completed.)
  • Update recommendations and ask professors to serve as references.
  • Complete at least five information interviews in careers you want to explore. Shadow several professionals in your field.
  • Research potential employers in the career library and talk to recent graduates in your major about the job market and potential employers.
  • Purchase professional interview attire.

Senior Year - Job Search!

  • Develop an employer prospect list with contact names and addresses.
  • Gather information on realistic salary expectations.
  • Refine and update your resume.
  • Draft a cover letter that can be adapted for a variety of employers. Have a professional critique it for you.
  • Participate in interviewing workshops.
  • Take a one credit Job Search course (COL 405)
  • If applicable, take graduate school entrance exams and complete applications.
  • Follow up on all applications and keep a record of the status of each.
  • Change answering machine message and email addresses to conform with your professional image.