Top Ten Strategies for Freshmen &
by Bob Orndorf / National
Association of Colleges & Employers
your career destiny! Just going to class and picking up your diploma after four
years doesn't cut it. You need to become active on and off campus.
Becoming marketable to employers or graduate schools is a four-year job. Here
are the top 10 things you can do during college to make yourself marketable at
job-search time. In fact, if you do all 10 of these, you'll be unstoppable:
and graduate schools want candidates with good grades. That will probably never
change. Doing well academically not only proves that you have a knowledge base,
but indicates a strong work ethic—a trait that employers value.
your interests, skills, values, and personal characteristics—The
first step to clarifying your career goals is to go through a process of
self-assessment. Visit your career center and take advantage of the
explore career options—You
owe it to yourself to find a career that enriches your life, not one that brings
you down. Actively exploring careers means talking with professionals in
occupations of interest and observing professionals on the job. Your career
center probably has alumni and other volunteers who are willing to talk to you
about their careers. Also, attend any career expos, career fairs, and career
speaker panels that are offered.
active in extracurricular activities and clubs—Active
involvement in activities and clubs on campus is highly valued by employers and
graduate schools. Joining a club is fine, but becoming active within that club
is what matters most. Become a leader, hold an office, or coordinate an event.
You will develop your skills in leadership and teamwork—skills that recruiters
in community service—It's
important that you begin to understand and appreciate the importance of giving
back to your community, and that you live in a larger community than your
college or hometown. Typically, students look at community service as a chore.
After they've served, however, it's usually one of the most rewarding
experiences they've had! Recruiters love to see that you've volunteered to help
in your community.
advantage of the computer courses and workshops your college offers. You can
also learn a lot by just experimenting with different software packages on your
own. Finally, you should learn how to develop your own web page or web-based
portfolio. There are many web-design software tools that make it real easy to
develop your own web page! Contact your college's information technology office
to see how to get started.
and over, company and graduate school recruiters complain about the lack of
writing skills among college graduates. Don't avoid classes that are writing
intensive. Work at developing your writing skills. If there is a writing center
on campus, have them take a look at your papers from time to time. Remember, the
first impression you give to recruiters is typically your cover letter or
least one internship in your chosen career field—More
and more, internships are the springboards to employment and getting into
graduate programs. Many recruiters say that when they need to fill entry-level
jobs, they will only hire previous interns. In addition to making yourself more
marketable, internships also are a great way to explore careers and determine
whether or not certain careers are for you. When you work for a company as an
intern for three to four months, you get a really good feel for whether the
field (and company) is one in which you want to work day in and day out!
appreciation of diversity through study abroad, foreign languages, and courses—We
are now, more than ever, working within a global work force. For you to be
successful at work and in your life, you must stretch yourself, and learn about
people and cultures different than yours. Take advantage of the wonderful
study-abroad opportunities and the courses relating to diversity. This is your
time to travel! Most people find it harder to take time to travel as they begin
their careers and start families.
Use your career center all four years—Your college career center can help
you throughout your entire college career. Here is just a sampling of what your
career center can help you do:
your major and career direction,
resume and cover letter,
your interviewing skills,
your skills, interests, and values,
job-search or graduate school plan,
you with prospective employers (career fairs, on-campus recruiting, and more)
you with alumni mentors.
control your career destiny. Don't wait until your senior
year to start realizing your goals. Your career train is on the move. Jump on
board now so you can reach your destination!
Mind Tools: Essential Skills for an Excellent Career
Career Info Net: Career
Career Hub: Free Advice From Career
World of Work Map
US Department of Labor
Career One Stop
The Career Project
About Your Career
by Michael Lebeau / BSC Career
1. Plan Ahead
Many of us stumble into a career doing less research than when we make a major
purchase. When buying a car, most of us do research, compare prices, shop
around, and talk to people. Our careers last longer than most vehicles. We owe
it to ourselves to devote time and effort to choosing a career or making a
career change. One way to do this is through the career development process.
Career development is an ongoing, lifelong process. It is an active process.
We must be the driving force behind the process, gathering information, setting
goals, and making decisions. Career development is an introspective process of
self-assessment and reflection. And it is a time-consuming process that
requires proactive thinking and advance planning. Career development is a
holistic process, which integrates our changing needs, wants, relationships, and
situations with the ever-changing world of work
2. Assess Yourself
If you’ve been thinking about your career path and are seeking some sense of
focus and direction, you can begin by answering the first and most important
question, “who am I?” Knowing the answer to this question and having a deep
understanding of who we are helps us in our career planning. We can use this
information to evaluate possible careers or career changes, look for
opportunities, and find greater satisfaction in other areas of our lives as
Typically, the process starts with self-assessment. Understanding who you really
are is critical to effective career planning. Breaking the process down can be
Interests - What interests do I have? What do I enjoy doing? What do I have
a passion for? What excites me? What activities do I enjoy doing that I don’t
realize the passage of time while I am engaged in it?
Skills - What skills do I possess? What are my talents and abilities? What is
can do that I do better than others?
Values - What are my values? What things do I believe in? What motivates me
to work? What things in life do I consider to be important? What gives me a
sense of purpose?
3. Explore Your Options
Once you have done some self-assessment, you can move to researching and
exploring your options in the world of work. You’ll need to gather detailed
information and learn about various careers.
This exploration may include on-line and library research and other activities
that allow you to learn about various occupations. It may also include talking
to people in the field through informal discussions, information interviews, job shadowing, and
Your objective is to match your personality traits with appropriate vocational
settings. What careers align best with your interests, skills, and values?
4. Get Focused
From your self-assessment and exploration you should have a clearer idea of what
you are looking for. Now is the time to establish your direction and set some
goals. Where do your interests, skills, and values intersect? Where do your
talents and the needs of the world cross? What do you want to do with your
life? What do you want to work towards? What do you want to accomplish? What
is your mission? What is your purpose in life? What will you gain satisfaction
from doing? What is your calling?
Setting your goal includes identifying specific action steps that will move you
forward. Your stated goals might include your area of interest or specialty,
your functional area, your choice of an industry, your choice of a location,
region, or market, and the names of companies or organizations.
5. Take Action
Sometimes people get stuck looking for the “perfect” action step. Remember that
any step forward is an accomplishment. In the action phase, you begin making
choices about the activities you want to commit to. Based on your goal, you can
select the appropriate academic major, coursework, clubs and organizations,
extracurricular activities, community service projects, part-time jobs, and
internships. Any activity or project that will get you closer to your goal is a
good use your time. Involvement in these activities increases your experience,
skills, and credibility.
In this phase of the process you might want to begin thinking about strategies.
It would be wise to begin working on such critical elements as resume writing,
cover letter writing, interview preparation, job search strategies, networking
techniques, prospecting techniques, and job market information.
Because this process is a cycle, after taking action you should re-assess how
your plan is going. You may need to alter your goals a bit. Perhaps you stumble
across a different occupational path that appears to be a better fit for you.
Use this information to ensure your path is taking you where you really want to
Century Career Success
Reality Checks for Career Planning
What is a Career?
Career vs. Job
Paradigm Shift: Job Search vs. Career Management
Planning Guide: A to Z
Myths About Choosing a Career
The Adventures of Johnny Bunko
By Daniel Pink
Meet Johnny Bunko.
He’s probably a lot like you. He did what everybody (parents,
teachers, counselors) told him to do. But now, stuck at a
dead-end job, he’s begun to suspect that what he thought he knew
is just plain wrong. One bizarre night, Johnny meets Diana, the
unlikeliest career advisor he’s ever seen. Part Cameron Diaz,
part Barbara Eden, she reveals to Johnny the six essential
lessons for thriving in the world of work and having a
satisfying, productive career.
1. There is no plan
The economy changes too fast for your career to have a plan.
See the big picture. Be flexible. To ready to adapt
to changing circumstances and situations. Explore and try
things out. Ask lots of questions.
2. Think strengths, not weaknesses -
Find your advantages. Think of a
time when everything was going right and you were at your
supreme best. What were you doing, where were you, who were you
with? What words describe you at that moment? These are some of
your strengths! When you are operating at your peak, doing
something you love, chances are you are using all your
strengths. That’s why you are able to operate with so much
energy and focus.
3. It’s not about you -
Serving others serves you best. It’s
about making a contribution that’s bigger than one person, for
the greater good of others. Most successful people improve their
own lives by improving others’ lives. They help their customer
solve its problem. They give their client something it didn’t
know it was missing.
4. Persistence trumps talent -
Keep showing up. Many successful
people say it was their determination to achieve a goal that
gave them the courage to jump at an opportunity or take a risk
that brought them closer to their goal. Sometimes just sticking
to it and putting one foot in front of the other is what is
needed to get you through those times of doubt.
5. Make excellent mistakes -
Take risks, but fail forward. Ask yourself:
When did your last mistake or failure teach
you a really great lesson that you wouldn’t have learned if
you’d played it safe?
6. Leave an imprint -
Do something that matters. Years from now you'll ask yourself: Did
I make a difference? Did I contribute something? Did my being
here matter? Did I do something that left an imprint?
Johnny Bunko Trailer
Adventures of Johnny Bunko
Introduction to the
Adventures of Johnny Bunko
Student Discussion Guide
Business Discussion Guide
BunkoBlog: Six Lessons
Thought Port: Johnny Bunko's Six Lessons
Explaining the Six Lessons
Learning the Six Lessons
Career Fair Success
Career Fairs: Making Them Work for You
Forbes Magazine: How to Make the Most of a Career Fair
Career Fair Tips: Making the Most of Your Career Fair Experience
Career Fair Advice
Employment Guide: Career Fair Tips
Recruiters Guide: Making Career Fairs Work for You
Six Steps for First Time Job Seekers
by Kate Lorenz / Career Builder
Congratulations, you've done
it! You made it through college, have your degree in hand and are finally ready
to make your mark. You are now in the real world and it's time to get your
professional life started. If you are in the middle of this crossroad, it can be
scary, exciting, confusing, overwhelming or all of the above. Following are some
steps to make a successful college-to-real world transition.
1. Pinpoint Your Direction
After four (or five, or six) years of college, you are completely certain about
what you want to do, right? If not, now is the time to determine what your
strengths are and identify what kind of careers suit you. Are you someone who
loves to be around people? Or are you happier crunching numbers or creating
computer programs? Consider all of your strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes
and interests when thinking about your career plan. Read about fields that
interest you and talk to others who are doing jobs that you find interesting.
Focus your direction on positions and fields that match your interests and
2. Do Your Research
It is vital to learn as much as you can about the companies that interest you
and to consider all of your options, says Pam Webster, a recruiting manager for
Enterprise Rent-A-Car. She should know: Enterprise is the nation's largest
recruiter of college graduates. "You should be open-minded about opportunities
in companies and industries you might not have thought of before," she says.
Once you have identified companies that you want to target, Webster suggests
looking at their Web sites, reading news articles and talking to current
employees to learn as much as you can. "You also need to look at a company's
stability," she says. "Is the company going to be there for the long term?"
3. Assemble Your Toolkit
It is important to have the right tools for any task. The tools needed for a job
search are a résumé, cover letter and a portfolio of your work. Take the time to
develop a résumé and cover letter that clearly convey your strengths and
experience. Here are a few tips to remember:
--Think about the type of
résumé you need. A functional résumé, which highlights your abilities rather
than your work history, is a good choice for first-time job seekers.
--Focus on accomplishments
and results you have achieved, rather than simple descriptions of experiences.
--Use action words in your
résumé and cover letter to describe your experiences, such as "initiated,"
"produced" and "managed."
--If you are low on practical work experience, look to your
part-time work, school activities or volunteer positions. "Evaluate all of your
experience and translate how it applies to any job you might apply to," Webster
One of the most important tasks in any job search is networking. Take advantage
of any resources you have, including your school's career placement office,
friends who graduated before you and are already working, friends of your
parents, former professors, and neighbors. Join professional organizations and
attend professional conferences. Send e-mails to ask if your contacts
know someone who can help you. Establish an account with a reputable on-line
networking community (i.e. LinkedIn). Pass your résumé around and ask others to do the
same. Call your contacts to see if they know someone who works for a firm you
are interested in joining.
5. Play the Part
If you want to join the professional world, you need to act and look the
part. Buy a business suit and wear it to all of your interviews. "Make sure your
e-mail address and voice mail greeting are appropriate," Webster says. That
means if your e-mail user name is "crazygirl2005," you might want to get a new
account. Webster says you should also remember to be professional at home. "Be
prepared for a phone call or a phone interview at any time," she says. The more
you play the part of a well-trained professional, the more people will see you
as a professional.
6. Don't Give Up
The real world can be a real challenge. Set realistic expectations and recognize
that you will probably have to start at the bottom and work your way up. You
will likely face rejection as you start looking for your first full-time job,
but everyone goes through it. Just remember to be proactive, be persistent and
remain confident that there is a great job out there for you!
How to Explore Your Career Options
Six Stages of Modern Career Development
Writing a Career Action Plan
Creating a Career
for Today's College Students
Feel Satisfied in Your Career
Five Laws of
Successful Career Search
Career Success is Within Your Reach
by Deborah Brown-Volkman
Are you waiting for career success?
Do you believe that if you wait long enough sooner or later your dreams of
success will come true?
When it comes to success, you are
better off spending your time working toward being successful than losing
precious moments waiting for it to happen.
What are the traits of successful
people? They have drive and a belief in themselves. They are confident. They
seem to have the Midas touch. But instead of trying to emulate the qualities
that made them successful, we sometimes assume that "they must know someone."
Or, "they were lucky." We forget that they worked hard to get where they are
today. We didn't see their struggles. We just see the end result, and we want
what they have, NOW.
Career success is not just for the
lucky. It's for those who want it and work hard to get it. There's no mystery to
the process. Follow certain steps and you will be successful. Deviate from these
steps and success will take longer.
So how do you grab career success?
Follow these steps:
1. Believe that you will succeed
Self-belief is such a crucial and sometimes overlooked element. You have to
believe that success is within your reach. If you do not believe it, who will?
The clients that I coach who make their career dreams come true are those who
believe in their goals. How can you become a believer? Sit down with a piece of
paper in front of you. Write without editing your words. Create your ideal
career and life. Create a picture you can look at every day. What does your
picture look like? Does it inspire you? Does it bring excitement into your mind?
Belief comes from within. You just have to dig it out every once in awhile.
2. Get the facts
Once you are
a believer, back up your beliefs with facts. Find out specifically what steps
you need to take to make your picture real. This way you will be comfortable
taking action. For example, let's say you want to expand into another industry.
What facts do you need? Do you need more training? Is the cost of training
within your reach? If you make the investment will it put more money in your
pocket when you are done? Do you care about money, or are you more interested in
a better quality of life? Write down your questions and get your answers. Then
you will be ready to act.
3. Commit to your success
Successful people say "I will" versus "I'll try" or "I may someday." There is
something powerful about making a commitment. First of all, the decision to be
successful is made, and the back and forth is done. Second, you have focus and
direction that transforms your outlook and gives you purpose. As human beings we
do not always like to make commitments. We feel that we need to keep ourselves
open to all opportunities because we are afraid that we may walk away from
something better. Yes, you are walking away from something and that "thing" is
confusion. Commitment gives you something greater. A reason to get out of bed
4. Put a plan in place
you are committed, map out how you will succeed. Use the facts you gathered in
step two ("Get the facts") to guide you. Break down your success plan into
smaller pieces. Put these smaller pieces into your calendar. Make to-do lists.
Manage your priorities and say yes only to those things that will bring you
closer to success. Delegate and eliminate those tasks that take up your time.
And if you get sidetracked or distracted, use your plan to get back on track.
5. Keep moving no matter what
There may be days when you do not want to do the work or you do not believe the
effort you are putting in will be worthwhile. It's normal to feel this way. Your
journey will be filled with ups and downs. Success comes to those who keep
moving. It's ok to have doubts. Keep taking action anyway. Take small steps
every day, no matter what. Small steps today lead to big dreams achieved
So what do you say? You have only one
life to live, so it might as well be a life you love!
Creating Your Interview Portfolio
Job Interview Prep: How to Create Your Portfolio
How to Create an Awesome Work Portfolio
Get To Work: What is a
Monkey See Video: Creating
an Employment Portfolio
Defending Your Career & Winning the Interview with Your Career Portfolio
How to Set Goals
What Do Employers
What is a Liberal Education?
for Liberal Arts Students
Career Success for
Liberal arts Majors
What Can I Do With
my Liberal Arts Degree?
Marketing Your Liberal Arts Degree
How to Find the Work You Love by
Do What You Love, The Money Will
Follow by Marsha Sinetar
Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly
What Color is Your Parachute? by
The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to
Greatness by Stephen Covey
Zen and the Art of Making a Living by
The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The
Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need by Daniel Pink
The Reinvention of Work by Matthew
A Life at Work by Thomas Moore
True Work: Doing What You Love and
Loving What You Do by M. Toms & J.W. Toms
The Money is the Gravy: Finding the
Career That Nourishes You by John Clark
Making a Life, Making a Living by
Do What You Are by P.D. Tieger & B.
Ten Things Employers Want You to
Learn in College by Bill Coplin
Seven Habits of Highly Effective
People by Stephen Covey
We Are All Self Employed by Cliff
Working by Studs Terkel
Mind Tools: Essential Skills for an Excellent Career
Career Info Net: Career
Career Hub: Free Advice From Career
World of Work Map
US Department of Labor
Career One Stop
The Career Project
BSC CAREER SERVICES
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