During my final year as a university student, I was hired as a peer adviser in my school’s career services department. In this role, I was trained to critique student CVs, prepare students for important job interviews, and even help students assess what career paths were right for them. I had an amazing time working with so many students that year, and I learned a lot of valuable information that prepared me for my own career!
Many students don’t even know about their university’s career centre or how to use it effectively. This guide will show you why visiting your career centre is so important, as well as a few pointers for maximising this awesome resource.
Use it early and often
Don’t wait until the week before graduation to visit your university’s career centre. The sooner you learn exactly what services your university offers, the better! Develop a rapport with the staff members early on, and find out how they can help you. Do they offer practice interviews? Can they help you build or revise your CV? Do they host any job shadowing programs? Learn as much as you can about the resources that you can take advantage of!
Go in with a mission
When you visit your university’s career centre, come prepared with a goal for what you would like to achieve that day. If you’re applying for a specific internship, bring along your CV, application, a job description, and any other materials that will best help your adviser assist you. Don’t know how to write a CV? Bring along a bulleted list of activities and jobs you’ve participated in, so that you may use this list as a basis when creating your resume. Write down some questions beforehand to get started. Being prepared will help you accomplish a lot more in a short amount of time.
Many university career centres host workshops, job fairs, and other programming that can help you prepare for the job search process. Utilise these! As a peer adviser, I taught workshops on resume building and interviewing skills, but our office also offered seminars on networking, cover letters, preparing for graduate studies, and much more. We also hosted events that allowed students to interact with employers and learn about what they look for in their interns and employees. Find out what types of events your career centre hosts, and attend as many as you can. Not only will you learn a lot, but you will also meet people who could help you on the path to your dream job.
Follow these tips to effectively use your university’s career centre – and check out Career Camel’s careers advice too!
How will you make the most out of your university’s career centre? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo: Flazingo Photos / Flickr