Career Counseling Techniques for College Students

Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara has a PhD in Marketing & Management

A new college graduates has many opportunities to consider and decisions to make. A career counselor can help both entry-level employees and experienced workers make good career moves.

Help Narrowing Opportunities

College students are faced with unlimited opportunities. In fact, the corporate terrain is changing so rapidly, many of the jobs new college graduates can apply for didn't exist when they started just a few years before. Technological careers are expanding, global positions are growing, and options are truly endless. As a result, the need for career counseling for college students is greater than ever.

Some of the most effective techniques to helping job seekers select their career include understanding their needs and interests, as well as determining their strengths.

Understanding the Student's Needs and Interests

Recently graduated students may ask the career coach:

  • What resources are available to determine my strengths?
  • Where can I get help with the job search, such as resume creation and interview practices?
  • What are employers looking for in applicants and employees?
  • How can I improve my chances of success in securing a new job?

New graduates need direction to know what opportunities exist, what skills will be most beneficial for different positions, and how to best apply their strengths. For instance, a graduate may have a degree in accounting but not know what type of position they should pursue.

A career counselor can help them understand their options and narrow down their choices to find the best fit. As the student's interests are considered, his or her love of traveling and seeing the world may affect what type of jobs they apply for. Looking for an accounting job in the tourism industry or a global company may offer travel opportunities that support the student's personal needs while providing an excellent job.

Determining Strengths

Career counseling can offer other benefits that help a new student to be successful in the work world. Because new graduates likely have had little or no long-term, full-time employment, understanding the expectations of employers and what is required of employees can help them be effective in their new job.

Coaching and teaching about employer expectations can help a student interview better, giving more appropriate answers and demonstrating their understanding of what they bring to the company.

Differing Needs Based on Experience

Career counseling is helpful for both newly graduated individuals and those who have already been in the workforce. Someone who is changing jobs or companies already has an understanding of the basic expectations of employees like being dependable, following corporate rules, and abiding by company policies. They probably have experience writing a resume, interviewing, and perhaps won't need the sort of confidence building a entry-level student might.

Additionally, experienced professionals have more knowledge of what types of positions are available and what skills they bring to the company. They may want to transition to a different job, but they are not starting from scratch.

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