Can You Trust Your College's Career Center?

May 22, 2012

College career centers offer students an array of services designed to help them find a job. However, it should be noted that none of the services offered guarantee employment. They are there to provide guidance only.

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By Bobby Mann

Visit Your Career Center

The best way to find out about the services offered by a career center is to visit them. Students may have to schedule an appointment with a career center advisor. Students can also visit the webpage for their college career center to learn about the services. The number of types of services offered may vary from campus to campus; however, most will offer help with choosing a college major or career, give resume and cover letter writing tips and advice for interview preparation.

Ask Questions

If a student is uncertain about the services offered, he or she should ask questions. Learn about the background and experience of some of the career advisors at the center. Some students may prefer advisors with plenty of real-world experience, while others might be more comfortable with advisors who have spent time in academia and are knowledgeable about the career needs of students. Students should also take note of how often the job boards are updated and if a career advisor would be able to source appropriate internships and fellowships.

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Reputation

Students who have used a college career center will also have some insight into how effective it is. Word of mouth is the most powerful way to get information. Also, if enough students give positive feedback about their college career center, then the chances that the center is reliable and effective are quite high. A career center's ability to network with local companies and corporations and recruit them to attend a career fair is also a strong indicator of how good the career services are.

Try Some of the Services

Lastly, the best way to determine if a student can trust his or her career services center is to try some of the services that are offered. For example, a student could sign up for an interviewing workshop or have a resume critiqued and think critically about the level of service and advice received. A student should evaluate whether or not the experience met or exceeded expectations. Also, if a student happens to be underwhelmed by an experience, don't write off the college career center just yet; try other services so that a balanced opinion can be formed.

Still not sure about which career path to follow? Learn how finding the right career might take a few tries.

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