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25 Things Students Need From Career Services

As students go through college, they should be doing many things that will help them identify, prepare for, pursue and land a good job when they graduate. At most colleges, that means that much of the needed information and training will come from the Career Services Office. Of course, each college is different. Some do a better job than others.

The better colleges provide students with the following:

1. Adequate Career Services staff and resources to effectively assist students

2. Well informed, concerned, caring Career Services Counselors

3. Easy to make appointments, when students need help

4. Allow students to “walk in” during specified hours

5. Career counseling services and assessment instruments for students who are undecided about their direction

6. A Career Services Web Site that:

- Is simple, easy to understand and navigate
- Lists and describes all services provided by the department
- Displays the name, title, phone number and e-mail address of each member of
the Career Services Department
- Posts useful dates, schedules, instructions, information and examples

7. Peer (Student) Counselors who supplement the Career Services Department staff

8. Employment Coaching Programs provided by adult volunteers

9. A meeting with a Career Services Counselor each semester

10. Classroom sessions that describe the entire job search preparation process and encourage questions from students

11. A sample “employment plan” that students can follow each semester

12. Training and practice in networking, Interviewing and resumé preparation

13. A critique of the student resumés, sales letters and thank you notes

14. Instruction on the use of social networks for employment purposes

15. Detailed information and instruction on each step of the employment process

16. A well stocked Career Resource Library

17. Information about the employment success of graduates from prior years

- Percentage employed in their fields of interest
- Jobs they accepted
- Salary offers
- Employers

18. The ability to network with former students from each major

19. The identification of internships, part-time jobs, work/study programs and job shadowing opportunities that will provide job-related experience

20. A list of jobs for which students in each major are likely to be considered

21. A list of employers appropriate to each major

22. A list of useful job search web sites for students in each major.

23. On-campus interviews with employers looking for students within each major

24. Career Fairs with employers that seek a broad range of students

25. International options and experiences for select, qualified students

The best colleges go even further. They involve the entire college community in their job search preparation efforts. These colleges understand that students want more than a good education from their college experience. Students want and need good jobs when they graduate. That is the only way that graduates can live on their own, cover their own expenses, pay back their college loans and launch their careers.

When students are not receiving the job search preparation information, guidance and training they need, their college leaders should be made aware of the problems. Each issue should be clearly explained. In that way, concerned and effective leaders can quickly understand the deficiencies and start taking the actions necessary the correct them.