By Emilie Olsen
Career planning and success depends on preparation, and the Career Services and Internships Office is here to help.
“Students are encouraged to come in as freshmen,” said Director of Career Services and Internships, Jackie Baker. “We will guide them through the career development and planning process.”
Students are encouraged to utilize career-planning services early because they will learn many essential skills for the job hunt, said Baker. Services include resume writing, interviewing and networking skills and researching what career is right for them.
Career Services offers many tools for career exploration, including two courses, Career Exploration (PD101) and Job Search Strategy (PD201). Students also have access to databases for local jobs, nationwide jobs provided by Cardinal Link and a program called Cardinals Helping Cardinals, based on interaction between alumni and current students.
“We really want students to come in and meet with us,” said Baker. “The challenge is to get students here; by meeting with us they can use references they weren’t aware of.”
Career Services recently participated in an annual Career Fair held at Winona State University in an effort to help students explore their options. The fair gave students the opportunity to research employers on a personal level and highlight their own knowledge and skills.
“Preparation is the key to a successful fair visit. It’s important to contact the employer after the fair and reiterate interest in the position if job seeking,” said Baker.
On Feb. 22 and 23, there will be a similar Job and Internship Fair sponsored by the Minnesota Private Colleges in Minneapolis. Students are encouraged to attend this fair as a professional opportunity to meet with potential employers and prepare a resume and a brief introductory statement. On April 6, there will be a similar fair geared specifically toward education majors.
Career Services also encourages students to utilize a professional social networking site called LinkedIn for the job search. LinkedIn is strictly a professional site that allows employers to connect with potential employees.
“Incorporating social media into your job search should be a priority, especially LinkedIn,” said Baker. “It’s a great opportunity to connect with employers. LinkedIn is definitely something every senior would want to be a part of.”
Students interested in learning how to best utilize social media in their job search are encouraged to attend a social networking presentation, sponsored by Career Services and Internships, on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in Salvi Lecture Hall.