You’ve probably walked by your college or university’s career counseling offices many times since you started school. But have you ever actually taken the time to step inside? Probably not -– I know I never did!
Let’s be honest: most college kids are busy enough trying to keep up with school and maintain a social life to worry about their post-college career, especially during the first three years of school when post-grad life seems like its eons away.
But it’s never too early to take advantage of your school’s career counseling services. Check out these five fantastic ways that career counseling for students can help you -– and discover why you should take advantage of these services now rather than waiting until your final semester when “the real world” is suddenly looming ahead of you.
Career counseling can help you…
1. Figure Out What You Want
When you’re starting college, choosing a major seems like a big enough challenge, let alone deciding on a potential career. While it’s not necessary to have your whole life planned by the end of your first semester, having some idea of what careers interest you can actually help with those other college choices, like what classes to take.
If you have absolutely no idea as to where your interests lie, career counseling for students can help. Most career offices have loads of literature about all kinds of jobs, and they can give you a test that assesses your skills and interests in order to pinpoint possible careers for you.
2. Find Opportunities
Career counseling services can help you find opportunities not only after you’ve donned the cap and gown but also while you’re still in school. Summer jobs and internships are a fantastic way to find out what areas interest you – and to gain valuable experience and contacts which help in finding a job after graduation.
Career counseling offices for students usually have job and internship postings, many of which are listed exclusively within the school’s system, meaning that competition is far less fierce. Instead of just perusing postings on your own, take the time to visit the office and talk to a counselor about what areas interest you.
3. Perfect Your Resume and Cover Letter
After you’ve found a position that interests you comes the pain of actually applying for the job. This can seem daunting … especially if it’s your first time going through the job application process. Trust me, I remember struggling for hours over my first resume and, to be honest, it ended up looking pretty amateurish.
Avoid that mistake and turn to your career counseling office for help. Most career centers offer workshops on US resume formatting and cover letter writing. Often you can even make an appointment for a one-on-one consultation to improve your job app documents. Or, a simpler (and often quicker) option is to turn to a professional resume writing service.
4. Practice Your Handshake
Many career counseling services for students also offer free student job interview practice . From perfecting your confidant “this-job-is-mine!” handshake to learning how to handle the toughest interview questions, this kind of interview practice is well worth the effort.
Even if you’re not applying to jobs while in school, take advantage of this opportunity while you can: this is your chance to get consultation from experts and it won’t cost you a cent.
5. Get Two Words: Moral Support!
While your future career may be the last thing on your mind while you’re busy pulling all-nighters and studying for exams, career counseling for students is still something you should take advantage of.
In addition to all the reasons listed above, career counseling can offer you some much-needed moral support when it comes to the job hunt. Talking to experts about your career options in advance of graduation will save you lots of stress down the line.
So take some time between studying and partying to step into your school’s career counseling center – you’ll be glad you did.