CAREER READINESS EVALUATION
Career readiness is an evaluation of your fitness for the journey that leads to a professional job search. These are the essentials for eventually beginning your professional career. Check these out to see where you stand so far
JOB SEARCH TOOLS
1. Do you have a resume?
No? – Stop. Resumes are an essential tool whether you are just getting started with internships or preparing to start your professional job search. Resumes are expected in college and can be necessary not only for career use but also when seeking scholarships or being considered for an award or volunteer position or membership in a fraternity or sorority. You benefit from having an ongoing record of accomplishments and experiences to track your progress.
Yes? – Great! Have you had a career center professional to assist you with writing or reviewing your resume? Resumes have changed somewhat since your mom or dad composed theirs. In addition, the Career Development Center seeks advice from hiring professionals who provide insights on what they expect to see in a student resume. You want this document to be A+ since it represents you. It’s your primary marketing tool whose goal is to get you an interview.
2. Do you know the best way to search for jobs and internships?
Did you say Monster or Career Builder? WRONG! Only about 15-20% of job opportunities are ever advertised anywhere. In tough economic times, you have even more people competing for this same 20% that get posted. Being proactive and making contact with employers or people who know them is the best way and yields the best results consistently. The Career Development Center has specific resources not only to help you get started but to coach you on how to approach employers or key people. We are all about strategies and resources.
3. Do you know what ePACK is?
If you said it’s a container for words beginning with “E” – WRONG! It’s NC State’s own job, internship, and co-op posting site plus much more. It currently has more than 11,000 employers who can post opportunities at any time. Wise students will set up their ePACK account (at no cost) early in their college experience to find internships, co-ops, and part-time positions that are career related; to check on-campus interview opportunities and schedules; to know when the 13+ campus career fairs will be held and who’s coming, and to take advantage of some of the numerous free information sessions (that can also include resume critiques and practice interviews) where you talk with professionals in your areas of interest. Get started at careers.ncsu.edu. Click on the ePACK link on the home page.
4. What are the five basic questions that you will almost always be asked?
Few people are good at interviewing because most do not interview enough times to get comfortable with the process. The truth is, most students are hoping to have to interview only once! Reality (especially in today’s economic environment) is that you may interview as many as 15-20 times or more before getting an offer. In addition, interview techniques have changed and use more “behavior-based” questions requiring applicants to think on their feet and deal with even more pressure. Mock or practice interviews will help you improve your technique and increase your confidence significantly. The question is: “When do you want to make your interview mistakes?”
5. Do you know the secrets of professional networking and how to work a room?
These are all learned skills and include knowing how to tell your “career story” in 60 seconds or less. Developing your story, learning how to contact people, and maintaining professional conversations are skills we can help you acquire or improve. We can demonstrate the total communication package and how to maximize each component. Among the many things the CDC does is to help you build confidence. The CDC is a good place to bring your career anxieties.
6. Are you clear about your career options with your major and how to maximize your academic experience to make you more attractive to employers? Are you having questions about your major, not really clear about what you want to do or can do with your college experience (and feel like you are the only one who’s having these questions)?
Believe it or not, you are part of a large group if these are issues for you. Choosing a major and a career path involve many factors, yet the choice of a career is a huge life decision that can be a source of either frustration or fulfillment depending on the choices you make. Helping you with these questions earlier rather than later in your college experience can provide significant benefits. These include:
- Having a clear connection between your total college experience and your career direction. This makes classes much more enjoyable when this connection is apparent.
- Students with a strong career path/academics connection typically make better choices and are more motivated to excel.
- Virtually every choice you make in college (good and bad) can have implications for your career. In challenging job markets, it’s often the little things that make the difference. It’s not unusual for students to get interviews and offers based on the additional value a carefully selected minor, second major, or electives bring to the position.
We can help you sort through all of these decisions and questions.
7. Where is the best place on campus for help with any career-related question?
If you said the Career Development Center, you’re beginning to get it. The first step is to come in for an appointment so you can get started. It will be among the best decisions you ever make. On the ePACK home page, click on “schedule an appointment” and choose a time to meet with your CHASS Career Professionals: Woody Catoe or Jane Matthews. Questions? Call the Career Development Center at 919-515-2396 or check out the website: careers.ncsu.edu.
C. Woody Catoe, Ed.D, LPC
Assistant Director – Serving CHASS Students
Career Development Center