The College Student’s Ultimate Career Prep Checklist

Throughout college, you will get career advice from instructors, career service advisors, parents and fellow students. You likely already know the importance of a well put-together resume, professional interview attire and a compelling cover letter, but it’s easy to overlook some of the vital steps that are important to take when preparing for your career.

Below is a list to reference as you prepare for your career.

Throughout your college experience:career preparation

☐  Create your resume, including education and previous work and volunteer experience.

☐  Reach out to personal and professional contacts to determine if they will serve as a reference.

☐  Ask instructors, supervisors, career services advisors, etc., to provide a letter of recommendation that can be used when applying for a variety of positions.

☐  Schedule appointments with career services to complete mock interviews.

☐  Attend career fairs on and off campus. Be sure to bring with you several copies of your resume.

☐  Work with instructors and college staff to identify internship and volunteer opportunities.

When you apply for a specific position:

☐  Update your resume to highlight the experience and skills you have that directly relate to the position.

☐  Write a cover letter unique to the position reflecting specific experience you have and how it relates to the position.

☐  Include your letters of recommendation and/or references.

Before you attend a job interview:

☐  Research the company or organization’s website (specifically check out the “About Us” section) to get an understanding of the business functions and history.

☐  Thoroughly review the job posting, keeping in mind how you can relate your experience and skills to the duties of the position.

☐  Create a list of questions you would like to ask the hiring manager during the interview.

☐  Provide your references with a copy of the job posting to ensure they are prepared if they are called by the hiring manager.

Following a job interview:

☐  Before leaving your interview, ask the hiring manager when you can expect to hear from them regarding the position.

☐  Immediately send a “thank you” letter to all those you interviewed with.

Colleges offer a variety of opportunities for students to hone their career development skills. Be sure to take advantage of the resources that your college’s career services department offers. Creating a standing relationship with the career services advisors will help you stay on track throughout college and beyond.