5 Reasons For Seeking Career Advice Sooner In College

by Brittany Schlacter on March 12, 2013

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It seems as though there’s glaring information regarding the unemployment rate and sluggish economy everywhere you turn. Workers with varying experience levels across all industries are constantly being reminded of the state of the job market and left questioning the future. But what about the college students nearing their entrance into the “real world”?

It seems they’re just as worried as the rest of the employed population. The current economic implications have led to an unsurprising increase in the necessity of career advice — often sought from campus career centers. In fact, at Albright College in Reading, PA, the number of students visiting the career center in their freshman year rocketed an astounding 439 percent from 2006 to 2012. There’s no doubt this increase is in tune with the nerve-wracking state of the job market.

And it’s not just juniors and seniors who are becoming increasingly interested in their futures, freshman are now showing an interest in kickstarting their career knowledge. Karen V. Evans, director of career development and assistant dean of experiential learning at Albright said, “First-year students are thinking forward to their careers.”

A 2012 Noel Levitz report found that first year students were overwhelmingly receptive to career development says, Toni McLawhorn, director of career services at Roanoke College. “These students expressed a desire to get an earlier start on career planning and would welcome career counseling assistance,” she says. “We have seen an increase in underclassmen overall, not just freshmen.”

Regardless of your standing in college, it’s time to start seeking career advice. Here are five reasons to become familiar with your college’s career center and set up an appointment today:

1. Increased Drive. Upon entering college, students are often unsure what their futures hold. With an earlier interest in career planning, students are able to take control of their career future. When you understand where you’re headed and what it takes to get there, you’re more likely to go above and beyond in your studies. For example, your career counselor may inform you that volunteering and internships are mandatory to get hired after graduation. This knowledge will allow you to get a head start on pursuing these measures.

2. Competitive Advantage. Getting hired in the current job climate depends on standing out from the competition. Students who receive career guidance earlier in their college career are more likely to outshine other candidates. This is because career centers provide students with information about writing resumes and cover letters, proper interviewing techniques, job search strategies, as well as access to networking opportunities. All of this information will set you up as a smarter job seeker, job applicant, and employee.

“First-year students who make a point to read, learn, and attend as many programs as they can will find themselves ahead of the curve by their junior and senior years,” says Whitney Purcell, assistant director of career development at Susquehanna University. “They are ready to apply for competitive internships and job postings, rather than trying to play ‘catch-up’ in their last semester of college and feeling ill-prepared for a competitive job market.”

3. Chance To Supplement Learning. Your college career center will not only set you up with valuable information to go find employment after graduation, it will provide you with opportunities to supplement your learning while still in school. Career center guidance is essential in the search for internships, part-time jobs, and volunteer opportunities — all beneficial parts to getting hired after graduation. Your career center is likely to have a list of companies, hiring manager, and internship opportunities to benefit you.

4. Receive Answers. Students are often faced with a variety of questions throughout their time in college. What will I do once I graduate? Where will I work? How do I find a job? All of these fears are normal. Your college career center will help you answer these challenging questions, while also guiding you in making decisions to impact the success of your career.

5. Build Your Network.  Getting hired often comes down to who you know. Your career center advisors are likely to be in contact with a variety of potential employers across the nation. Utilizing your career center offers you the opportunity to grow your network by building beneficial relationships with your career center advisors — therefore maximizing the potential of their referrals to other organizations.

Change your career future by seeking out guidance from your career center as soon as possible.

Has your career center impacted your college or professional career? Share below!

 

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