Make the most of your time in college and follow the action steps outlined below to achieve your career goals.
Career coaches in the Career Center are available to assist you in each stage of this process.
First-Year: Exploring and Discovering Majors and Careers
- Visit the Career Center to discover the possibilities and resources available to you.
- Get involved in student organizations, service-learning projects, residence life activities and community events that interest you.
- If you are unsure of how your strengths, abilities and interests translate into the world of work, contact the Career Center to take jobZology, Strong Interest Inventory and/or StrengthsFinder assessment. Meet with a career counselor to review the results and get started on a plan.
- Reflect on and write down your jobs, awards, significant class projects and other items that will help you build a resume and portfolio.
- Gain practical experience by getting a summer job or internship related to your potential major or career interests. Sign in to Handshake for job and internship postings, on and off campus.
- Sophomores: Making Decisions
- Choose your major and narrow down your career direction. Visit a career counselor to discuss your major and career goals.
- Conduct job shadowing experiences and/or informational interviews with professionals who are working in careers that you are considering.
- Continue getting involved in extracurricular activities to develop leadership, teamwork and time management skills that employers value.
- Create a profile on LinkedIn to start building your network with Calvin alumni and other professionals.
- Develop your resume and cover letter and have them critiqued by the Career Center staff. Use Optimal Resume as a tool to get started.
- Search for internships using Handshake.
Juniors: Making Connections
- Prepare for interviews by scheduling a practice interview with a career counselor. Online practice is also available through Optimal Resume.
- Secure an internship or part-time job in your career field. Sign in to Handshake for job and internship postings.
- Employers are looking for candidates with strong communication, problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Highlight experiences in your resume and cover letter that have helped strengthen your skills in these areas.
- Attend career fairs and networking events. Talk with employers about job or internship opportunities and build your networking skills.
- Update your profile on LinkedIn and continue your networking efforts.
- Thinking about graduate school? Research graduate admission test requirements, upcoming test schedules and preparatory courses.
Seniors: Applying and Finalizing Plans
- Visit a career counselor in the early fall to discuss your goals, develop a plan for your job search and ensure transition-readiness.
- Assemble a professional portfolio that highlights significant accomplishments and experiences.
- Refine your resume and cover letters.
- Participate in a practice interview with a career counselor to polish your interviewing skills.
- Attend career fairs and networking events.
- Network with Calvin alumni, family, friends, professors and other professionals. Use LinkedIn and uKnight as networking tools, but do not neglect the value of face-to-face, personal networking.
- If applicable, take graduate school admission test(s) and apply to graduate schools.
- Believe that your job search will be fruitful!
- Assess your interests and strengths.
- Meet with a career counselor to discuss goals.
- Consider self-assessment tests.
- Utilize your network.
- Set up a job-search strategy.
- Follow through with your plan and revise it if necessary.
- Alumni may meet with a career counselor three times.