Career Services: To Use or Not to Use

To see this article on the homepage of Yahoo makes me sad.  While the picture painted of career service offices may be not be true of all the perception is real.  Unfortunately, many career services offices have not evolved to keep up with the highly sophisticated students on campus who are not satisfied with resume templates or “[lists of university-sponsored companies]” for their job search.

During my time as an undergraduate and graduate student I can only remember visiting the Career Services office once (this is across my time at three universities).  I had a disappointing experience my first time there and realized that much of the information they were providing was available on the Internet or from mentors (and this was before the Internet had everything!).  Worse still, I teach career planning for a four year university and many of my students tell me that they have never visited our career services office in person or virtually.  Students who take my course primarily do so within a semester or two of graduating.

These offices can play an important role in career development. They should work to assist students with connecting their academic knowledge and experience to career success.  The resume templates should be trashed and replaced with information and assistance with exploring, building, and documenting skills and accomplishments.  Resumes are marketing/sales documents for a very unique product: YOU!

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