Seven Things You Can do to Help Your Student
1. Join our Facebook Page
The UofL Career Development Center Facebook Page can be an excellent resource to keep you abreast of what is happening in our office and the awesome events and opportunities that we offer to students. Whether you’re paying the tuition bill or not, we see nothing wrong with tagging your students here or there on Facebook to let them know there’s a career opportunity that they should be checking out!
2. Encourage your student to visit the Career Development Center
Next time you visit campus, drop by the Career Development Center and pick up a business card from one of the staff. When your son or daughter is feeling anxious about his/her future, offer the card and say, "Please call this person. He (or she) can help you."
Many students use their first semester to "settle into" college life, and so the spring semester of the freshman year is the optimal time to start using the Career Development Center. Ask your student (perhaps in a subtle way), "Have you visited the career center?" If you hear, "You only go there when you are a senior," then it's time to reassure him/her that meeting with one of our staff can take place at any point—and should take place frequently—throughout a college career.
Many centers offer a full range of career development and job-search help, including:
- Mock interviews
- A network of alumni willing to talk about their jobs and careers
- Workshops on writing resumes and cover letters
- A recruiting program
- Individual advising
3. Encourage your student to seek resume help from the Career Development Center
Writing a resume can be a "reality test" and can help a student identify weak areas that require improvement. Suggest that your student get sample resumes from the Career Development Center.
Encourage him/her to schedule an appointment with us or drop by for walk-in hours.
4. Challenge your student to become "occupationally Iiterate."
Ask: "Do you have any ideas about what you might want to do when you graduate?"
If your student seems unsure, you can talk about personal qualities you see as talents and strengths. You can also recommend:
- Taking a "self-assessment inventory," and the Career Development Center offers assessments that gauge a student’s career interest.
- Researching a variety of interesting career fields and employers
A career decision should be a process and not a one-time, last-minute event.
5. Emphasize the importance of internships
The Career Development Center does not simply "place" your student in a job at graduation. Colleges grant degrees, but not job guarantees, so having relevant experience in this competitive job market is critical.
Your student can sample career options and gain relevant experience at the same time by completing internships and experimenting with summer employment opportunities or volunteer work.
Why an internship?
- Employers are interested in communication, problem-solving, and administrative skills, which can be developed through internships.
- Employers look for experience on a student's resume and often hire from within their own internship programs.
- Having a high GPA is not enough.
- A strong letter of recommendation from an internship supervisor may tip the scale of an important interview in their favor.
6. Encourage extracurricular involvement
Part of experiencing college life is to be involved and active outside the classroom. Interpersonal and leadership skills—qualities valued by future employers—are often developed in extracurricular activities.
7. Teach the value of networking
Introduce your student to people who have the careers/jobs that are of interest. Suggest that they contact people in your personal and professional networks for information on summer jobs. Encourage him/her to "shadow" someone in the workplace to increase awareness of interesting career fields.