The Dos And Don'ts Of Your First Career Center Visit

How can a community-based, college, technical school, or other post-secondary educational institution's career center help you to find your first job? If you're ready to enter the workforce, take a look at the dos and don'ts of using adult career center services.

Do Bring a Resume

What type of education and experience do you have? Your qualifications can help you to land the job of your dreams. But if you don't have a way to showcase your background, potential future employers won't have a reason to choose you.

A clear, well-written resume can help the center's staff or a career counselor to match you to the ideal opportunity. They'll look at your career objectives, degrees/education, and past employment experiences before they suggest jobs for you to explore. If you don't already have a resume, a career counselor can help you to create one.

Don't Expect an Immediate Job

While it's possible you'll walk out of a career counseling session with a lead that lands you a solid job, you may still have some work to do. Instead of a job, the career counselor may provide you with information on employment fairs in your field, mentors to match with, or professional organizations to investigate. Even though these options may not bring you instant success, they will help you to take your first steps towards a profitable professional career.

Do Ask Questions

How do you find a job? What kind of entry-level salary or hourly rate can you expect? Will you need certifications or a license to land a job in a specific field? Whether you plan to work in healthcare, education, sales, food services, the skilled trades, or any other field, it's likely you have at least a few employment-related questions.

Come to your counseling session prepared. Write a list of questions to ask the career counselor. These can include anything from general questions (such as how to find jobs) to inquiries about specific local employers.

Don't Forget to Follow-Up

The career counselor gave you advice and a few leads to start with. You re-formatted your resume, talked to the suggested employers, and maybe even visited a career fair or two. Now what?

Ideally, your hard work will pay off with an immediate job offer. But if it doesn't, you should follow-up with the career counselor. A phone call, second visit, or email can help you to learn more about other potential jobs in your area — increasing your chances of finding meaningful employment.

For more information, reach out to a local career center today.