We’ve made it through the first couple weeks of fall quarter, woo-hoo! Now it’s time to get down to business. No matter what year you are, you can help yourself by starting to think about your career now. Here are some tips on how to get started:
- Meet with a career advisor
DU has great career advisors in Driscoll. You can talk to them about your career goals and they can help guide you down a path that’s suited for you. They’re great with the specific details associated with getting a job after graduation: resumes, cover letters, interview prep, etc.
Remember that they’re only there to advise, but you’re the one that needs to do the work.
- Update your resume and LinkedIn page
Did you work or intern over the summer? Did you go abroad recently? Have you joined a new club or gotten a new leadership role? Well, all of those activities and jobs should be added to your resume and LinkedIn page. It’s important to regularly update these, so that you have all your relevant experience prepared before the job application. If you don’t have a resume or a LinkedIn account your career advisor can help you.
- Go to events on campus
DU holds on-campus events quite often. Personally, I receive at least three emails on Mondays informing me about different career related events around Denver. Whether the event pertains to your major, something your interested in, or specifically meant to help you with your career, you should go. You can meet people with similar interests and it’s a good way to make connections. These can also help you see and meet professionals in a career path you might be interested in or find out about one that you hadn’t known existed.
- Make a goal
Let’s be honest, I’m not fond of making goals. I find SMART goals to be tedious and by the time I’m finished, I regret making the goal in the first place. But, this goal is just for you; you are the only one who needs to know if you accomplish it.
Think about something related to your career path that you want to achieve this school year.
It could be to have a job or internship lined up by the end of the year. It could be to pick your major. Is there a local job in your field that you could work at over the summer? Do you know how to look for jobs? Are there people you want to talk to about your career? All you need is something simple that will help you be more prepared this time next year.
- Research, research, research
Researching is key to finding a career path that’s right for you. There are so many different ways to go about this. You can search LinkedIn, talk to professors, friends, parents, set up informational interviews and job shadows, read job descriptions, look at data about different positions in your preferred field, etc…
As you research you should also reflect on what your personal preferences are for a work environment: do you want to be at a computer all day? Do you want to work with the public? How well can you handle teams and meetings? All of these aspects are critical for your happiness at your job. You want to have as much information as you possibly can so that you can make the best decisions for yourself when you graduate.