Four-Year Career Planning Checklist

Freshman Year – Self Assessment and Awareness

Goal:  To have an awareness and understanding of the career development process

  • Take time to understand yourself as an individual.  Pay attention to the classes you most enjoy, activities, talk about career ideas and possibilities
  • Meet with a Career counselor to start your career planning process
  • Identify a few career paths to explore that are of interest
  • Develop a relationship with your academic advisor.  See if various majors, electives, education requirements can align with career possibilities
  • Begin to utilize the various resources in the Career Center to explore your career interests: career library, 
  • If you are undecided or do not have a particular interest, assess your values, interests and abilities by taking an career inventory such as the Myers-Briggs Type indicator and Strong Interest Inventory
  • Get involved on and off campus – join student organizations, volunteer and community service opportunities as a method to gain critical experience for your resume  
  • Develop your first resume and continue to refine it and adding content throughout your college years as your experience increases and your vision sharpens

Sophomore Year  - Exploration

Goal:  To connect your skills, interests, values and personality in order to choose a major 

  • Actively research career fields that interest you by attending career programs (alumni speakers, panel discussions, Career 101 series
  • Choose your major based upon alignment to your career planning and eventual credits early
  • Join campus organizations in areas of professional interest.  Continue to stay with and explore other campus activities
  • Conduct informational interviews  with professionals to gain further insight into the career field(s) that are of interest and begin to develop your professional network
  • Identify at least three marketable skills you already possess for your chosen career, as well as three more that you hope to develop by the time you graduate
  • Begin planning an internship experience
  • Have your resume critiqued and updated with experiences you may have participated in within the last year 

Junior Year – Focus, Goal Setting, Gaining Experience

Goal:  Gain relevant experience and explore career options relevant to your major

  • Secure an internship.  Also consider volunteer, study abroad and community service opportunities
  • Run for e-board positions in student organizations and higher offices the next year .These will provide excellent resume material and interview examples
  • Continue to attend both participate in both on and off career programs in order to explore your options and network with potential  employers
  • Fine tune your resume, cover letter and interviewing skills as you continue to expand your skills and experience  
  • Research graduate and professional school options 
  • Attend the Graduate School Prep Series 
  • Begin planning your final year with the Career Center to ensure your preparation is on target for meeting the needs of potential employers

Senior Year – Self Marketing

Goal:  Identify the career path that is most satisfying, have a successful job search, interview process and secure a job 

  • Join professional organizations
  • Fine tune your resume and cover letter for graduation
  • Practice your interviewing skills through a mock interview
  • Prepare for your job search with all of the prerequisite material (resume, cover letter, transcripts, etc.)
  • Attend as many recruiting, informational and networking events