Your 4 -Year  “Value-Added” Checklist header-img

Your 4 -Year “Value-Added” Checklist

Freshman Year – Getting Started

As you begin your college education, it is okay not to know what you want to do later in life. Take time now to learn as much as you can about your skills, personality, interests and values. This information will help you choose a major so you can begin to explore the world of career possibilities that await you!


  • Where do I fit in? What do I do best? What major should I choose?

  • Attend the Career Services presentation during Week of Welcome (WOW).

  • Take inventory assessments that can identify personality traits, values, skills, and interests.

  • Meet with a career counselor to investigate majors that might be a good fit for the career you are considering.

  • Attend workshops, seminars, panels, and events hosted by the Career Center.

  • Set up your Handshake account and create a professional profile.

  • Begin to develop a positive and professional online presence. Monitor what goes on your social networking pages and create an online networking profile through LinkedIn.

  • Investigate summer internship and employment prospects that will add value to your resume, provide significant networking contacts, and offer substantial experiences and learning opportunities.

Other helpful strategies to employ during freshman year:

  • Get connected on campus – establish and carry out an intentional process to become known.

  • Develop your voice in the classroom.

  • Build discipline into your week. Examples include fitness and study habits.

  • Invest in friendships and adult relationships that will foster well-being and partnerships.

  • Clarify your personal values.

Sophomore Year – Making Plans

Continue to explore and gather information about career fields.

ASK THESE QUESTIONS: I know my major, but what can I do with it? What career options to I have? What’s out there for me to do?

  • Meet with a career counselor to review your summer activities, update your resume, and review your four-year plan.

  • Update your Handshake account, LinkedIn profile, and other social media platforms.

  • Attend workshops, seminars, panels, and events hosted by the Career Center.

  • Attend career fairs in the fall and spring semesters.

  • Conduct formal research about available internships with a career counselor.

Other helpful strategies to employ during sophomore year:

  • Clarify your intended career path and journey with a career counselor.

  • Develop a growth plan to study the profession.

  • Reach out to strategic partners for feedback and fieldwork.

  • Complete a strengths analysis to confirm your career aspirations.

Junior Year – Marketing You

Internships and summer employment will help you acquire new skills, learn more about careers, and develop a network of contacts. Aim for outstanding academic performance, especially in your major.

ASK THESE QUESTIONS: I’m looking at several career options-which is best for me? What do I need to do to prepare for this career? How have my interests changed since my first year and how will this influence my present action?

  • Attend fall and spring career fair and network with all participants in your related field.

  • Send follow-up thank you emails.

  • Update your resume, LinkedIn profile, and Handshake profile with any activities, experiences, internships, or jobs that you could add from the previous year.

  • Practice and sharpen your interview skills by scheduling a mock interview in the Career Center.

  • Begin cultivating an online brand for yourself. Follow organizations, companies, and leaders that spark your interest on social media.

  • Apply for summer internships that have meaningful application to your career goals.

Other helpful strategies to employ during junior year:

  • Learn the art of marketing yourself and your talents to a world in need.

  • Create a list of target companies who do what you would like to be doing after graduation.

  • Reach out to those companies and begin a dialogue.

  • Gain work experience over the summer and build “comfort” in serving others.

Senior Year – Finishing Well

Plan ahead and set reasonable career goals for yourself.

ASK THESE QUESTIONS: What types of jobs are available? How do I find the job that’s right for me? Should I graduate school now or later?

  • Practice and sharpen your interview skills by scheduling a mock interview in the Career Center.

  • Review your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile.

  • Attend career fairs, employer presentations, and recruiting sessions put on by the Career Center.

  • Develop your job search strategies and begin the process. Log on to Handshake daily to see new job listings.

  • Share your success story with the Career Center!

Other helpful strategies to employ during senior year:

  • Master the art of “Adding Value.”

  • Understanding salary negotiations.

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