Career Services – Gaining Value for FREE (Part 1)

Career Services: those are two words that are familiar with thousands of college students across the globe. Everyone knows of Career Services, but very few have actually utilized the resources available to them. Those students that have worked with their Career Services office on campus have actually been shown to be more likely to find a job right out of college, according to NACE (National Association of Colleges & Employers). Click here for the full report.

Here’s the best part about Career Services: the resources are FREE!! As a student, all the fees and services are included in your tuition, so why not take full advantage of the wide array of career development tools like expert career advice, career fair information, employer information sessions, full-time, internship and co-op opportunities, and résumé/cover letter writing assistance??

I used the opportunity to crowd-source some of the information used in this post, reaching out to university Career Services professionals, corporate recruiters, students and alumni. There are two approaches that I’m going to take with this subject. We’ll start with the feedback received from recruiters and Career Services. The second part of this series will be posted next week. There were two common themes in my conversations with recruiters and Career Services:

• Career Services is most beneficial for the value they provide in the areas above (paragraph 2). Additionally, the connection that Career Services has with corporate recruiters and industries is of great value – one-off networking alone can still achieve this, but it is harder to do.

• Students should start utilizing their Career Services office beginning with their freshman year, not waiting until two months before graduation to solicit résumé assistance or interview preparation.

When I talked with Christian Garcia, Director of the Toppel Career Center at University of Miami about why students should use career centers, he gave the simple answer that rings true:

Why not? It certainly won’t hurt and can help provide much-needed career direction and assistance. Career centers are designed to help. Once you’re out in the real world, where are you going to find this help for FREE?”

Other notable comments came from Michael Hernandez, Regional Campus Recruiter, JC Penney, who said,

As they (students) progress through their academic program, career services should be used to network with potential employers. They (students) often wait until the final two years of school to do this. Students can stand out from the crowd by already demonstrating successful résumé writing, interviewing, networking, etc.”

So, why wouldn’t you want to set yourself apart and utilize the free services available to you?

Special thanks to:

Cindy Billington – Assistant Director, Graduate Business Career Services – Texas A & M University (@CindyBillington)

Mallory Bower – Assistant Director, Career Services, University of N. Carolina –Pembroke (@MalloryBower)

Judith Clare – Director, Career Services, Bryant University (via @BryantUniv)

Tom Fitch – Assistant Dean, Career Services, McIntire School of Commerce, University of Virginia (@tomfUVA)

Christian Garcia – Director, Toppel Career Center, University of Miami (@christiangarcia)

Michael Hernandez – Regional Campus Recruiter, JC Penney  (@MrCareerGuy)

Jennifer Rutt – Director of Strategic Alliances, NACE (National Association of Colleges & Employers)  (@NACEJenRutt)

Next week, I’ll be covering some of the student and alumni I was able to gather around the topic of using their career center. My question to them was “Why do (or don’t) you use your career center?” So far, I’ve gotten some great comments! Do you have something to add? Please feel free to leave a comment below, or email me at, if you’d prefer to remain anonymous on the blog. As always, thanks for reading!


One thought on “Career Services – Gaining Value for FREE (Part 1)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s