William and Mary

Components of career readiness

You are in control--prepare for life after W&M

Reflect  |  Explore  |  Decide and Strategize  |  Pursue Goals


Begin with asking questions, exploring your options (up to 30 hours)


From there, you'll start researching options and testing paths (up to 60 hours)
  • Schedule an appointment with a Career Advisor to review your Career Readiness Checklist.
  • Update your resume (with your summer activities) and have it critiqued at the Career Center.
  • Begin doing internships,  campus research projects, summer jobs, extracurriculars and school-break job that relate to your interests.
  • Research  at least three career options available to you that are aligned with your interests, strengths, values and education.
  • Attend on-campus career exploration panels and employer information sessions relating to your interests.
  • Complete at least five informational interviews with people in careers you want to explore. Stay in touch with these people.
  • Join at least one professional or honorary organization related to your career interests to make contact with people in the professional world.
  • Work toward one leadership position in a university club or activity. This includes managing a project to successful completion for your club.
  • Maintain contact with previous internship site supervisors and previous employers so they can serve as references for you.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with your faculty so they can write recommendations for your future graduate school applications.
  • Attend networking events at the Career Center, academic departments and your extracurricular organizations.
  • Put together an interview outfit.


And then you are ready to start making decisions and plotting plans to reach your goals (up to 100 hours)...
  • Schedule an appointment with a Career Advisor  to have your updated resume critiqued and to go over your Career Readiness Checklist.
  • Narrow your career interests.
  • Shadow several professionals in your field. Stay in touch with them.
  • Review your progress in learning four (or more) skills employers look for in new hires in your chosen career fields; make sure you pick up those skills.
  • Read one or more professional or trade publications from your career fields on a regular basis.
  • Identify and perform internships and campus research projects that will give you the entry-level skills and contacts you'll need for your chosen first job.
  • Participate in interviewing  and job-search workshops.
  • Practice your skills by doing mock interviews.
  • Consider graduate school and get information on graduate entrance examinations.
  • Set up your credentials file and ask professors to write recommendations for your future graduate school applications.
  • Start your professional wardrobe.


So that you'll be ready to actively pursue those goals! (about 40 hours per week until hired)


Good luck in your career!