Departments & Offices » Career Center » Students » Your Career Checklist
YOU are in control--prepare for life after W&M
Here are the components of career readiness. Use your checklist to keep track of your progress.
- Drop in to schedule an appointment at the Career Center to familiarize yourself with the services and resources available.
- Start working on your Career Readiness Checklist. Update it at least once per semester. Bring it with you for your Career Center appointments.
- Familiarize yourself with the resources on the Career Center's web site: mycareer.wm.edu.
- Come to a resume writing workshop and explore other career planning workshops.
- Use TribeCareers.wm.edu to write your first resume, bring it to the Career Center for a critique.
- Freshmen & Sophomores take advantage of the Compass and MACE programs.
- Attend on-campus career fairs, career exploration panels and employer information sessions to learn about potential careers and employers.
- Explore your interests, abilities, and skills through required academics and through your extracurricular activities here on campus.
- Talk to faculty, alumni, academic advisers, and career center advisors about possible majors and careers.
- Browse through the internship listings on the Career Center's web site.
- Consider volunteer positions to help build your resume.
- Schedule an appointment with a Career Advisor to review your Career Readiness Checklist.
- Begin doing internships, campus research projects, summer jobs, extracurriculars and school-break jobs 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 and job fairs and employer information sessions relating to your interests.
- Join at least one professional or honorary organization related to your career interests to make contact with people in the professional world.
- Complete at least five informational interviews with people in careers you want to explore. Stay in touch with these people.
- Work toward one leadership position in a university club or activity. You don't necessarily need to be an officer of the organization; 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 you are then be ready to start making decisions and plotting plans to reach your goals (spend up to 100 hours altogether)...
- 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, based on your self-reflection, research, informational interviews, and preferred experiences.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Shadow several professionals in your field. Stay in touch with them.
- Expand the number of relationships you've built with people in your career field.
- Start your professional wardrobe.
So you'll be ready for actively pursuing your goals! (about 40 hours per week until hired, if job seeking)
- If you are planning to go to graduate school, take graduate school entrance exams and complete applications.
- Have your graduate school application essays critiqued by your faculty and the Career Center.
- Set up your credentials file for graduate school application letters of recommendation.
- Make an appointment with the College's pre-med advisor or the pre-law advisor if appropriate.
- Target your resume and a cover letter to a specific job and visit the Career Center to have it critiqued.
- Make an appointment with a Career Advisor to go over your job search strategy.
- Keep an eye on the employers who are coming to campus to interview so you won't miss application deadlines.
- Familiarize yourself with the Career Center's many online job resources, but spend most of your time developing your network.
- Gather information on realistic salary expectations.
- Join at least one professional association aligned with your career interests. Attend the conferences and workshops offered by the association, stay in touch with the people you meet.
- Participate in interviewing workshops and practice interviews.
- Read two or more professional or trade publications from your career field on a regular basis.
- Know how to evaluate job offers and accept one.
Good luck in your career!