Five questions with a career counselor

Need advice on your resume? Not sure how to prepare for Career Fest or the S.E.T Job Fair? Assistant Director for Career Development Mark Anthony has the answers to five questions that will help you prepare for your future.

What are some of the services that the Career Center offers to students?
The Career Center offers a wide variety of services to help students "Decide It. Experience It. Live It." The "Decide It" segment includes offering career assessments that help students make informed choices about majors and career paths. It also includes our Spur Connections Mentor Program, which can help a student find alumni mentors for informational interviews and job shadowing. The "Experience It" segment includes ways to help students get hands-on experiences through externships (group shadowing events with employers), co-ops and internships. The "Live It" segment provides students with the knowledge and tools for the job or graduate school search process, including events like Career Fest and Science, Engineering, & Technology job fairs.

How can students prepare themselves for finding a career after graduation?
One of the most important steps a student can do for finding a career after graduation is to begin early. Making an informed decision about a major, a career path, a preferred geographic area and the industry you want to work in will help you focus on potential employment opportunities. Students who gain practical experiences through internships or co-ops are much better positioned to be successful in their job search later on as well. 

What can students do to polish their resumes?
Get involved! Join a student organization, become a student leader, participate in undergraduate research, study abroad or the National Student Exchange, work a part-time job, get an internship, volunteer with a local service organization and make a difference while you are at UofSC. Keep a record of what you've done (good preparation for applying for Graduation with Leadership Distinction) and bring your rough draft to the Career Center during drop-in hours, Monday-Friday, 1-4 p.m. to have it reviewed by our staff. You can use OptimalResume to find a resume template to help you put your experiences down on paper.

How can students prepare for an interview?
Preparing for an interview is like preparing for a test; you have to do your homework. You need to be able to talk about what you've learned in the classroom and what you've accomplished beyond the classroom. You need to know what you are capable of doing and what skills and abilities you bring to the employer. You also need to know about the employer and the job for which you are interviewing. Researching the employer is critical to your success. The Career Center has partnered with InterviewStream, an online practice interview resource that allows you to conduct a practice interview using webcam technology. There is a database of over 8,000 questions from which to choose. Our staff can also conduct a mock interview in-person (by appointment only).

How can students prepare for the Career Fest and S.E.T job fairs?
Before the job fairs, a student needs to prepare a resume, acquire professional attire and research the employers who will be attending the event to determine which organizations have the type of opportunities the student is seeking. Next, they need to develop a good self-introduction so that when they approach the recruiter, they can begin their "sales pitch." Tell the employer who you are and why you are interested in their organization and/or the positions they have to offer. This will open a productive conversation. Be positive and confident, and ask questions about the opportunity. Speak to as many recruiters as you can because you never know where a good opportunity may arise. Don't walk away without asking for a business card and information on the "next step," and then follow up after the job fair. What happens after the job fairs can be as important as what you do before and during them.

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