Your Four-Year Career Plan
First-Year: Exploring and Discovering Majors and Careers
- Visit the Career Development office to discover the possibilities and resources available to you.
- Get involved in student organizations, service-learning projects, residence life activities and community events that interest you.
- If you are unsure of how your strengths, abilities and interests translate into the world of work, contact the Career Development office to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Strong Interest Inventory and/or StrengthsFinder assessment. Meet with a career counselor to review the results and get started on a plan.
- Reflect on and write down your jobs, awards, significant class projects and other items that will help you build a resume and portfolio.
- Gain practical experience by getting a summer job or internship related to your potential major or career interests. Sign in to CalvinLink for job and internship postings, on and off campus.
Sophomores: Making Decisions
- Choose your major and narrow down your career direction. Visit a career counselor to discuss your major and career goals.
- Conduct job shadowing experiences and/or informational interviews with professionals who are working in careers that you are considering.
- Continue getting involved in extracurricular activities to develop leadership, teamwork and time management skills that employers value.
- Create a profile on LinkedIn to start building your network with Calvin alumni and other professionals.
- Develop your resume and cover letter and have them critiqued by Career Development staff. Use Optimal Resume as a tool to get started.
- Search for internships using CalvinLink.
Juniors: Making Connections
- Prepare for interviews by scheduling a practice interview with a career counselor. Online practice is also available through Optimal Resume.
- Secure an internship or part-time job in your career field. Sign in to CalvinLink for job and internship postings.
- Employers are looking for candidates with strong communication, problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Highlight experiences in your resume and cover letter that have helped strengthen your skills in these areas.
- Attend career fairs and networking events. Talk with employers about job or internship opportunities and build your networking skills.
- Update your profile on LinkedIn and continue your networking efforts.
- Thinking about graduate school? Research graduate admission test requirements, upcoming test schedules and preparatory courses.
Seniors: Applying and Finalizing Plans
- Visit a career counselor in the early fall to discuss your goals, develop a plan for your job search and ensure transition-readiness.
- Assemble a professional portfolio that highlights significant accomplishments and experiences.
- Refine your resume and cover letters.
- Participate in a practice interview with a career counselor to polish your interviewing skills.
- Attend career fairs and networking events.
- Network with Calvin alumni, family, friends, professors and other professionals. Use LinkedIn and uKnight as networking tools, but do not neglect the value of face-to-face, personal networking.
- If applicable, take graduate school admission test(s) and apply to graduate schools.
- Believe that your job search will be fruitful!
- Assess your interests and strengths.
- Meet with a career counselor to discuss goals.
- Consider self-assessment tests.
- Utilize your network.
- Set up a job-search strategy.
- Follow through with your plan and revise it if necessary.
- Alumni may meet with a career counselor three times.