Your Four-Year Career Plan

Students and Alumni

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!

Alumni: Re-Careering

  • 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.