Is Your College Career Center A Placement Agency?

I am a college career counselor and I love what I do. The problem is most students do not know all that their Career Services Department has to offer them in college. Most students utilize career services only around the time of graduation thinking it is a placement agency. College career counselors do help connect individuals to jobs, but the way that is done is quite different than that of a placement agency. Using the full array of services offered by your university will be an advantage to you in reaching your professional goals. So here are 5 things that make your Career Center different than a placement agency:

1) Lets You Explore Who You Are & Where You Fit

Meeting with a career counselor in college for career assessment, testing or counseling helps you discover your major, what positions are a fit, and what options you have.  Students discover how their personality and skills impact their marketability. They also are able to do internships and see first hand if they like the occupation they are headed towards. The three words I framed for my desk at work states what a career counselor can help you do: ‘Explore, Plan, & Achieve’.

2) Gets You Prepared

Educational workshops on social media, resume writing, and other job search topics are conducted every semester. Find out when and mark your calendars. You can acquire interview training and even do a mock interview. Do not mess up a slew of interviews and later wonder why you did not get offers. Chance favors the prepared, and a college counselor can get you ready for that next employer meeting.  Acquire the skills in college that you will use for a lifetime by taking advantage of educational seminars and workshops.

3) Helps With ‘The Paperwork’

If you need a resume or application for that first job or summer internship, you do not have to go it alone. You actually have your career counselor as a guide to show you how it’s done. She can offer examples of cover letters and other correspondence before you begin to draft your own.  With your college career counselor you can create the materials you need for social media profiles or anything you plan to include in your job search portfolio. Build your personal brand together.

4) Offers Networking Opportunities

My career center offers numerous ways to meet employers and key industry professionals. There were job and internship fairs, career panels, and alumni presentations.  Always try to attend as many employer events as you can at your school, and be focused on building a circle of professionals related to your goals. These connections open the door to job leads and even can become mentors. So do not miss out on the networking opportunities your Career Services Department is offering this semester.

5) Has An Internship Database To Get You Stated 

Universities have job/internship postings that are targeted for your school.  HR professionals use career centers because it’s free access to talent and no charge to post positions. It’s easier for you to get an internship and develop skills, than it is to look for a job after you graduate with no skills.  Doing a few internships builds your resume, lets you test out a job/industry, makes you marketable, and can lead to offers before you graduate. College career counselors work with their contacts and recruiters to add to the school’s job and internship database on a regular basis. 

**Your relationship with your college career center is not a one time event senior year. It starts with discovering yourself and your career direction. It involves attending networking opportunities, and educational career seminars. It’s getting assistance doing that first resume, prepping for that first interview, and so much more! College career counselors do not apply to jobs for you, but with you.  Placement agencies select who they will work with and get a fee for placements.  My perk is to know that I  provided students and alumni with the tools and skills they need to write their own career story.  College is where one obtains all the pieces needed to start a successful job search, so that if you go to an HR professional you are ‘placeable’.  Are you utilizing all that your College Career Services Department has to offer?**


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