You don't have to be a seasoned career coach to give good career advice.
Students often look to their advisors for career help. The recommendations and resources here will help you in guiding students in their career exploration and readiness.
You can always start with:
How are you connecting with folks who share your interests?
Are they connecting with student clubs/orgs, FSL, service or volunteer work, athletics, a book club, their class mates, roommates, etc? Doing so will help them feel engaged and connected with campus (increasing fun, mental wellbeing, & persistence), and it's a great way to build your network!
If struggling, suggest Career Interest Group/s.
How are you getting experience?
"Real world” exp is priceless for personal, academic & professional learning. All experience is valuable - no matter what you're doing you're learning something... even if it's just that you've learnt you never want to do that kind of work again!
If struggling, invite them to Drop by the Career Center for help finding opportunities.
How are you feeling about your resume &/or career?
Just talking can help, and if the answer isn't awesome - this is your change to nudge or refer! Ask if they have seen the Path to Career Success?
If struggling, encourage them to take a Career Quiz (CQ) to help them find their next step...
Advising Resources for First Year Students - Get Started
Majors don't determine a career path, but finding the right program is important. We have several steps for a student who is Choosing or Changing a Major.
Explore Career Paths
Your students might not know exactly what they can do with their degree, or they might have difficulty narrowing down their options. The resources below can help you guide students as they choose a direction.
O*NET is the U.S. Department of Labor's career exploration tool. Students can browse over 900 occupations to discover what's possible, what's required, job outlook, and much more information.
Candid Career has a library of thousands of videos of professionals talking about what they do for work, what they like/don't like and other career tips.
UVM Connect can be used as a career research tool. Students can review alumni profiles to learn more about some of our alum career journeys and how one's journey may align with their own career goals. Many alums have self-identified as "Willing to Help", which helps a student feel more comfortable reaching out to an interested alum.
Like UVM Connect, students can browse alums on LinkedIn to see possible career paths. This video shows them how.
Make a Resume
It's never too late (or too early) to start working on a resume. Students should know that this document will evolve over time just as they do.
- Our guide to resumes has tips for getting started and several examples across different majors and levels of experience.
- If students need help reflecting on their experiences and skills, we recommend they start with our Career Competencies reflective tool.
- Students can also sign up for the Career Center Blackboard page and submit a resume to the Career Canter for feedback - and of course they can come in for a Drop-in and talk to a real person about it as well.
- Just like resumes, we have a LinkedIn guide that shows students how to build their profile and how to use the platform.
Connect to UVM Connect
UVM's six Career Interest Groups are dynamic networks of students, faculty, staff, and alums who share common interests, wisdom, and opportunities. This online community -specifically for UVM affiliates- enables our users to tap into an engaged, supportive, and growing UVM global network.
- Have students sign up, complete their profile and join at least one Career Interest Group (and you should too).
- Students can use the groups to ask questions, share wisdom and connect to peers and other professionals.
- Let students know that they can search for mentors who have identified themselves as "Willing to Help".
- Help students explore possible career paths from the directory by using the filter options on the right - they can see what other people with their degree are doing.
Advising for Resources Second Year Students and Juniors - Gain Experience / Connections
Internships / Experiential Education
Getting experience early on will help students develop skills while determining the career paths they want to pursue (and the ones they don't). Students can get experience in a variety of ways - and all experience counts.
- Students interested in an internship shoul start with our Guide to Internships.
- Encourage students to join one of UVM's 200+ clubs and organizations. Club involvement provide in-demand transferable skills.
- Handshake is a job board created especially for college students. Have your students create a profile and start browsing part-time job and internship opportunities.
- Ask students to join a Career Interest Group (or more than one). They'll get connected with like-minded peers & professionals and stay updated on career-related events.
- Micro-internships are perfect for students who aren't able or ready to commit to a longer internship. These opportunities are short-term, paid, and a great way to get some firsthand experience and/or get a foot in the door of an industry.
Developing a network helps a student gain support from like-minded people and access to information they might not have had otherwise. Networking can start with building relationships through campus experiences and/or involvement.
- Clubs and organizations offer a great way to connect with other s with similar career interest/goals.
- Recommend students attend career-related events, so they can connect to professionals in their field of interest. Students can find events through Handshake and our Career Interest Group newsletters.
- Attending any of our fairs throughout the year is another great way to start meeting professionals and learning what opportunities are available.
- Students can explore professional associations through LinkedIn or a simple google search.
Connect to Alums
- UVM Connect has thousands of alums who want to help students in a variety of ways - offering internship or job shadow opportunities, introducing students to industry connections, and discussing career paths & career advice.
- Students can also find alums on LinkedIn using the Alumni Tool.
Reflect on Career Skills
When students think more deeply about the skills they are developing (and the ones the aren't), they can better focus their goals.
- Prompt students to think about their experiences, growth, and reflection about their next steps. It's extremely valuable.
- This short questionnaire can prompt deeper reflection.
- This short video offers additional guidance on adding non-work experience on a resume.
Advising Resources for Seniors - Gear Up to Graduate
Start the Job Search Process
- Handshake is a great place for students to start their search and potentially be found by employers looking to recruit Catamounts. They can use the filters to refine and save searches to get notifications when new jobs that fit their criteria are posted.
- Job search strategies can be applied to various job sites. This video focuses on LinkedIn, but the techniques can be used elsewhere.
- Being proactive rather than reactive to job postings leads to stronger results. They should cast a wide net amongst their network, and consider using job sites that cater to specific types of jobs, such as HigherEdJobs or USAJobs.
- The Career Center hosts job and internship fairs from local and national organizations each semester. All students are encouraged to attend even if they are just looking around and asking questions.
Prepare Application Materials
- Remind students to update their Handshake and LinkedIn profiles as they gear up for the job search.
- Ask students if they know how to tell their story. They can use the S.T.A.R method to explain how their experiences have made them the person they are.
- We also recommend that students prepare an elevator speech so that they can introduce themselves concisely. It might sound easy, but many people are not comfortable talking about themselves. Practice is important!
- Students should check out or Job Search Checklist before they apply.
Time to Apply!
When your students are ready to apply, we have a few tips to help them be successful.
- Let your students know that it is important for them to read job descriptions carefully. These can help them know the information they should include in resumes and cover letters and it can help them predict the kinds of questions they'll be asked in interviews.
- Remind students that resumes should be tailored to specific positions. Using keywords found in the job description is important. Sometimes ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) will do initial screening of a resume before a human sees it.
- Students can find resources for interview preparation and they can schedule a mock interview with a career coach.
- We recommend students use UVM Connect reach out to alums in their field who might be willing to help review a resume, do a mock interview, or provide any other insights into the application process.
- And of course, students can submit resumes and cover letters to the Career Center for feedback.
Non-work Options after Graduation
Not every student wants to jump into their career immediately after graduation. Graduate school, volunteering, working abroad, taking a growth year are some of the options students should consider.
- If a student is thinking about grad school, we suggest they check out or resources for considering grad school.
- This blog post lays out some non-traditional post-graduation options your students may want to explore.
Advising Resources for Student Group Leaders
Request a Workshop/Presentation
Want us to host a workshop for your students? You can request a workshop here.
Tap into the UVM Connect Network
UVM's six Career Interest Groups are dynamic networks of students, faculty, staff, and alums who share common interests, wisdom, and opportunities. This online community -specifically for UVM affiliates- enables you to tap into an engaged, supportive, and growing global network to find alums and help your student get connected.
Get Started with UVM Connect
- Create your profile, confirm your email and then select the Career Interest Group of greatest relevance.
- Once logged in, use the left navigation pane to join additional groups. Join as many as you'd like. Come and go as you please.
- Let students/alums know how you are "willing to help".
Tips for using UVM Connect for your students
An Open-Source Discussion Board
Students can post career-related questions to people in their future fields. This is especially helpful for students completing an internship, practicum, or other experiential learning experience.
Discover Potential Career Paths
Students can search the UVM Connect directory based on keywords to see what paths others in their field or with their major have taken in their careers. Students can broaden their perspectives and understand that their major is not necessarily their career.
Ask students to message an alum (or a few) to ask career-related or graduate school questions. Your students will be surprised how easy it is.
Find Guest Speakers
Tap into the alum network to find speakers that may appeal to your students – or better yet, ask your students to make a list of potential speakers. Who can relate to your current students better than alums?
Announce upcoming events and/or raise awareness of additional opportunities on and off campus.
Graduation does not mean goodbye. Stay in touch with former students as a colleague, mentor or friend.
Let your Students Know about Our Services
- FAQ– This page provides resources to answer students’ most common career questions.
- Path to Career Success – This resource provides a big picture view of what steps students should take throughout their time at UVM. All paths are unique, but this is a great place to start.
- Career Quizzes (CQs)– By taking these annual Buzzfeed-style quizzes, students get a personalized update of where they are in terms of career readiness and what they should do next.
- Career Interest Groups – Joining a Career Interest Group is the fastest way for students to get connected to people, events and resources related to their career goals. Low effort, high reward.
- UVM Connect – Encourage students to sign up for UVM Connect. They can connect with alums who are willing to help with their career questions and preparation.
- Handshake – Setting up a Handshake profile will allow students to browse job and internship opportunities. They can also find career-related events happening on campus and online.
- Feedback for Students – Students can submit application materials to the Career Center for feedback. They can get feedback on resumes, cover letters, elevator pitches, LinkedIn profiles and Handshake profiles.
Share a Success Story
If you know of a student who has found success after graduation, help us share their story
Don’t See What You Need?
Contact the Career Center for specific requests: Adam.Boothe@uvm.edu