Resources in Exploring Careers
The following provide links to resources that may assist you in exploring careers of interest. The Career and Internship Center is available to assist you at any point in your search!
Albion Alumni Mentoring Program
(For Juniors and Seniors)
Apply for this academic-year mentoring program and you will be mentored by Albion alumni in select career fields. Alumni mentors will assist you with career exploration, résumé/interview skills, personal/career goals, and more. Pick up an application in the Career and Internship Center.
America's Career Infonet - Information on the current job market and links to other valuable career resources.
Careers.org - Index of career related web sites.
Exploring Occupations - Links to sites containing descriptions of a wide range of occupations.
Health Career Center - Figuring out which healthcare career or health occupation to pursue, or simply finding a good job, can be a difficult and time-consuming endeavor. Healthcareercenter.org was created to help aspiring healthcare and medical students and job seekers make better, more informed career choices by providing them with highly relevant, reliable and up-to-date job search, career development, and employment information.
Inside Jobs - Fun-to-read job profiles that use salary ranges, work environment information, and videos to provide an inside look into different careers.
Occupational Outlook Handbook - U.S. Department of Labor information on specific occupations including the nature of work, working conditions, employment, training, job outlook, and earnings.
Note: This page contains links to web sites that are not under the control of Albion College or the Career and Internship Center. We are not responsible for the contents of any linked site. The Career and Internship Center provides these links merely as a courtesy and not as an endorsement. The data contained in this web site is for informational purposes only and is not represented to be error free.
Make Your Cover Letter Count in a Competitive Job Market
Today’s primary modes of communication are e-mail, text messages, and web pages. The job search process is no different. Most job searches are done on the Internet, and job seekers e-mail their resumes or complete online applications.
Given these facts: Are cover letters still necessary?
While the answer varies, the majority of human resource representatives and recruiters say yes. Done the right way, a cover letter can capture the second glance needed in a competitive job market.
There are two tips for crafting a catchy cover letter: follow the formula and personalize it.
Tip #1: Follow the formula
Cover letters contain four components with one essential question answered in each.
Paragraph One – Introduction
Who are you and why are you writing?
Paragraph Two – Highlight of Qualifications
How has your education, previous employment, or other experiences repared you for the position?
Paragraph Three – Connection to the Company
Why is this company or job a good fit for you?
Paragraph Four – Closing Statement
How interested are you and where can you be reached for an interview?
Tip #2: Personalize it
Paragraphs one and four follow standard formats. The opportunity for your application to connect with a recruiter is in paragraphs two and three.
Paragraph Two: Draw attention to yourself
When you read the job description and you declared, “I’m perfect for this job!” Tell the recruiter why. Is it because of a particular course you studied? Did you complete an internship that allowed you to perform similar duties and responsibilities? Were you able to develop a skill set through a part-time job or campus activity that is applicable to this position?
Make the connection between your past and this job. Don’t repeat your resume, but rather make reference to items on it that you especially want the recruiter to be aware of.
Paragraph Three: “Professional Flattery”
Your job search will reveal many positions for which you are qualified, but not all of them are of interest. What makes this position or company different? Pinpoint specifics about the job description that catch your eye. Research the organization. If the company product or workplace philosophy is appealing, tell the recruiter why.
Avoid empty compliments. Recruiters can spot meaningless sweet talk a mile away.
Pitfalls to Avoid
Applicants sometimes forget professionalism, and even common sense, when it comes to e-mailing and the job search. If your e-mail contains any of the following, hit the delete button.
- A risqué e-mail address. Use a basic e-mail address comprised of your name, initials, or something similar. Save
for corresponding with friends.
- Greeting the recruiter by their first name. If you know the recruiter’s name, don’t forget that Mr. or Ms. is still necessary. Just because Ms. Jane Doe lists her first name doesn’t mean you can call her Jane.
- A salutation that doesn’t begin with “Dear.” This is a business letter. Beginning the correspondence with “Greetings,” “Hello,” or “Hi There!” is not acceptable.
- Emoticons. 8-) :-( ;-) Emoticons are used to convey attitudes or emotions, both of which are irrelevant in a cover letter.
- Acronyms. LOL, COB, FAQs. As with emoticons, acronyms have no place in job-search correspondence, unless they are standard acronyms, such as that used for a company or association. For example: NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) is appropriate. “The 411 about NACE is very positive” is not.
by Kelli Robinson
JobWeb.com - Career and Internship Center and job-search advice for the new college graduate
Junior Year: Career Goal Setting, Gaining Experience & Graduate School Planning
By your third year, you should have laid the groundwork for your future. You have chosen a major and are active in adding experiences to complement your studies. At this time all the experience and information you have gathered should be crystallizing into solid career goals and plans.
- Meet with a Career Development staff member to formulate your job or graduate school search timeline and plans.
- Focus and set career goals based on what you have learned about you, your interests, and possible professions.
- Discuss your career plans with your faculty advisor.
- Explore and make arrangements for off-campus study and internship options.
- Consider applying for scholarships and fellowships found in the Career and Internship Center and in Career Resources, Graduate School Financing.
- Join student chapters of professional organizations to gain career information and to start networking.
- Research graduate/professional school possibilities, their application procedures and deadlines. Many resources are available through the Career Development Office, including Peterson’s Graduate and Professional School Guides.
- Pick up a GRE, LSAT or MCAT packet in the Career Development Office.
- Register and prepare for admission tests such as the GRE, LSAT and MCAT.
- Participate in career fairs and career related events to explore your options and network with potential employers.
- Get to know faculty members in your major.
- Take on leadership roles on and off-campus.
- Get professional experience through on-campus research, an internship, on-campus employment, volunteer work or a summer job.
Use all of your resources, including the Career and Internship Center. You are not alone in this process!
NEXT: Senior Year: Implementation & Transition
Timeline for Applying to Graduate School
Begin planning for graduate school at least a year prior to when you would like to enter. Deadlines vary depending on the program, though, and it is important that you begin identifying potential schools/programs early and are clear on individual deadlines!
If you are considering graduate school, you need to begin your search for possible programs the fall of your junior year.
- Meet with staff in the Career and Internship Center for assistance as you begin the search
- Attend Graduate/Professional school fairs both on- and off-campus
- Request information from programs that spark your interest
- Consider making a visit to those schools/programs of most interest to you
- Begin to explore financial aid resources - the Career and Internship Center can assist!
By the spring and summer of your junior year, you should have a fairly good idea of places you intend to apply and know the deadlines you face in the fall.
- Develop a personal statement using faculty and the Career and Internship Center as resources to create the best possible document for your field.
- Register and prepare for required standardized tests.
- Develop an application timeline for all schools to which you are applying - the process takes too much effort to be eliminated because you've missed a deadline!
Fall of your senior year is the time to be sure everything is in order and submitted on time!
- Ensure you know how to apply for each school and have all the materials needed
- Finalize essays and personal statements for each application
- Request letters of recommendation from faculty - provide reference writers with your resume, personal statement, proper forms, adequate time to write the letters, and directions for handling the letters
- Consider doing a mock interview with faculty or videotaped in the Career and Internship Center prior to professional school admissions interviews
- Take your required standardized tests
- Complete the applications - cutting and pasting information from word documents helps in ensuring there are no typing errors. Be sure to proofread the application before sending.
- Order transcripts from the Registrar's Office - include fall semester grades if available prior to the deadline
By spring of your senior year, many application deadlines have passed. Hopefully you are not waiting until the final deadline to submit your application! This is the time to await word on acceptance and finalize financing.
- If you haven't yet completed your application submissions, you need to do that now
- Complete financial aid forms - you may need to include a copy of your income tax return so consider getting that done early
- Contact schools to be sure your application was submitted if you haven't received notice and verify the timeline for acceptance
- Write thank you notes to the many people who have assisted you in the application process