Try This Four-Year Career Checklist

Use this check list to help you plan ahead.

By Peter Vogt, MonsterTRAK Career Coach

March 19, 2009

Try This Four-Year Career Checklist Try This Four-Year Career Checklist

Junior Year: Get Experience

As you move through your junior year, you’ll want to focus primarily on gaining experience in your fields of interest.

One of the most common ways of doing so is through an internship or co-op program, which you can set up with the help of a career counselor, professor or, in some cases, on your own. Similarly, you can gain experience through a related part-time job, a volunteer position or a student organization.

Junior year is also a good time to:

  • Develop a resume and cover letter, either on your own or with a career counselor’s help, and learn how to tailor each document to the specific needs of an employer.
  • Start researching companies or organizations you may like to work for someday.
  • Attend campus job fairs

    to get a sense of what the job hunt is like.

  • Try to develop alternate career options in case your initial major/career choice doesn’t work out.

Senior Year: Search and Transition

You’ll spend most of your senior year focusing on your job hunt and the upcoming transition to the real world after graduation. What to do?

  • Continue getting experience through an internship, volunteer program or co-op.
  • Practice interviewing with a campus career counselor to become comfortable answering and asking employment-related questions.
  • Put the finishing touches on your resume and cover letters.
  • Take a job search course if your school offers one.
  • Use your school’s career services office, Web sites like Monster and MonsterTRAK, newspapers and your network of connections to find job openings.
  • Research companies and organizations you’ll be interviewing with, prepare thoroughly for those interviews and land yourself a job!

Checklist or not, you’re bound to feel overwhelmed during the process, but try to keep things in perspective. You may have to modify the checklist to suit your unique needs, but remember that it can be a useful tool to help you successfully identify, prepare for and pursue the career of your dreams.

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