For college graduates who are returning to the workforce, looking for a position, or for some advice about what your next career move might be, the career office at your alma mater can be a terrific resource to get you on track. Many colleges offer free career counseling to alumni for life, and most have free services and job postings. Your school has a vested interest in helping you to succeed. Through your successful career, you reflect well on their program, and you may someday be in a position to help a fellow alum.
If you're not located near your alma mater, and many alumni aren't, check to see if your school can help you long distance. Many colleges and universities provide long distance services via email, phone or Skype. Plus, networking events are often scheduled at off-campus locations. Check with the career office or the alumni office for a schedule of events close to home.
Resume and Cover Letter Reviews
A valuable service often offered is resume and cover letter reviews. A counselor can help you put together your resume, update it, or tweak it for a particular position you are interested in. A succinct, well written cover letter is crucial to getting your resume looked at, and being called for an interview. Having an experienced, expert set of eyes to help fine tune your resume and cover letter can mean the difference between scoring an interview and not.
Some career offices offer assistance with interviewing techniques, and may have speakers or seminars open to alumni as well as current students. They may have someone on staff, or alumni volunteers, who offer mock interviews where you can practice answering a few questions related to the position you are seeking.
College Career Networks
There may be an alumni network where information on alumni who are willing to be contacted is available. People working in the field you are job searching in may be able to give you advice on the kinds of questions that you will likely be asked, and the types of responses that will get you the job. They can also answer any questions you may have about the field or industry.
Most colleges have databases of job listings for both students and alumni. Many of these jobs, especially those posted by alumni, are specifically for candidates from the school and aren't posted elsewhere online.
Colleges and universities usually have a Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter presence. Your school may also have a private social network just for alumni. Become a part of these online communities, and you immediately connect with hundreds, if not thousands, of other alumni with whom you share a common experience, and who may be in a position to facilitate your next job. At the very least, by reaching out to other alums, you may gain some contacts to follow up with.
How to Get Help
Take a look at your colleges's website. There will be a link to the career office, and once you open the page you will find the specific services they offer, and those available to alumni. There may be a link to register to access job listings, and contact other alumni. The best way to get started is to call and make an appointment with one of the counselors, so he or she can help guide you through the services that you will find most useful in your return to the workforce.
Also check out the alumni office to see what resources, programs and events are offered.
Read More: How Career Services Can Help