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Getting Started Guide

Career Planning Center

Allen House 610-606-4648 Monday – Friday: 8:30am – 4:30pm


Contents Career Planning Center Services And Resources .......................................................................................... 4 The Career Development Process ................................................................................................................. 6 Career And Personality Assessments ............................................................................................................ 7 Key To Success .............................................................................................................................................. 8 Career Planning Events, Workshops, Presentations ................................................................................... 10 Quick Quiz: Career Decision Making ........................................................................................................... 13 Career Decision Making Answers ............................................................................................................... 14 Informational Interviews And Networking ................................................................................................. 15 Some Pointers For Informational Interviewing........................................................................................... 16 What All Employers Want ........................................................................................................................... 17


CAREER PLANNING CENTER SERVICES AND RESOURCES The CCC Career Planning Center is dedicated to the success of all individuals. To support CCC students and attain the goals and objectives defined in our "Working Definition," the CDC provides a variety of services and resources for YOU: Career Counseling/Coaching “Major Discoveries Series” Workshops & Presentations Career and Personality Assessments/Inventories Graduate School Info Etiquette Dinners Fairs—Internships, Jobs, Graduate School Mock Interview Program On-Campus Interviewing Program Employer Information and Networking Sessions Career Library Resourceful website ( Internship & Job Database (The College Central Network) Review Service—resumes, cover letters, application essays, personal statements Register with the Career Planning Center

After registering with the College Central Network, you will be able to: Search for internship, volunteer, part-time, and full-time job opportunities Post your resume online for employers to view Create and maintain a comprehensive online career portfolio Track your resume submissions and view employers who reviewed your resume View semester events on the Announcement Board Watch over 125 quick Career Advice videos Go to to register & upload your resume!


About serves as the leading nexus between internships and students, higher education and employers. At we provide world class tools and services to enable every student, employer and educator to better understand and optimize the work opportunities of the future.

Benefits for Students Search for Internships – Our database is the largest in the world focused solely on internships with tens of thousands of active listings for summer, fall, winter, and spring internship opportunities. Our search feature allows you to find companies large and small in one place just by entering a keyword and location. Resume/Cover Letter Builder & Tips – Present yourself professionally to employers. Use’s resume tool to create a personalized resume using our quick and easy step-by-step process. Look at resume and cover letter examples and use them as a guide to prepare your own unique resume and cover letter(s). Also, use the additional tools and features on the website to help determine if your resume and cover letter are Take the Internship Predictor™ – What internship might best suit you? Get ideas from the Internship Predictor. You’ll learn about what industries and type of work, plus what kind of environment would suit you best. Then click on the results of the Internship Predictor to find internship opportunities in those fields. Interview Preparation and Follow-up – Explore the Student Tool Kit and find the best resources to manage your internship process. Personal career management right at your fingertips with articles, tools, videos and more. Get Internship Updates – Sign up for e-newsletters and find out the latest internships available, plus hear about the tools and information that can help you in your internship. How to sign up Visit • Click on “Sign Up for Free” in the upper right hand corner of any page. • Complete the form by entering your first and last name, email, and password. • Then click “Sign Me Up!” Make sure to create your profile/resume and select Cedar Crest College from the drop down menu in the education section.

Sign up for an student account and start your future today! 5

THE CAREER DEVELOPMENT PROCESS 1. Knowledge of Self (Interests, Values, Skills & Personality) 2. Knowledge of Majors and the World of Work 3. Knowledge of the Job Search Process Once you have an understanding of YOU, you will be able to choose a major and career field that is RIGHT FOR YOU.

Begin by Assessing Yourself What interests you? What do you value in your workplace? What skills and experience have you already gained? Examine past jobs, volunteer work, hobbies, school and social situations. Did You Know? Up to 80% of entering college students admit they are not certain what they want to major in, even if they have chosen a major. 70% of students change their majors at least once. Most employers are evaluating candidates by their skill sets and related experiences...not their majors. The most successful students tie together their part-time job, volunteer experience, campus activities, and internship with their career aspirations.

Majors do not dictate a career – you do!


CAREER AND PERSONALITY ASSESSMENTS Not sure if your major is right for you? Still haven’t declared a major? Don’t know what you’ll do with your major? To assist you in identifying your skills, abilities, interests, and values in relation to the career development process, Career Planning offers three primary assessment instruments. These “tests” will help you more clearly identify and target both majors & careers. After completing an assessment, we recommend you set up an appointment with a staff member to review your personal results. Career exploration pays off…you will develop a clearer view of yourself and the majors and jobs that best fit you!! Contact the Career Planning Center ( or 610-606-4648) for the ID and password information. Focus - Allows you to assess your skills, abilities, interests, and values in relationship to a wide variety of career choices (web-based). MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) - Assess your psychological type as an explanation to your personality. The MBTI is used in self-understanding and development; career exploration, counseling, and leadership development (web-based). PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER Our assessment instruments all have a common purpose….they are self-assessments of your interests, skills, personality and/or values. None should be the sole basis for career decisions. In addition, we suggest the following: Schedule a follow-up appointment with a Career Planning Center staff member to discuss your results. Share your results with faculty advisors to assist in course selection. When reviewing the results of any assessment instrument, view the results as a guide, not as “THE” answer to all concerns. After completing the assessment instrument(s), use the resources available in Career Planning Center to gain further information about particular career fields. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” ~ Unknown



Perhaps the most important element of success in college or in your career is planning! Planning is essential, be it in selecting a major or choosing a career.

Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance Unless you know what you want from life, you are not likely to stumble across it. How do you know what you want? How do you decide what will be important to you in the future? What options are available to you both in terms of major and career? The Career Planning Center can help you answer these and other difficult questions related to your career planning. Perhaps you will spend some time taking self-assessment instruments to help you choose a major or find out more about career fields and your personality preferences. Or, you might spend some time with a professional staff member discussing your ideas and dreams (or lack-thereof!) Whatever the case, planning is essential. To assist in your planning, we have developed your “Key to a Successful College Experience�...





P E R S O N A L & S O C I A L

2nd YEAR EXPLORE! COLLECT MORE INFORMATION Read about at least 3 career options available to you through your major Talk with professionals in interesting careers (informational interviews) Spend a day on the job with professionals in different careers (job shadow) Check out our website! Gain experience through a related summer job


DO AN INTERNSHIP!! List tentative decisions about your career Attend Resume Writing & Interview prep workshops Begin to collect recommendations from employers/faculty/etc Become familiar with work settings & job descriptions Join a professional organization at the cheaper student rate!

Develop employer contact list Attend Career Fair(s) Interview for jobs on campus, at job fairs & independently Explore ALL jobs Read professional journals & join a list serve Request your FREE copy of Job Choices at the Career Planning Office Do another INTERSHIP!!

EXPLORE THE COLLEGE Read course catalogue/become familiar with CCC majors Set appointment with academic advisor to schedule classes and begin to discuss long-term goals Attend a workshop on: -Study skills -Test & note taking -Time management Think about summer classes and plan a summer job that relates to your major

LEARN MORE Set an appointment with academic advisor to schedule classes & continue to discuss long-term goals Join the CCC academic club for your major Confirm you are in the correct major for you Look into a study abroad program Take some computer or business courses Focus attention on attaining a good GPA

MAKE INTIAL CHOICES Earn good grades in major courses Attend seminars & conferences related to your major Ask advisor or other faculty member about relationship between academic coursework & future plans Is Grad School in your future? Find out when & what you need to do

LONG-TERM DECISIONS Send out Grad School applications Develop an independent study Develop a special senior project Make a list of you long-term learning goals Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, years? Set appointment with academic advisor to discuss implementation of long-term goals

GAIN SELF-AWARENESS Identify interests & values Find an organization or event to volunteer your time Visit the College Counseling Center List your major fears of college life Discuss your changing relationship(s) with family & friends

EXPAND NEW ROLES Get to know some international students Find a mentor who can offer support Plan discussions with others from different backgrounds & cultures Broaden your circle of friends

TAKE SOME RISKS Seek out people to talk about your concerns Help another work through a problem Discuss some of your decisions with a mentor Test your ideas through a discussion group

MAKE COMMITMENTS List the components of your lifestyle Talk to an alumnae about your first year out of school Make a list of your firm decisions Write 3 life goals & 3 fears about next year

INITIATE RELATIONSHIPS Join Res. Hall, Commuter, or similar organization Join CCC clubs & organizations that interest you Allow time for leisure!

INCREASE INVOLVEMENT Work on a project/ committee with your club or organization If eligible for work-study, apply for a Career Assistant position Participate in intramurals

EXERCISE NEW SKILLS Get involved in student government/ run for office! Volunteer your time to help a community organization

DEVELOP LEADERSHIP Chair a group Lead a professional organization Volunteer to work in oncampus offices

Talk with family, friends, professors Take Focus (offered by Career Planning) Identify the following: -Past accomplishments -Interests -Skills & abilities -Work values -Personality style




CAREER PLANNING EVENTS, WORKSHOPS, PRESENTATIONS To find out dates, times & locations for the current semester, check out Career Planning’s Facebook page, call, or stop by! SPECIAL EVENTS On-Campus Interviewing (Internships & Full-time Positions) Each semester CCC students meet with employers in the Career Planning Center to have professional interviews. Why should students take advantage of this service? 1) You could be offered an internship or job! 2) It’s convenient…email employers your resume/cover letter and interviews are held right here on campus 3) You meet real employers and you can practice your interviewing skills 4) You find out the questions asked by employers and get the chance to ask them your questions 5) The more interviews you do, the more comfortable and confident you become! **Pre-registration & Professional Attire Required. Visit our website calendar ( to view hiring employers and to email those employers your resume! Senior Boot Camp An intense career seminar to get the job search process started! Seniors will leave this session with: a solid resume and cover letter, a start on the job search (contacts, resources, tips, etc), interview practice, and feedback. “I don’t know, but it’s been said… get a job, you have to head…to BOOT CAMP!!” **Pre-registration required. Lunch & Learn Series Students are invited to join us for a free lunch and lots of information! These events are a great opportunity for students to interact with experienced professionals. Representatives from highlighted industries speak about insider career tips and the importance of internships, related experiences, and potential career opportunities. Please check the Career Planning website and calendar for more details and sign-up information ( **Pre-registration required. Lehigh Valley - Careers in…. Offered each Fall semester, this conference is designed to provide our region’s finest students the opportunity to learn about designated career paths and opportunities. Following the panel is a networking reception to connect students with industry representatives. The event brings students from local colleges and universities including but not limited to: Cedar Crest College, DeSales University, Kutztown University, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Moravian College and Muhlenberg College. Etiquette Dinner Etiquette is an important factor today – good manners are associated with competence in your work…they say a lot about you! Employers view interpersonal skills as necessary candidate qualifications, and often assess these during a meal. Learn the basics of proper dining etiquette including introductions & handshakes, following the lead of your host, tackling flatware, handling tricky foods, and other dining tips. By understanding dining etiquette, you can use it to your advantage to feel confident in any situation. **Pre-registration and Professional Attire Required. Test Prep Sessions by Kaplan Students getting ready for the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT or DAT can take a practice test for FREE and receive a detailed score report to assist them in preparing for the real exam. **Pre-registration required! Graduate School Fair CCC students are invited to attend this event every Fall semester! Speak with many representatives from numerous colleges and universities about their programs and admission procedures. 10

Resume Doctor (Resume Makeovers)!!! Be prepared for your job search and graduate school applications!! A good resume is essential to your internship, job, or grad school search. It is a necessary tool to market yourself, so stop by our table to have your resume reviewed on-the-spot by experts! No registration is required – come as you are, get your resume reviewed! Internship & Job Fairs CCC Career & Internship Fair (Fall): Tompkins College Center Lehigh Valley Collegiate Career Expo (LVCCE) (Spring): Holiday Inn, Breinigsville, PA Job Fair for Educators (Spring): Holiday Inn, Breinigsville, PA Information Sessions Careers in Government Did you know that there are literally thousands of federal and state internships and jobs available? Did you know that no matter what your major, the public sector offers NUMEROUS opportunities in NUMEROUS locations around the Commonwealth of PA and the country? Did you know that over 80% of federal positions are located outside of Washington, D.C.? Find out about available opportunities and how to apply for both internships & full-time positions. All majors are encouraged to attend! ~ Presented by Federal and State Representatives. Year One on the Job…Managing Your Finances Managing your new financial status can be a daunting task. There are several fundamentals that, once mastered, will give you a level of confidence. Learn how to set up a budget and manage the monthly expenses. Use credit cards wisely -- both in what cards you chose and how you use them. Know about credit bureau reports -- what they are all about, who looks at them, what they mean. ~ Presented by a Financial Professional. Day One on the Job…HR & Benefits Are you prepared to make decisions and fill out paperwork on your first day at your new job? Topics to be covered will include information on health care/benefit options, INS requirements, tax forms, retirement/savings plans and other "food for thought" to help you prepare for the administrative "details" that most Human Resource Offices throw your way! ~ Presented by CCC Human Resources Staff. Other information session topics have included: Employer-sponsored information sessions Disney Internship Program Peace Corps Career Planning Center Walk-in Hours Have a quick 5 to 10-minute question? Looking for information about an internship, major, or career related topic? Stop by Career Planning Quick Question/Walk-In Hours to have your questions answered on the spot – no appointment necessary!! Career Planning Center Presentations & Workshops Writing Your Resume & Cover Letter What is the best way to arrange your resume and cover letter on the pages? Which words create the best effect? Which topics should appear…and which ones shouldn’t? Find out the key parts of a well-written cover letter, including the “grab-their-attention” middle paragraph. These workshops discuss length, kinds of paper, general do’s and don’ts, and the different types and styles. Learn when & how to send these key marketing materials to obtain that interview! 11

Finding Internships How can you be sure what you want to do is really what you want to do? How do you find out what it is really like to be a ? How can you get someone to hire you if you don't have experience? How can you get experience if no one will hire you? Internships and related summer or part-time jobs are the answers! Discover the ways to “find” those internships and make yourself as marketable as you can be! Job Search Strategies That Work Find out why a good resume isn’t all you need to land that job. This workshop will cover the Six Sure Steps to Success, the art of networking, and locating those “hidden jobs” (it’s not just the Sunday classifieds anymore!) Beginning the job search process can seem overwhelming…we’ll show you how to break it down into manageable tasks so you meet your goal….your career! Thinking About Graduate School? Is graduate school for you? Where should you go? Full or part-time? What should you study? When should you apply? How will you pay for it? You’ll find out the answers to these and other grad school questions. Successful Interviewing Jobs are WON in interviews; those who interview best fare the best. Find out what you must do before, during, and after your interview. Learn what to bring with you, including your questions for the employer. Discover how to eliminate surprises, reduce anxiety, and to analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Give yourself the advantage over the competition! The Top Ten Qualities… Are you aware of the most important skills that a candidate needs to be considered for employment? In addition to being academically prepared in one’s discipline, college students need to possess these top 10 qualities to be marketable and successful in the workplace. Find out what you can do during your time at Kutztown to better prepare yourself…beginning your freshman or sophomore year! Prepare for the Fair Want to be successful at the upcoming fair? Then you MUST attend this BRIEF orientation session. Find out what it takes to work a job fair with positive results….including what to do before you arrive, when you arrive, how to work your way around the room, and preparing your “30 second commercial” The Power of Networking Ever hear, “It’s who you know that matters?” How can you leverage those whom YOU know to find out about careers that interest you, obtain an internship, or find a job in the HIDDEN JOB MARKET? Come to this workshop to learn how college students can begin, develop, and maintain an effective employment network. Discover the power of networking available to you right now, and get connected! Professionalism in the Workplace Appropriate and professional behavior and dress are expectations of every employer. Just how important are good manners? They often determine whether or not you get the job, and how you move up & onward in your career. Learn about what it takes to be a good employee and how to dress appropriately. 2011: It's Not Your Parents' Job Search! Learn about the latest career tools and technology, free for your use, to help you succeed in your job search and future career! Are you looking for creative ways to network with CCC alumnae and professionals? Do you want the freedom to practice your interviewing skills any day or time? Would you like to impress an employer with an electronic portfolio? Don’t miss this session - we’ll cover the basics of new career tools & technologies including e-portfolios (, e-interviewing (InterviewStream), and e-networking (LinkedIn).


QUICK QUIZ: CAREER DECISION MAKING Respond to the following career-related items with either True (T) or False (F). _____ 1.

Career choice is a one-time event rather than a process.

_____ 2.

Your college major predicts your future with a good deal of accuracy.

_____ 3.

Your self-concept plays a large role in career choice.

_____ 4.

The unexpected has an impact on your career development.

_____ 5.

Career choice involves compromise.

_____ 6.

Your occupational choice provides you with an identity and determines your lifestyle.

_____ 7.

Past accomplishments have an effect on your career choice.

_____ 8.

Most employers search for candidates by their college major.

_____ 9.

Similar personalities are attracted to similar occupational environments.

_____ 10. The majority of students entering four-year colleges have decided on an area of concentration and never change their major.




3. TRUE.

4. TRUE.

5. TRUE.

6. TRUE. 7. TRUE.


9. TRUE.

10. FALSE.

Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes made by students in their career planning is the belief that the choice of major or first job will last a lifetime. Research studies have shown that the average worker can expect three to five career (not job, career) changes during a lifetime. Your choice of major is just one of the initial steps in your career planning. Your choice of major does not automatically equate to only one specific occupation. Instead, the paths open to you will be varied according to your interests and abilities. It is an accepted view that an occupational choice is a way of implementing your selfconcept. In fact, your choice of occupation can be viewed as a kind of measure of what’s important to you, how you wish to be perceived by others, and the kinds of values that are important in your life. No matter how completely and thoroughly you plan, events will happen that will lead you to change your mind. Perhaps a summer job, volunteer work experience, travel opportunity, or conversations with a professional might open a completely new set of alternatives for your consideration. Career choice is a process that extends over time. Your career goals may need to be compromised in light of realities of available college curriculum, the availability of jobs upon graduation, money available to pursue graduate or professional school, etc. Your choice will determine how your time is spent, who your friends will be, what values you embrace, where you live, and what pattern of family living you will adopt. For the most part, we continue to do the things that we are good at because we get recognition and rewards for them. Being aware of what you can and cannot do (well or not at all) is an important factor in making a career choice. After confirming the person has earned the required bachelor’s degree (not necessarily major), employers begin to evaluate candidates by their “skill sets” and personality…not major. You know the old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” The statement has vocational merit. It’s a proven fact that certain types of personalities tend to gravitate toward compatible work environments. The majority of students entering college for the first time are not sure about what they plan to major in. Even those students who have declared their major often times are not entirely decided. Also, the majority change their major at least once!


INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWS AND NETWORKING One of the best ways to learn about different careers and opportunities is to talk with someone involved in that kind of work. Finding out first-hand what tasks are involved in a position can help you make more informed choices. You can gain contacts several ways...the telephone yellow pages, the CCC Alumnae Association, CCC professors and staff, family, and friends (to name a few). Remember three things: 1. You are not asking for a job. You are simply asking for information and advice. 2. You have the responsibility to yourself to seek advice and information from those who can best help you. 3. Finding a mentor(s) can be very valuable. Mentors are people, experts in your field, who take an interest in you and your professional development, advise you, help you along, and put you in touch with opportunities. You will also need to develop professional contacts -- people in, or related to, your field -who help each other out by exchanging information about what's going on, including job opportunities.

Once you have some names, phone numbers and email addresses‌Contact them!! It is best to explain who you are, why you are contacting them, and that you would appreciate 15-30 minutes of their time. By asking questions of these people, you will gain the most valuable inside information and advice about how to succeed and what steps to take toward your career. Many professionals would be glad to meet and discuss their career. Give it a try!


Some Pointers for Informational Interviewing Be specific about your purpose and intent. Tell them you would appreciate 15-30 minutes of their time. Make it clear that you are looking for information, not a job. Set a specific time and date. Offer to go to the person's office. Do not ask them to go out of their way for you. Do some research about the department and function the person’s position, so that you can ask intelligent, informed questions. Your research can be based on reading written material, websites, or by talking with other people. Be prepared with a clear set of questions for the interview (several provided below). You are in a position to guide the conversation through the kinds of questions you ask. Walking in and asking, "Tell me about your work" may not result in getting the information you need. The interviewees may feel you have wasted their time. Your interest, preparation and planning will be remembered by the interviewee. Present yourself professionally (as if you were applying for a job). The contact may be invaluable later, so don't miss the opportunity to make a good impression. Close the interview by thanking the person for their time and valuable information provided. Ask for names of other contacts and whether you can use their name for a reference. When you get home, take notes from the interview that you can refer to later on. These may help you make some future decisions. Send a brief thank you note. It helps to keep the door open for future contact! Informational Interview Questions You Could Ask: Please describe a typical workday for you. How did you prepare yourself for the work that you do? How much did your (undergraduate) major relate to the work that you do? What is most rewarding about your work? What are your biggest frustrations in this work? Is demand for your kind of work increasing, decreasing or stable? When people leave this kind of work, what usually drives them away? Are there any particular areas of study on which I should concentrate? Is there anything I can do to make myself more qualified for this type of work? After having discussions with these professionals, you will be able to more clearly understand not only the industry and position…but what you must do over your years at Cedar Crest College to prepare. You must begin developing the skills and abilities that will make you marketable in the field. Don’t have time to conduct an informational interview? Check out our online resource of pre-recorded informational interviews, You can contact the Career Planning Center to gain access.


WHAT ALL EMPLOYERS WANT The Top Ten Skills! What do employers want to see when they begin evaluating college candidates for employment? The entire package! Extracted from responses to the question, “What are the five most important skills or competencies that a candidate needs to possess in order to be considered for employment?” The “total package” that candidates should possess includes: The Total Package: Candidates need to be academically prepared in their discipline as it pertains to their employment – this is considered a given by employers. Plus, they need to demonstrate: 1. Communication Skills – solid verbal, written, and listening abilities. 2. Computer/Technical Aptitudes – computer ability is now perceived as a given core skill and expected ability levels continue to rise. 3. Leadership – the ability to take charge or relinquish control (followership) according to the needs of the organization/project/team. 4. Teamwork – working cooperatively and collaboratively with different people while maintaining autonomous control over some assignments. 5. Interpersonal Abilities – relating to others, inspiring others to participate, or mitigating conflict between co-workers. 6. Personal Traits – demonstrating a combination of these is also integral: a.

initiative and motivation

b. flexibility in handling change and ambiguity c. hard-working (work ethic) and reliability d. honesty and integrity e. ability to plan and organize multiple tasks f.

ability to provide customer service

The Wrapping: Several skills or experiences bind “the package” and are essential to holding it together. Employers believe without these skills, a candidate may not be able to deliver the package. 7. Critical Thinking/Problem Solving – the ability to identify problems and their solutions by integrating information from a variety of sources and effectively weighing alternatives. 8. Intelligence and Common Sense – enough said! 9. Willingness to learn quickly and continuously. 10. Work-Related Experiences that provided an understanding of the workplace and served to apply classroom learning. ~ adapted from the Recruiting Trends Report, Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University


The Career Planning Center services and resources are designed to empower you in finding your career path and creating effective career development plans. It is imperative that students work on acquiring and improving these skills throughout their college experience to maximize their opportunity for SUCCESS!!!

Please invest in yourself and your future by utilizing our Center! Allen House 100 College Drive Allentown, PA 18140 610.606.4648


We’ve added a new resource to the Career Planning Center’s website. Be sure to check out the Online Toolbox that has all of the “tools” you need to aid you in your career development. There are links that provide helpful information on:  Job & Internship searching  Graduate School  Career exploration  Skill development 18

Career Notes, Goals, Aspirations, To-Do’s



Getting Started Guide