Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Career Development Plan

Finding a job in your field after graduation is a process that takes years of preparation.  Listed below are some recommendations to maximize your potential and prepare you to land the job of your choice.

Freshman - Year 1

  • Complete your HireAState profile through MyCampus.  This will help you find jobs, internships, volunteer work, and other opportunities that will build your resume and make you more marketable.
  • Develop a resume and make an appointment with Career Services.  Upload your resume into your HireAState profile.  It is important to have a resume that employers will be impressed with.  Not only is your experience vital, but so it the presentation of the resume itself.
  • Look at the career options listed on "What Can I Do With This Major?"  Sometimes you may be interested in a particular major, but are not sure what kinds of jobs you can get with it.  This link will provide you some examples of what you can do with certain degrees.
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher.  This is very important if you intend to go to graduate school.  Also, some employers have a GPA requirement.
  • Join a student organization.  This will help you become involved on campus and could also connect you with people who can be a great reference for you when seeking a job or applying for graduate school.
  • Start building and maintaining your career portfolio in HireAState and the Reflection portfolio.  This will help you keep up with your grades and all of the activities you have participated in, such as:  jobs, clubs, volunteer experience, etc...  You will need this information when applying for jobs or graduate school.

Sophomore - Year 2

  • Update your HireAState profile and resume.  Sync your HireAState account with LinkedIn.
  • Visit Career Services and visit with a career counselor.  Doing this can help you figure our what is trending in the job market, the outlook of certain occupations, and careers/employment that may be of interest to you right now and in the future.
  • Attend an interview skills presentation or workshop by Career Services.  Learn the dos and don'ts so that you present the best first impression possible and hopefully get that job!
  • Get a professional suit for interviews.  You always want to have a professional wardrobe available. Even if the company you work for doesn't require wearing a suit, you want to wear one tot he interview because a good impression is imperative.
  • Create a LinkedIn profile with a professional profile picture.  https://www.linkedin.com.  This will connect you with employers and other professionals who could possibly help you snag a job.
  • Pursue opportunities related to your career interests (i.e. internships, part-time jobs, job shadowing, volunteering, etc...).  Visit Career Services and your major's departmental office for information on opportunities.
  • Attend the graduate school and internship fairs.
  • Attend on-campus information sessions of companies you're interested in.  It is always good to know who is hiring, and what companies are looking for, so that you can prepare yourself to be employable when the time comes.  This is also a great way to find internships, a part-time job, etc...
  • Join an organization related to your career interests.  This will increase your network and possibly provide you with opportunities to attend conferences, etc...
  • Consider taking a leadership role in an organization you are part of.  You don't want to just be a name on the roster.  Be active!  Companies want to know that you have leadership potential and the only way they know is if you have done it.
  • Research whether you should attend graduate school and where.
  • Consider a semester to study abroad; visit the Study Abroad program office for information.

Junior - Year 3

  • Update your HireAState profile and resume.
  • Visit Career Services to speak with a counselor and review your resume and goals.
  • Get an internship.  This will provide you with hands-on knowledge about what the day-to-day responsibilities of a particular job would be.  It will also provide you with tangible experience that employers are looking for.
  • Attend the career, graduate school, and internship fairs.
  • Continue to attend on-campus information sessions of companies in your field.
  • Attend job search and cover letter workshops and presentations by Career Services.  Cover letters are important.  They tell employers what you can deliver that is beyond what is presented on your resume and related to their needs.
  • Participate in research projects related to your field.  This will rell employers what you are offering is new and informative.  It will set you apart from other applicants.
  • Start creating and maintaining a list of professional contacts and references.  You should have references other than friends, family, etc...  You want individuals that can speak to your knowledge, skills, and approach as a worker/employee.  
  • Attend a professional conference related to your career interests.  This will connect you with potential employers and other professionals in the field.
  • If you will be going to graduate school, identify potential schools and take appropriate entrance exams.

Senior - Year 4

  • Update your HireAState profile, resume, and LinkedIn account.
  • Visit Career Services and visit with a career counselor.
  • Start the job search process in the fall.
  • Attend career fairs, career-related events, and information sessions by companies in your field.
  • Participate in the etiquette dinner sponsored by Sodexo and Career Services or the College of Business.
  • Prepare for job interviews by completing mock interviews with Career Services.
  • If you are going to graduate school, apply.  Be aware of deadlines, they can be early.
  • Continue to build your professional network and update your LinkedIn account.
  • Connect with the A-State Alumni Association at http://astatealumni.org/s/1531/start/aspx.  
  • Upon graduation, complete the senior exit survey.