Career Services for Parents: Five Things Your Child Can Do (Now!) to Prepare for the Job Search

Whether your student is a first-year or a senior, these five tips from Director of Career Services Nancy Burkett can help students prepare for the job, internship, or whatever-comes-next search!

1. Do Your Research

The Career Services website is a treasure trove of resources for students at all stages of the career development process. Under the “Student” tab on the Career Services website students can access articles, databases, and event listings that will help them decide on their major, explore a career field, or learn job-search skills.

The number one resource for all students is the Career Services database SwatCareers. Not only does SwatCareers include all full-time job listings shared with the College, but it also links to UCAN and ENGIN internship databases and resources for job exploration such as Vault Career Intelligence—where students can research organizations and industries. To get a username and password to access SwatCareers, students can email or visit the Career Services office in Parrish 135.

2. Practice, Practice, Practice

Once your student starts thinking about applying for jobs and internships, she can have her resume and cover letters reviewed by a career counselor by appointment or drop in on weekdays to see a career peer adviser in Parrish 135 between 1 and 4:30 p.m. Once that well-crafted resume secures your son or daughter an interview, he or she can schedule a practice session with a counselor to review common interview questions, how to present yourself in an interview, and, of course, how to do a firm handshake.

3. Embrace the Swarthmore Network

Mention the word “networking” to students, and they’re likely to cringe. But they can benefit in lots of ways from the experience of Swarthmore alumni. Students can build a LinkedIn profile and join the Swatties Helping Swatties LinkedIn group, access Alumni Career Profiles and the Alumni Online Directory to find alumni in fields or positions of interest to them, and meet alumni at informational events hosted by Career Services.

Here are just a few upcoming events hosted by Career Services:

One of the best ways for students to begin developing their Swarthmore network is by participating in an externship. This mentorship program, which runs Jan. 12–16, 2015, helps students dip a toe into the alumni network.

4. Explore the Alternatives

Many Swarthmore alumni choose to attend graduate school, volunteer for a long-term service experience, or try something else before pursuing full-time employment. Career Services, in coordination with academic departments, offers graduate school admission advising to help students research programs and plan for the application process. We can also help students prepare for the application process for service programs such as Teach for America and AmeriCorps. Worried about how your student will pay for graduate school? Career Services connects students with the Office of Fellowships and Prizes to learn how to secure funding for graduate school or research projects.

5. Meet with a counselor!

Whether your student has a clear career goal in mind or is trying to figure out what to major in, he or she can benefit from meeting with a career counselor. Because they work with students throughout their time at Swarthmore, counselors get to know your child’s interests, personality, and goals and can help your son or daughter find the right position or path for after Swarthmore.

To make an appointment with a counselor for any reason, students can drop by Parrish 135, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m.–noon and 1–4:30 p.m. or call 610-328-8352.

 Career Services Social Media

Looking for more tips on how to support your Swattie? Check out Career Services’s newly launched pinterest board “Tips for Parents of Swatties.” You can also follow Career Services on other popular social media sites including Twitter (@SwatCareers), Facebook, and LinkedIn.