All About Us

The Career Center is one of the few offices on campus that you can start using from the first day of your college career to well beyond your graduation date. Our office specializes in helping students with their various career needs. Below is a little bit more about what we can do for you, the student, succeed over the next four years and beyond!

  • Part-time Jobs (on and off-campus)
  • Internships
  • Full-Time Jobs
  • Help Choosing Major/Career
  • Resume Critiquing Services
  • Graduate School Advice
  • Plus More!

We can provide you with appointments to meet one-on-one with a staff member or you can drop by during drop-in hours. Our office also hosts workshops and career fairs throughout the year to help you with the job search, writing resumes, etc. So drop by our office in the Lightsey Center (2nd floor) or peruse our website at http://www.cofc.edu/~career/.

Welcome Back Everyone!

Hopefully, everyone had a very eventful summer break. Did you have an internship that showed you what professionals in your chosen field really do? Did you take a trip to another country, experiencing another culture to its fullest? Or did you take classes to get ahead of the game in school? Well, whatever you did this past summer with any luck it was fun, relaxing, but meaningful in the grand scheme that is called life!

But now you are back to school and it is time to hit the books. Good luck during the next year. For those of you who are new to the school welcome to the city by the sea and the College of Charleston. A place where you will set down roots for the next few years and gain education and life experiences. For the returning students, welcome back! You know the routine, but remember things will be a little different. Some of you are getting into your major classes, or you’re joining a new club or activity. Or you’re entering your final year at the College of Charleston.

Here on the Career Center Blog we hope to help all of you, no matter your stage in the matriculation cycle. Over the next semester we will be discussing a wide range of topics. And if we do not talk about something you want to know tell us in the comments below. So hang in there for another year of career advice and discussion!

Finding Happiness in the Workplace

Your mission should you choose to accept it is . . . . . . to find a career that you love!

Sometimes this is easier said than done but it should be everyone’s goal. As a child growing up you dreamed of doing something that you loved, anything from being a firefighter, a veterinarian, or a teacher (typical childhood dream jobs). When dreaming about those careers, you focused on the activities and how much fun you will have helping animals or teaching kids.

Now many of you always ask “How much money will I make?” Money is important (fact of life) but when selecting a career it should not be the final decision making factor. For example, say you are a outside sales associate making around $80,000+ a year but while you are making the “big” bucks have you thought about your life style? More than likely you work 60+ hours a week, you have the nice house, car and boat but when do you get to enjoy it. And while at the job you constantly deal with customer complaints and a competitive office space where you really don’t enjoy the people you work with. Does that sound like your dream job? (Note: some people will love that setting but it is not for everyone)

When choosing your career focus on what you can gain from it emotionally. Is it going to give you a sense of satisfaction? Will you look forward to it everyday? Can you see yourself doing that job for the next twenty years without wincing? If you answered yes to those questions then it is a good possibility that you have found the career for you, one you can enjoy.

Check out this article by K. Rawley in the Business Journal, “Enjoying your job can increase odds of success.”

So you might not have ended up a firefighter but hopefully you will find a career you enjoy.

Enjoying Your Job Can Keep You Smiling!

See You in the Fall!

We just made it through the first (academic) year of the Career Center Blog. Yeah! Since summer is here and most of you will be either spending your days at the beach, in a internship, or exploring new areas in summer classes the blog is going on semi hiatus, too. The blog will get back to its regular Monday schedule starting in August 2008 (though there will be surprise posts during the summer!).

But while we will not have new posts each week, please look through all of our old posts! We have a lot of information here that can get you on the right track in your career development.

Remember, if you have any questions or just want to comment leave us a message in the comments section.

The Untried Source

When advising students about searching for jobs there is one source that I always recommend, especially if they wan to move to an area they are not in or not familiar with. This resource is the Chamber of Commerce. The majority of cities and regions have a chamber of commerce and a website to promote their membership. It is the membership of a chamber of commerce which will benefit the job hunter.

For example, say you are a recent graduate and you know you want to move to Seattle, Washington. You have some ideas about what type of work you want to do but do not know different companies or jobs available. You look on the large places like Monster.com and other huge job search places but you are still lost. But where else do you look for jobs? This is when I suggest the Chamber of Commerce for the region. The chamber will have a membership list of the different organization in the area.

For finding those Chamber of Commerce websites Google or another search engine is a great resource. But remember if you have a metro area you will have multiple offices to use. So go to the US Chamber of Commerce. It lists the different offices throughout the country (http://www.uschamber.com/chambers/directory/default.htm?n=tb)

Congrats Seniors! Now what are you going to do?

Congratulations Seniors!

You have made it through 4 (or more) years here at the College of Charleston, but where are you going now? At the Career Center we have a lot of resources that you can use to find the path best suited for you. Check out these resources and good luck in the future!

  • CISTERNonline: The Career Center’s online job search database. Here we list full- and part-time employment opportunities, plus internships.
  • Our web resources: We have a lot of websites that can be used in the job search. Some are specific to industry or geographical location but you should be able to find something to help you in the search.
  • The Resource Library: In our office we have hundreds of books that you can use (even after graduation) to research and locate different career fields.
  • Our Staff: Sometimes going alone is not always easy during the job search. While we will not hold your hand we can give you the skills and more resources that can help you be successful in the job search. Come by our office during drop-in hours Monday-Friday 1 pm to 4 pm or you can make an appointment.

And if you already have a job—Good for you! We would love to hear about your new job (click here). Or if you would like to help future College of Charleston students with their career development needs please become an Alumni Career Mentor (click here).

Say Thank You

There is one key step in the interview process many people seem to forget. They concentrate on the questions and what to wear then breathe a sigh of relief when it is over. But it is not over! After the interview there is the thank you note. This key piece of paper can help you get the dream job you want so much. It allows you the opportunity to thank the interviewer for the interview and let them know one more time why you would make the best person for the position. The thank you letter could be the tipping factor in the decision process for some.

So now that you know you should really, really write one here are some facts/tips to guide you.

  • Send the thank you letter within 24 to 48 hours of the interview. This will keep you fresh in the interviewer’s thoughts plus you want them to get it before they make a decision.
  • Your thank you can either be typed, written, or emailed. Choosing which one is a judgment call. If you want a formal letter go with typed, personal hand written, and email if you know the person prefers that type of contact.
    • If it is hand written remember to write legible. If the interviewer cannot read your writing the letter will loose its value as a tool to promote yourself.
  • Your thank you letter does not have to be on fancy paper or cards. You can buy nice thank you cards at Wal-mart or other similar stores at a low cost. Just make sure your cards are professional looking and do not feature the cute bunny rabbit motif.

Check out these links to find more tips on writing a thank you letter.

Do you have any other tips or suggestions about writing thank you notes?