Frequently Asked Questions
- When should I go to Career Services?
- Do I need an appointment?
- What happens during a career advising appointment?
- Can graduate students take advantage of your services?
- What should I do with my life?
- What careers are open to someone in my major?
- What is the difference between an internship and a co-op?
- How do I get an internship or co-op?
- When do I start looking for a job?
- How do I create a resume?
- What is the difference between a resume and a CV?
- Should I refer to this university as UMass Amherst or the University of Massachusetts Amherst on my resume and cover letters?
- I have an interview next week. How do I get ready for it?
- Can I negotiate a salary offer?
Career Services works with students from enrollment until after graduation. Ideally, you should start exploring careers as early as your first year, so that you can prepare for field experience opportunities and the eventual job search. However, we can work with you at anytime during your college career, up until six months beyond graduation.
You need an appointment to work one-on-one with a career advisor on self-assessment, career exploration, and job search strategies. For answers to quick questions or to have a resume reviewed, you can take advantage of our Walk-In hours without an appointment (Monday through Friday, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.).
This depends on where you are in your career development. You may work with an advisor to explore your interests and establish goals, determining how your interests, skills, and values connect to specific careers. You may also use an appointment to discuss field experience opportunities and how they fit into your overall plan, or to learn more about how to best approach your job search (networking, resumes, interviewing, evaluating compensation packages, etc.).
Yes, graduate students work with our advisors to develop career goals and to strategize their job search.
We can’t tell you the answer to that question, but we can work with you to help you answer it yourself. You may begin by reading our section on Career Exploration or by stopping in for a Walk-In appointment. You can also make an individual appointment with an advisor to further explore your skills, interests, and values, and how they link to certain jobs and fields. Keep in mind that the job market is changing constantly and your career interests will continue to evolve, so while we can help you figure out what to do with the next several years, no one can tell you what you’ll do with the rest of your life.
The truth is—with a good plan in place—a wide range of careers is open to someone in your major, no matter what it is. There are many majors that do not have a direct link to the world of work, and many people do not pursue careers that relate directly to their degree. Major in whatever you enjoy: you will be happy, engaged, and you’ll perform better in class. What matters most are the skills you develop in completing your degree, your achievements, and the work-related experience that you gain.
Guess these people’s undergraduate majors?
1. President George W. Bush (History)
2. Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts (English & American Literature)
3. J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter (French & Classics)
4. Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court Justice (Dentistry)
5. Theo Epstein, General Manager of the Red Sox (American Studies)
6. Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show (Psychology)
7. Chad Hurley, founder and CEO of YouTube (Art)
8. Richard Gere, actor (Philosophy)
9. Katie Couric, news anchor (English & History)
10. Perez Hilton, blogger (Drama)
Unless the career that interests you requires specific skills and experience, such as engineering or finance, you may as well study something that you will enjoy learning.
Browse What Can I Do with This Major? This Web Site allows you to look up your major and see the kinds of career options to which it may lead.
An internship is generally a position in a company or organization that provides you with a professional level educational or training experience. Internships happen year round, they can be paid or unpaid, for credit or not.
Most co-ops are three- to nine-month positions that require you to leave school entirely. Co-op status allows you to stay enrolled at UMass Amherst without paying tuition, while working at least 20 hours a week and earning at least minimum wage in a job related to your major.
There are many ways to fit field experience into your college education. Attend one of our Internship Info Session workshops to learn more.
Students find internships and co-ops in different ways. Some secure positions on their own, through faculty, friends, family members, or others they know. Others will find positions through the UMass Amherst CareerConnect/eRecruiting Web site, or by contacting organizations they’d like to work for directly. Finally, others work with a career advisor to strategize an internship or co-op search. Go to Internships to learn more.
That depends on how you look at it. Ideally the job hunt begins in your first few years at UMass Amherst, as you explore careers and build experience through internships, co-ops, student involvement, and part-time jobs. In many cases, it is through these opportunities that you will find your post-graduation jobs. However, the job search, as most students imagine it (networking, researching employers, sending resumes, etc.), should begin at the end of your junior or the beginning of your senior year.
A CV (Curriculum Vitae) is a specialized resume that generally has more extensive details about your work experience and your skills. Most often, a CV is necessary if you have an advanced degree and you are seeking a job in academia, scientific research, or applying for grants and fellowships.
A resume is one or two page document tailored to the job opening. Visit Resumes and Cover Letters on this website for additional resources.
Be aware that some people will use the terms CV and resume interchangeably, which can be confusing. A faculty member may refer to your resume as a CV when they really mean your resume. In Europe, in some cases, employers will refer to all resume-like documents as CVs. Make sure you know what kind of document is expected.
If you need to create a CV as well as a resume, please go to our section on Curriculum Vitae, or come to Career Services.
Should I refer to this university as UMass Amherst or the University of Massachusetts Amherst on my resume and cover letters?
In your resumes and cover letters, and any other job-related correspondence, refer to this institution as the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Always err on the formal side.
Start with our Interviewing section where we offer extensive tips and guidelines. If you need further assistance, meet with a career advisor, stop in during Walk-In hours, or attend an Interviewing Tips and Techniques workshop.
In most entry-level jobs, there is not much room for negotiation. This will be more likely in your second or third job. You may be able to negotiate for more salary or different benefits, but this will depend on you ability to handle some risk. Go to Job Offers and Compensation Packages for more on this subject.