Successful career development includes:
- Exploring career fields
- Learning and trying new things
- Building your professional network
- Reflecting on your education
- Refining your plans along the way
Career Services at UMass, and Career Advisors in your specific school or college, are here to help you take your next steps forward.
You’ll find lots of advice on the internet about job searching, internships, resumes, and networking. Don’t dive in alone. UMass has refined resources for you and has many people in place who can help with your specific goals.
START HERE. From your first year through graduation, this career prep list will keep you on task and let you know what you should be doing.
Internships and Co-ops
Internships and co-ops give you the chance to work in a specific field and gain experience. Participating in one or more is one of the best ways to prepare for your career.
A resume is a document that shows potential employers your education, experience, and qualifications in a clear, concise, and compelling way.
A cover letter is a “sales pitch” that shows potential employers why your skills and experience are the best fit for their needs.
Interviewing is your opportunity to make a personal connection with a potential employer and show why you’d be perfect for the job.
80% of company hires involve a shared contact in their professional network. Networking -- whether through a pre-planned meeting or an impromptu conversation at a conference, career fair, information session, or anywhere else -- will likely help you find your first job and also be crucial as you advance in your career.
“I spent the semester in Washington, D.C., interning at the Council on Environmental Quality in the Executive Office of the President. It was amazing to be in Washington, D.C., for the 2012 election; the city was so alive and on edge to see who would win. I was able to learn skills that one cannot learn in a classroom, and get a sense of what I did and did not like about working at the federal level of the U.S. government." —Emily, political science major, UMass Class of 2014
How do I learn about different career fields?
Career Services has hand-picked tools and websites to help you learn about different career fields. These will get you started. Also, consider scheduling a meeting with a Career Advisor.
How do I find an internship?
Handshake is a career development platform available to you. It’ll help you find internships and jobs, connect with employers, and keep track of your search process, all in one place.
How do I get an internship or job if I don’t have any experience?
Your experience is more than just a previous job. You are developing your skills through coursework, volunteering, and co-curricular activities. Talk to a Career Advisor about how to use what you know to tell your story.
Where can I find advice for how to actually get a job?
See the links above that detail information on resume-writing, cover letter-writing, interviewing, and preparing in other ways to job search.