Drew University provides a wealth of opportunities and resources for its students, especially when it comes to career preparation. Students, however, are missing out on these assets, even though they should be using these resources to their fullest potential.
According to Drew’s website, the Center for Career Development is meant to “provide a more in-depth, intersectional professional development experience” for students. This spans all aspects of a student’s professional journey: discovering one’s interests, enhancing one’s skills with jobs and internships, networking, designing a resume and cover letter and so much more.
Speaking from personal experience, I have worked a lot on my resume, cover letter and general application skills over the last several years. When I worked with the Center, Gwen DeBenedetto gave me advice and suggestions to augment my resume along with thorough explanations as to why these changes were effective. These suggestions were not for one specific job or major either. The advice could be applied to any internship, job or major, as the advice was general enough to encompass all hiring practices.
For instance, I was advised not to use color on my resume or block off areas with color. Although Canva’s resume templates look beautiful, a prospective employer will likely not want to print an entire page of yellow ink. I would have never considered this had it not been brought up. Even in an age when the Internet appears to be increasingly important for job applications, these are still factors that need to be considered.
Another piece of advice pertained to how larger companies use software to scan resumes from left to right. One column resumes are significantly easier to read rather than two, or even three columns. If the software can not find the key words or phrases it is looking for, it is highly unlikely your resume will get a thorough read.
We also discussed my career interests. Although I am at Drew to become a teacher, I want experience within editing and publishing. I came in anticipating to apply for highly specific internships within this field, and my horizons were broadened to include additional opportunities that fit what I was looking for. For instance, now I am looking for positions as a communications associate or assistant and content writer as these are collaborative and creative positions.
However, I was not dissuaded from pursuing my original plans in addition to these new ones. Rather than restricting me, going to the Center for Career Development opened even more opportunities than I could have imagined.
Paying for this kind of career assistance outside of college can be costly. According to Business News Daily, a career coach can charge $75 to $150 on the low end and up to $500 on the higher end. Drew students are getting this kind of support for free.
With such a phenomenal resource within reach, students should be rallying around the Center for Career Development for attention. Scheduling an appointment on Handshake is the first step that students need to take. From then on, students can work with a staff member to prepare them for the professional world. For students interested in visiting the Center in person, it is in Sycamore Cottage.
Not only does the Center for Career Development help current students, but they also work with Drew alums. Although the assistance provided to alums is not as extensive as that provided to undergraduate students, alums can still receive assistance when it comes to finding a job or looking for a mentor.
The Center for Career Development is one of the best resources available to us on campus. Students should be using it, while at Drew and after, to give themselves an edge when it comes to being successful in the professional world.
Nicole is a sophomore double majoring in English and French and minoring in psychology and education.