One of the most important decisions in our lifetime is determining our career path: what job we want and what degree we will earn. Whether you know exactly what you want to do or are rather uncertain, the following Career Planning handout contains questions and resources to help guide you in your research – to better understand yourself, the workforce, and the various degrees available at YVC.
A good decision is best arrived at by doing research, understanding all the factors and then listening to your intuition. Intuition is your inner voice that knows you best and is constantly guiding you. For example, many students who seek career counseling end up pursuing the career they were most considering already. However, some students gain clarity and options they were not aware of that help them choose a degree. Either way, the Career Planning handout is just a guide, be sure to consult with professionals in the field, faculty members and counselors for further assistance. Also consider taking SD 105: Career Planning.
View the Career Planning Guide to get started: Career Planning Guide
Explore – Research Careers
- What can I do with this major? – Identify typical employers and strategies for entering more than 90 fields
- Occupational Outlook Handbook – Learn what they do, how to become one, job outlook, and similar occupations
- ONET – Browse by job family to compare work tasks, skills, education, training, and credentials
- Career One Stop – Search occupational profiles including industry growth and wage data by state
The number one reason we attend college is the chance for a rewarding career allowing us to provide ourselves and our families a decent life. As you complete a diploma from YVC we can assist you in transitioning to gainful employment. Obtaining a highly marketable degree is important, but it is also vital that you know how to market yourself. The following resources will help you in looking for jobs, applying to them, and interviewing effectively.
The following Job Search guide contains a list of employers, websites, and techniques that are most useful in looking for jobs in the Yakima Valley and beyond. A couple things to remember as you look for and apply to jobs:
1) Looking for work is your full time job until you have one, apply to as many jobs as possible;
2) utilize all the resources and techniques listed on the Job Search guide;
3) be flexible – you may not get your “dream job” at first –consider jobs that “get your foot in the door” and provide you an opportunity to gain experience and build your resume as you work towards the career you desire.
There are hundreds of resume styles and templates available on the web and through software such as Microsoft Word. Use whatever style you prefer – just make sure it is professional looking. A resume example which can be used as your own is provided down below. The following are some tips for resumes:
- Have someone proofread/edit your resume. You want to make sure your resume does not have spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. This is the main reason an employer would NOT consider you. If you do nothing else, be sure to have a trusted person read your resume.
- Your resume says something about you. Yes, your resume says what degree you have, what job experience and volunteer work you have done, who your references are, etc. But what your resume also says is, “this person is very thorough,” or “this person is neat,” and “this person is professional/mature.” It does this by being organized, having everything spelled out, and on professional resume paper- pick some up at most any department store.
- Your resume is for you. Your resume is not solely for applying to jobs – that is the easy part. Your resume is actually for you as you complete the much more challenging aspects of getting a job which are writing a cover letter and interviewing effectively. The more thorough you are with your resume the easier you will be able to write a cover letter and interview well. Your resume is your “cheat sheet” or “cliff notes” to yourself, such as your experience – as in what jobs have you had and what exactly were your main duties that could relate to the new job you are applying for? You should be able to articulate this in both a cover letter and interview. Your information is in bullets on your resume, in sentences on your cover letter, and spoken in an interview – but it is all the same information first listed on your resume.
A cover letter, or letter of interest, is a professional letter written when applying for a job. The purpose of the letter is to express your interest in the job and to explain how you are qualified. Whereas your resume does have valuable information about your qualifications, a cover letter is a chance to elaborate even further on your credentials and tailor it specifically to the job posting you are applying for. Whatever the job states it is looking for – such as education and experience, etc. – you need to specifically address it as much as possible. A cover letter should thoroughly blend your resume and the job posting you are applying to – it is essentially interviewing on paper. Below is a cover letter example which can also be used as a template. Always have someone proofread your cover letter before actually submitting it.
The ability to interview well is as important as any aspect in obtaining a job. The following Interviewing Guide is intended to provide you with the steps anyone can take to interview effectively. An effective interview requires lots of preparation and practice. Follow the steps listed and you will feel more confident, interview professionally and improve your chances of being hired.