My College:
Career Prep

Career Planning Tips to Share

Tami Campbell

Would you like to help your student take advantage of career building opportunities on campus and get ready for interviews?

Here are some simple ways to do that, along with talking tips for conversations.


If they don't have these items, you can help them shop — or send a gift!

  • At least one complete interview outfit
  • A professional notebook or leather portfolio with pens, paper and several copies of their references
  • Printed business cards (to hand out at networking events) — these can be ordered online with their name, college/university, major, expected graduation date and contact info

Networking Know-How

They've heard they should "network," but may not understand how this happens. Here are tips to share.

  • Your professors may have connections in their field that could lead to a job — get to know them! (Read "How Do I Encourage My Student to Reach Out to Professors?" if your student needs a nudge.)
  • Attend as many career events as you can fit into your schedule (job fairs, information sessions, employer round-tables, meet-and-greets, etc.).
  • Don’t be shy! Recruiters and company reps at campus events want to get to know you, so walk right up and introduce yourself.
  • Collect business cards and jot notes on the back (i.e., what’s the position and what are they looking for?).
  • Follow up these conversations with an email (thank them for their time and say you look forward to meeting with them when they’re back on campus).
  • LinkedIn has a student portal — you should create an account if you haven't already. (Share these tips for optimizing a LinkedIn profile.)

Your quiet/introverted student may avoid campus networking events like the plague. Ultimately the NETWORK (noun) is more important than NETWORKING (verb), and the quality of conversations and relationships with professors, peers and co-workers is more important than the quantity of business cards collected. – Thank you to The Quiet Leadership Institute for this insight

Interview Advice

Interviews are less scary when you're prepared.

  • Show the recruiter you’re truly interested in the job by taking time to fully research the company and its services/products beforehand.
  • Turn off your phone (and only look at it if you need to access your schedule for a second interview).
  • Ask questions to demonstrate interest in the position, clarify what you don’t understand, and determine if the job/company/culture is a good fit.
  • Within 24 hours, write a customized thank you email to each person who interviewed you (don’t just “cut and paste”).

Get 5 tips for preparing for internship interviews >

Tami Campbell is the owner of Level Up Career Services, a firm specializing in working with college students and recent graduates on their job search. With over a decade of experience in career services and campus recruiting, she now puts her background to work guiding students (and parents) through what can be a daunting and overwhelming process.
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