Career Planning

female students plannign careerPlanning for your career should begin as soon as you start your college. You should begin to think about what you can do during your time at Chicago State University that will help propel you into the career that your desire. Excelling in class is extremely important, but there are other components to becoming career ready. Being involved in organizations (on- and off- campus), participating in internships, networking and utilizing all your resources on campus will contribute to your career success.
  • What are my interests, skills that I possess or will possess once I graduate and my personal values?
  • Am I actively engaged in my academics?
  • Are there any clubs or organizations (career or non-career related) that I can become involved in?
  • Am I asking for help when I need it?
  • Have I have completed or plant to participate in an internship or career-related experience?

Use your network

A referral is more likely to get the position, simply because HR staff are busy and why not hire someone who already has an advocate within the company? 

Clean up your act on social media

Companies often Google search a candidate before hiring, and social media can be an immediate red flag.

You are going to need a strong resume

 Keep your resume simple! Content is key in the digital age, not the visual bells and whistles.

Be mindful of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

The ATS parses a resume’s content into categories and then scans it for specific keywords to determine if the job application should be passed along to the recruiter.

Focus on your accomplishments

While the job description details can hit the keywords, they should not be the meat of your resume.

Get a feel for the company during the interview

It’s also not about how you do with one person, but how you fit with the team. 

Be patient post-interview

If you go into the interview thinking that will be it, you may be surprised when they tell you the next step is another interview – and then there are three or four more steps. 

Keep an open mind


Keep it all in perspective

It's not personal


 The O*NET database, containing hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors on almost 1,000 occupations covering the entire U.S. economy. The database, which is available to the public at no cost, is continually updated from input by a broad range of workers in each occupation.


Personal Branding

“Personal branding is the strategic and systematic process by which individuals determine, define, differentiate themselves from others or their competitors initially within a specific marketplace, industry or platform by their definable style, ability, message or values through a method of intentional positioning, building and leveraging of their unique purpose, attributes and expertise to be recognized as the authority or celebrity in their chosen field.”

-Rachel Quilty, Brand Yourself

  1. Define your overall aspirations.
    Clearly define your goals and objectives and be sure that they are concise.
  2. Do Your Research
    Research the steps it takes to reach your objectives and goals. Learn from others who are in the position you aspire to be in. What were their biggest success and mistakes? What can you take from them and apply to yourself to aid in building your brand?
  3. Determine your brand attributes.
    How do you want your brand to portray you? What adjectives do you want to be associated with? What do you want to be known for?
  4. Assess your current state.
    What are you doing now that is contributing to your current brand? How do other perceive you now? What can you change and why do you need to change it?
  5. Create your game plan.
    Your game plan should include all aspects of you and how you present yourself and they should be very specific. From your physical appearance, your social media presence and how you communicate are qualities you want to take into consideration as you’re creating your plan.
  6. Manage your brand.
    You should be proactive when managing your brand. All aspects of your brand should be in sync and reinforce your brand attributes.