For Students & Alumni

For students, Career Services is available to assist you with a wide range of support that will get you career ready and prepared from the first year through the last. Even upon graduation when you begin the journey of becoming one of our many successful alumni, we are still here to help if needed. To get started and best utilize Career Services, you should complete these six steps as needed:

  • Assess your interests, select a major, and create a 4-year plan to maximize internship and job opportunities
  • Register and create a profile in our job seeking database – Handshake
  • Get “career ready” by creating, refining, and uploading your resume (Remember it must be reviewed and approved.)
  • Further your career readiness by learning how to network, develop an elevator pitch, interview, dress for success, and more
  • Set up an appointment at any point along the way for individualized career assistance from our professional Career Counselors or Peer Career Coaches


Four-Year Career Development Planning

The Four-Year Career Development Plan provides suggestions for ways Fayetteville State University students can develop career-related skills and experience during each year of their time at FSU. With a little advanced planning, students can develop a solid resume with a variety of experiences by graduation.

First Year
  • Talk with faculty, mentors, family, and friends about majors and occupations.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your career goals and seek advice on potential majors.
  • Take initial courses for your major or a program that you wish to explore and decide if your major is a good fit.
  • Take a career assessment (Example: Focus 2) with your advisor or Career Services to understand how your skills, interests, and values relate to careers.
  • Talk with someone in Career Services about possible interest areas.
  • Start to define a strategy for reaching career goals.
  • Conduct an informational interview with a professional to learn about the realities of a career you may be interested in.
  • Log into Handshake and create a profile. Then, you can begin searching through job and internship postings to see what employers are looking for at: https://uncfsu.joinhandshake.com/login
  • Prepare a resume using the Optimal Resume tool or templates on the Career Services website. Submit it for review and approval.
  • Attend workshops and career fairs hosted by Career Services.
  • Evaluate strengths on your resume and areas to develop.
  • Consider career-related experiences through an internship, research, or volunteer experience.
  • Participate in a variety of extracurricular programs on campus including sports, clubs, organizations, community service, and more. These build the soft skills employers look for in well-rounded individuals, including leadership.
  • Research the application requirements and timeline if you are thinking about any type of graduate school. 
Second Year
  • Move forward with your core classes and major. If you are still deciding on a major, consider taking one or more introductory courses in a major that interests you.
  • Update your Handshake account.
  • If you haven't already done so, begin searching through job and internship postings on Handshake!
  • Attend workshops, employer information sessions, and career fairs hosted by Career Services to learn more about internship and job opportunities.
  • Update your resume with summer and semester opportunities.
  • If you haven't already done so, join a student organization related to your major or career interest.
  • Choose courses that help you make progress toward a degree of interest.
  • Be open to leadership opportunities.
  • Gain career-related experience through an internship, research, or volunteer opportunity.
  • Speak with faculty about research opportunities.
  • Apply for internships announced by Career Services, identified in Handshake, or provided within your academic major!
  • Document your experiences, skills, and accomplishments.
  • Locate internships that interest you and take note of application deadlines so you can prepare accordingly.
  • Continue to connect with parents, faculty, alumni, and friends-they have a wealth of information, advice and professional contacts that could benefit you.
  • Contact three or four professionals working in the industry you are pursuing and secure an informational interview or meeting with them.
  • Even if you don't land a formal internship, obtain a summer job to gain professional skills.
  • Create and/or improve your LinkedIn account and continue using that platform to reach out to people, including Fayetteville State University alumni and other industry professionals. Add a LinkedIn QR code to your resume. 
Third Year
  • Update and fine tune your resume and cover letter.
  • Update your Handshake account.
  • Practice your interview skills with a friend, employer, or career counselor.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to ensure you are on track with the proper courses and your career goals. This is also the time to discuss the possibility and benefits of attending graduate school.
  • Research the application timeline if you are thinking about graduate school.
  • Start looking into graduate programs, entrance exams (GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, etc.), fellowships and finances.
  • Meet with a career counselor to discuss strategies including decisions about grad school.
  • Speak with faculty about career interests, graduate study, and future plans.
  • Gain career-related experience through an internship, research, or volunteer opportunity.
  • Speak with faculty about research opportunities.
  • Apply for internships announced by Career Services, identified in Handshake, or provided within your academic major!
  • Attend workshops, employer information sessions, and career fairs hosted by Career Services to learn more about internship and job opportunities.
  • Meet with faculty or employers as you create a list of references or request recommendation letters.
  • Seek a leadership or professional opportunity on campus, such as SGA, clubs and organizations, peer career coach, orientation leader, resident assistant, or other important roles.
  • Document your experiences, skills, and accomplishments.
  • Sign up for membership to a professional networking group in your industry, which will provide you access to other members' contact information for networking purposes. Most organizations have student memberships for free or at a deep discount. 
Fourth Year
  • Update and fine tune your resume and cover letter.
  • Update your Handshake account and maximize your use of the system.
  • Attend career workshops to polish your career and professional development skills, prepare for your job search and interviewing, write cover letters, customize resumes and properly network.
  • Discuss your job search strategies with your career advisor.
  • If you have not yet completed an internship, search for opportunities right away and explore how to fit this into your senior year schedule.
  • Applying to grad school? Follow individual program guidelines and deadlines.
  • Schedule GRE and other admissions exams.
  • Practice your interview skills with a friend, employer, or career counselor.
  • Take advantage of student rates to join professional organizations.
  • Be sure your voice mail and social networking sites are professional.
  • Begin your active job search at least one semester prior to graduation.
  • Get organized; create a spreadsheet or file to track your job search activity.
  • Speak with faculty about career interests and plans.
  • Secure your list of references or recommendation letters
  • Contact your three or four references and remind them that you are applying for full-time employment or graduate school and they may be contacted by potential employers or Admissions Offices.
  • Create a formal reference document to submit to employers when needed.
  • Attend career fairs and events to learn about entry-level jobs.
  • Attend employer information sessions to learn about opportunities.
  • Use strategies and resources provided by the Career Development Center even upon graduation as recent alumni. 
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Additional Career Readiness & Preparedness