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Before the emergence of the internet, students used their school career centres to find their first jobs. And employers used career centres as a means to reach out to students, and hire new grads. Now, with much of the job search done online, it’s been easier for students to find employment using job boards and social media. Despite the growth in the ways people find jobs today, paying a visit (or two) to your college or university’s career centre can still be just as meaningful and can help in more ways than one.

As students start to trickle into the job market, it’s key to broaden the way they search. Below are three uses for career centres to take into account before graduation.

1. Career centres are available for your use throughout your whole post-secondary experience

From the moment step into post-secondary school to when you graduate and become an alumni, career centres are up and running for your use. Kerri Zanatta-Buehler, employment development specialist at The Career Centre, Sheridan College encourages students to access career centres early—not just a month before graduation.

“Being equipped with career and personal insight throughout their studies helps to inform their decisions and their paths,” she explains. “If students work with their career centres to gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed for their job search, they will be well-positioned to execute this when they are ready to move forward.”

2. Career centres offer a plethora of resources to prep you for your first career

A post-secondary career centre isn’t only a means for finding employment. Instead, career centres strive to help students throughout their journey to employment.

“Sheridan’s career counsellors assist with career testing and assessment, exploring career options and finding direction, [as well as] the research and evaluation of career alternatives, and setting career goals,” says Zanatta-Buehler. “Our employment consultants work with students on various aspects of their employment journey—from preparing their tools to managing their careers.”

At Sheridan College, employment consultants work with students to develop skills in networking, portfolio development, personal branding, job search strategizing, and also provide labour market information and conduct mock interviews.

3. Career centres offer online services as well, providing information and tools for students

Many career centres are accessible online, offering valuable information in a way that’s not as frequently utilized as their in-person services.

“Our website hosts numerous career-focused modules, new and relevant resource listings, and we continually develop tools to support the employment path,” says Zanatta-Buehler. “This at-your-fingertips resource means that students have access to assistance whenever they need it.”

Photo: 4774344sean/Thinkstock