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The Daily Tar Heel

Choosing your career is a process

	Jeff Sackaroff

Jeff Sackaroff

Pop quiz:  What are the most important skills that employers look for when recruiting new hires for jobs and internships? Organizational? Problem-solving?  Teamwork?

All good guesses, but research shows that the most crucial quality employers look for in new hires is actually communication skills.

This is  important information for the many students who utilize University Career Services programs and services to help translate academic experiences into viable skill sets on their resumes.

It may surprise some to know that the overwhelming majority of employers who recruit UNC students tend to focus less on major and more on the transferable skills that the candidate has to offer. 

Employers are looking for bright, motivated, competent graduates who have demonstrated success in and out of the classroom. 

This is why experiences such as internships, leadership positions, volunteer experiences and studying abroad can all have significant impact on your career aspirations.

I work with 16 different liberal arts majors, and the most common comment I hear from students is that they don’t know what they want to do after they graduate. 

Though some students have a very clear picture of their career path, for many others it can be a daunting burden to figure out what to do for the next 30 years.  Their interests change, job markets change, technologies change. 

Thus, students may be better served by focusing on what to do next in their lives, rather than what to do for the rest of their lives.  Think three years out rather than 30 years out. 

With that said, career development is a process: one that takes time, intention and attention to ensure success. 

Students who begin their career planning and exploration early are often more prepared and better able to make sound decisions about their career paths down the road. 

This is where UCS comes in.  We can help you with choosing a major, finding a job or internship, writing a resume or cover letter, networking, interviewing, using social media for your career development or finding opportunities abroad, to name a few. 

Whether you’re a first-year student, graduating senior or graduate student, we can help.

So here is the bottom line: job seekers today face a tough job market.  The sooner you begin planning your future, the more prepared you’ll be. 

If you are looking for a job or internship, you need to begin your search now.  Do not wait until the spring or the summer. 

Beginning this week, UCS will bring hundreds of diverse employers to campus representing all areas of industry including government, nonprofit and for-profit. 

They are here to educate you, network with you, recruit you and help you explore your career interests. 

Don’t wait. 

Put yourself out there.  Even if you are uncertain about your career path, that next, first step is right in front of you. Take it. 

And contact UCS if you need any assistance or support in your journey to lifelong career development and success.

Contact Jeff at jeff_sackaroff@unc.edu.

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