Career Development Plan

Some students enter college with a very clear idea of what academic path they wish to pursue and are confident of their future career goals. For others, the path is not typically so clear or linear, so exploration is a vital part of the career development process.

Use this checklist to help you stay on track through your undergraduate with your career or graduate school plans.

  • Explore Your Options: Meet with your Career and Academic Advisors to discuss majors, minors, and career options.
  • Identify Your Passion: Assess your values, interests, personality, and skills (VIPS) using FOCUS as a free resource. Visit:
  • Begin Building Your Resume: It’s likely the one you start with will not be the same you graduate with. Get a head start on creating your perfect resume! Visit:
  • Get Involved: Be an active participant of an interesting club or organization on campus, in the community, or both! Visit:
  • Begin Connecting Classroom Experience with Real World Experience: Search for summer jobs and internship opportunities related to your career interests. Short or long term it all counts! Visit:
  • Begin Exploring Internships: Identify and apply for internships that interest you. Start to build practical work experiences!
  • Meet with Your Career Advisor: Learn how to link your majors and minors to various career options. Visit, type in “SAS,” type the name of the advisor you would like to meet with and schedule a meeting.
  • Update Your Resume: Highlight your first-year experiences, courses, and accomplishments.
  • Network with Employers and Alumni: Connect with employers at campus events and find mentors.
  • Stay Involved: Consider taking a leadership role in a club or organization.
  • Explore the Work World with Internships: Create a bond with your major when you discover and explore opportunities in your field that you enjoy.
  • Stay Focused on Your Goals: Employers and graduate schools pay attention to your GPA and participation in leadership/volunteer activities. Keep going!
  • Plan for Life After College: Meet with your Academic and Career Advisors as you plan for your last year of college and beyond.
  • Continue Pursuing Professional Experiences: A resume with diverse experiences will catch the attention of employers and graduate schools. By this point you should have at least 1, preferably 2+ professional experiences, like internships, related to your field of study.
  • Broaden Your Perspective: Consider studying abroad or adding an additional minor.
  • Define your Professional Image: Polish your LinkedIn, resume, cover letter, and develop a brief introduction about yourself to make the most of the career fairs.
  • Research, Research, Re-Search: Gather information about employers, industries, and programs of interest to make well-informed career decisions. If you plan to attend graduate school, research schools of interest, visit target schools, and take practice graduate admission exams.
  • Utilize Career Services: Meet with your Career Advisor to review successful search strategies as you apply for jobs/graduate programs.
  • Enhance Your Visibility with Employers and Graduate Schools: Consider participating in on-campus recruiting, career and graduate school fairs, and other campus events.
  • Perfect Your Resume and Cover Letter: Your resume and cover letter are essential components of your job search – be sure they are targeted and error free before you apply.
  • Practice Your Interviewing Skills: Schedule a mock interview with a Career Advisor, an employer, or your mentor. Create Your Professional Image: Transition from student to polished professional – dress for success and market, yourself with confidence.
  • Nurture Your Professional Network: Use your professional network for support, leads, and encouragement as you explore post-graduation opportunities.
  • Report Any Employment or Internships to a Career Advisor: Graduates can complete the survey at
  • Graduate with a job offer or plans for your next steps.