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Cornell University

Cornell Career Services supports job exploration, navigation, and preparation process

Career Services staff, ready to help you
Cornell Career Services staff is ready to help you in your job exploration, navigation, and preparation process

Students arrive on Cornell’s campus from various stages of life and with unique goals and aspirations – often chief among them is the hope for rewarding employment following graduation. Cornell Career Services, and the career services offices associated with each University school, provide direction and resources to help students explore career paths, build networking skills, fine-tune and finesse resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and ultimately, land jobs.

In search of guidance, Chadwick Sutherland ’21 made an appointment with Cornell Career Services. “I contacted them to have someone look at my resume. I’d tell them examples of things I’d say to recruiters at career fairs and see if I could improve my personal pitch,” he describes. “Career Services suggested I reach out to alumni. That is how I got my job.”

Chadwick Sutherland

Following the career advisor’s recommendation, Chadwick messaged an alumnus who he thought had an interesting job via LinkedIn and asked to connect with him. That set the ball in motion: after a brief call, the alumnus connected Chadwick with someone who worked for the U.S. branch of his company, shared his resume, and after a few interviews, they offered Chadwick a job that he accepted.

According to Chadwick, Cornell Career Services played a major role in fine tuning his portfolio and interviewing skills.

“They helped me refine the way I wrote my personal pitch, make it more concise, and focus on the things that people actually want to hear instead of irrelevant experiences. I think that definitely helped.” Chadwick says one of the most important lessons he learned was that he needed to describe the impact he had in previous roles – and how to do this.

This is just one example of how Cornell Career Services provides individualized advising with career advisors and resources. Each semester, the network of campus career offices provides over 90 workshops ranging from resume help, to pre-law sessions and networking advice, and more. In addition, there are multiple online resources including the award-winning Career Development Toolkit which includes 27 career modules custom made for Cornell students and alumni which they can access 24/7.

Abegale McDermott ’23 also worked with Career Services on improving her resume. “The advisor helped me format my resume, so that was more eye-catching, like with the action words at the start,” she says. Abegale points out that her resume had already been submitted to her current employer at that time but believes the lessons will be helpful in the future.

“The next time I connected with Career Services, I had a job offer that I wanted to go through to see if it was a good offer and see if I should be negotiating or not.” The advisor offered Abegale some suggestions on how to negotiate if she wanted to and how that process might look.

Abegale McDermott
Abegale McDermott

The Cornell Career Services advising model is a cycle that supports students from empowering them to understand their interests, goals, skills and strengths; to explore resources and career options; and then to take action through resume and cover letter review, practice interviews and guidance through possible application to graduate or law school and fellowships.

Knowing that this is a cycle, Career Services supports students through the career exploration process to make connections between the skills they gain as a student in their co-curricular activities to the skills and experiences they need as they transition from student to their careers.

The career coaching “changed my idea of how to network,” Chadwick says. “Before, I never would have thought of contacting alumni online. I thought, ‘it’s a waste of time, they don’t know me and won’t reply’. But you only need one person to reply for it to be helpful.”

Abegale adds, “Meeting with Career Services was very helpful. It was nice to talk to someone who has so much experience with recruiting and hiring and hear honest opinions on my resume and the job. I’ll probably reach back out to Career Services as an alum,”

Cornell Career Services inspires transformation, and advisors are eager to have students connect to explore careers, apply to opportunities, and navigate job offers. Whether a new student, or a recent graduate, there are a lot of ways to connect with Cornell Career Services.

Advisors at the University office and at college level are available to meet individually in-person, by phone, or zoom, and career presentations are available throughout the year. Employer relations specialists help hundreds of employers connect with students through career fairs, job/internships, and info sessions. For more information, visit the Cornell Career Services website.