Career guidance, employment help available at Career Center

Peter Floess

Staff Writer

Photo by Zonghui Li | The Prospectus

Photo by Zonghui Li | The Prospectus

Every student has been asked about his or her major and future job plans. For those who may not have the answers to these questions and many others, Parkland’s Career Center can help.

Parkland has had a Career Center-like institution for over 30 years, and the latest iteration helps 14,000 current and prospective Parkland students each year with the important decisions that plague the minds of college-level scholars everywhere.

According to the Director of the Career Center Sandy Spencer, the center has three main purposes: “to help students decide on their college major and/or career, to help students with their job search skills, and to help students in finding on and off campus employment.”

The College Central Network (CCN) is a web database offered to different colleges to help their students find employment. Career consultor Carrie Harris says through CCN the Career Center offers 2,500 registered employers both on and off campus.

“Employers register on our [CCN] job posting board or they ask us to post the job,” Spencer says.

The Career Center also has a list of both on- and off-campus jobs available for prospective employees to peruse in room U238.

The Career Center offers other services in addition to listing jobs.

“We also offer individual or group interest surveys, and personality assessments…” Harris says. “Students can utilize individual counseling appointments for résumé and cover letter writing assistance. The Career Center also holds on campus job fairs each semester and various workshops and presentations during the academic year. We offer mock interviews and assistance with social media in the job search using tools such as LinkedIn.”

Harris encourages students to take advantage of the résumé consulting services at the Career Center.

“Having an organized résumé with both your soft or people skills such as listening and teamwork and technical skills will help you to articulate these strengths during the interview process,” Harris says. “The Career Center stays up to date on the latest employment trends both nationally and within our district.”

“We make sure students are receiving the latest information on resume formatting and social media changes as they affect the job search process,” she says. “Sometimes it’s difficult to find reputable resources online.”

Harris also says instructors may be able provide to interested students information on and opportunities for jobs or internships in the field they teach.

Student worker at the Career Center Megan Counter provides a view into the daily interworking of career center.

She says her daily work at the Career Center involves updating and entering “regional employment listings into the CCN, provide student employment information and assist Parkland students with applications and employment forms, schedule counseling appointments with office career counselors, greet visitors and answer questions, answer phones, prepare handouts for presentations, assist with annual job fairs, among other things.”

Counter says that working at the career center has taught her, “a great deal about interviewing, how to construct a resume, and many other helpful aspects about the workplace.”

Harris would like to remind Parkland students to not “wait until [their] last semester to use the Career Center services.”

“We can help you all along your college career from helping you discover a major that is best suited to your interest, skills, and values, all the way through prepping for that first job interview,” she said.

The Career Center’s web portal can be accessed from the Parkland College homepage. Click on “College Resources” at the top of the screen; the “Career Center” link can be found on this page.