Visit the College Career Office

If you're like most students, by the time senior year rolls around you're getting a little tired of finals weeks, term papers, all-nighters, registrations, dorm life, and the perpetual pennilessness that is college life. But senior year brings a new form of stress — graduating and going out into the real world. What's next in your life?

Nearly every college and university offers a career office or career counseling to help students and alumnae make decisions about what to do the day after you toss your cap into the air. Depending on your school's career office, you'll probably find advice — in the form of seminars, one-on-one counseling, literature, and more — about almost every aspect of venturing out into your chosen profession. Expect to find out about writing your first resume, reining in your nerves during a competitive job interview, networking with alumnae, exploring the variety of jobs you can pursue based on your degree and expertise, and more.

Many school career office considers their role in your profession an ongoing one and strive to stay available for you for the duration of your working life.

Even if you're not graduating soon, you might think about stopping by the career office if you have questions about choosing or changing a major, getting part-time or summer employment or internship, planning and conducting a professional job search, obtaining full-time employment, changing careers and selecting and being admitted to graduate school.

Keeping in touch with your alma matter

If you haven't already done so, consider joining your college's alumni association. You can expand your network of professional contacts by attending alumni meetings and use the association's newsletter to keep in touch with your former classmates and seek out those who can help further your career interests. Many alumni offices also have a database of resumes that other graduates use to fill positions.

Considering the non-student

Even if you didn't attend a certain college or university that's near your home, you can still (in most cases) tap many of the career- and job-related resources they offer their students. Consider using the school's course catalogs to determine which skills are being emphasized in your own career and take advantage of lectures, seminars, and other programs offered.