Planning Your Career

You are here

Career planning is lifelong and involves the basic processes identified below. Career planning can be messy and although it appears it should be an orderly process, it often is not.

UMD Career and Internship Services is here to assist you. Our best advice is to start early! Learn more about how we can help by visiting our office and connecting with us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, "Peer into Your Career" blog and Pinterest.

Career Planning Process

Career planning process

Assess Yourself

Analyze and articulate your interests, skills, values, personality and strengths and relate them to educational and career plans.

  • Take career assessments such as: Strong Interest Inventory®, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and/or StrengthsQuest™ available in Career and Internship Services, and the Personal Style Inventory and/or Transferable Skills Inventory, available on the Career and Internship Services website. A similar exercise may be found in this handbook.
  • Get involved in activities, clubs and/or organizations to test out your interests.
  • Consider tentative major(s) after talking with advisors, counselors, instructors, friends and family, and taking a variety of liberal education classes.

Explore Options

Identify, evaluate and use sources of information relevant to making career decisions.

Examine the world in which you want to work and determine tentative options.

  • Explore careers using a variety of resources available on the Career and Internship Services website including the UMD Graduate Follow-up Report with information about what recent UMD graduates did the first year after graduating and "What Can I Do With This Major?"
  • Conduct informational interviews and job shadow with professionals in fields of interest to you to learn about potential careers and begin the networking process.
  • Get involved: participate in student activities, clubs, organizations, volunteer opportunities and/or get a part-time job to explore your career interests, build your resume and add to your network of contacts.
  • Attend internship and job fairs to collect information on possible internship and job openings and network with potential employers.
  • Join professional associations and organizations and LinkedIn groups related to your interests.
  • Explore graduate or professional school programs related to your interests.
  • Learn the academic system: UMD Catalog, class schedule, liberal education requirements, major requirements and course prerequisites.
  • Use Grad Planner, which incorporates your coursework, to explore course requirements for various UMD majors.

Develop Skills

Build skills, knowledge and reputation.

  • Participate in internships, co-ops, research projects, clinical or field-work, part-time or summer jobs, and/or volunteering to gain relevant experience and skills.
  • Find an internship on GoldPASS powered by Handshake, the University of Minnesota Job and Internship posting site, or develop your own with the help of a Career Counselor or the Employer Relations Coordinator in Career and Internship Services or a faculty member.
  • Discuss possible research opportunities with faculty in your fields of interest.
  • Attend job and internship fairs to explore opportunities with employers.
  • Develop and maintain a portfolio of your accomplishments and work.

Market Yourself

Obtain the skills and knowledge to seek and change jobs or gain admission to graduate or professional school.

  • Discuss your strategies and options with a Career Counselor in Career and Internship Services.
  • Write your resume and cover letter or personal statement using the guidelines in the UMD Career Handbook and have them reviewed in Career and Internship Services.
  • Update your portfolio containing examples of your accomplishments and work.
  • Practice interviewing by participating in mock interviews with Career and Internship Services' staff and/or by using InterviewStream.
  • Research employers and industries and/or educational options.
  • Attend job and internship fairs to network with employers and find opportunities.
  • Sign-up for on-campus interviews through GoldPASS powered by Handshake.
  • Identify and contact people to serve as your references.
  • Continue to build and use your network of professionals.

Manage Career

Develop the skills to be effective in your chosen career and to make on-going career-related decisions and transitions.

  • Review and update your career goals on a regular basis.
  • Update your resume, LinkedIn profile and GoldPASS powered by Handshake account.
  • Join and be active in professional associations.
  • Find a mentor.
  • Continue to add evidence of your accomplishments and work to your portfolio.
  • Become a mentor.