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Career Development staff and several students sit at a table on the West Lawn and review a resume.


You are your student’s biggest fan and source of support. Parents and family members are integral part of the career development process.

The Career Development Center is here to inform, educate and guide your student through the transition from college to the workforce.

Top 10 Life After College Tips

10 ways you can help your student navigate professional life after college:

1. Encourage your student to visit the Office of Career Development Center

We offer many services that can help them navigate both their college and post-college life. One of our amazing counselors will sit down with them and create a plan that will help them reach their professional goals.

  • The Career Development Center is for all students. We encourage our students to meet with a career counselor frequently in their college career. The sooner a student becomes familiar with the staff, resources and programs, the better prepared he or she will be to make wise career decisions.
  • Flagler College has a specific Four-Year Plan that all students must participate in as a graduation requirement. The plan ensures that our students receive basic education in career planning and get information on developing goals, communication, research and the mechanics of effective job searching. Freshmen and sophomores work through recommendations for activities related to self-assessment, exploration and career research. Juniors complete an online course providing specific career education tailored to the individual student, and seniors focus on career actions.

The Career Development Center offers a full range of career and job-search help including:

  • A recruiting program including Handshake, NACElink, and CareerShift job postings, among others
  • Graduate school advising and application assistance
  • Individual career counseling
  • A library of books on a variety of careers
  • Workshops on many career topics including writing resumes, cover letters, understanding your personality and your career choices, business etiquette and networking
  • A network of experienced professionals willing to talk about their jobs and careers
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2. Encourage your student to write their resume.

Writing a resume can be a "reality test" and can help your student identify weak areas that need improvement. Also remind your student that they can get sample resumes from the Resource Library in their career management system account. Handshake can be accessed from the Student page of the Career Development Center website. We recommend that when your student completes their resume, you should offer to review their draft for grammar, spelling and content. Advise your student to visit our Career Development Center to have a staff member critique the final product of their resume. We are continuously researching what employers are looking for and expecting to see in a resume, so we have an eye for critical inclusions and format.

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3. Challenge your student to become "occupationally literate"

Ask: "Do you have any ideas about what you might want to do when you graduate?" If your student seems unsure, you can talk about personal qualities you see as talents and strengths. You can also recommend:

A career decision should be a process and not a last-minute event: Discourage your student from putting this decision off until their senior year.

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4. Allow your student to make their own decision

Asking about their career plans occasionally is helpful, but too much prodding can be overwhelming for your student.

Myth: A student must major in something "practical" or marketable.

Truth: Students should follow their own interests and passions.

Myth: Picking your major means picking the career you will have forever.

Truth: That's not true anymore. "Major" does not necessarily mean "career" and it is not unusual for a student to change majors. Many students change majors after learning more information about specific fields of study and career fields of interest. Most students end up doing something very different than they originally planned, so don't be alarmed when they come up with an outrageous or impractical career idea. Remember to try and be patient, sympathetic and understanding when your student explains their post-college plans to you.

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5. Emphasize the importance of internships

Flagler College's Career Development Center office will not "place" your student in a job at graduation. Colleges grant degrees, but not job guarantees, so having relevant experience in this competitive job market is crucial. Your son or daughter can sample career options by completing internships and experimenting with summer employment opportunities or volunteer work. Why is an internship so beneficial?

  • Employers are interested in communication, problem-solving and administrative skills, which can be developed through internships.
  • Employers look for experience on a student's resume and often hire from within their own internship programs.
  • Having a high GPA is not enough.
  • A strong letter of recommendation from an internship supervisor can often tip the scale of an important interview in their favor.
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6. Encourage extracurricular involvement

Part of experiencing college life is to be involved and active outside the classroom. Interpersonal and leadership skills qualities valued by future employers are often developed in extracurricular activities.

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7. Persuade your student to stay up-to-date with current events

Employers will expect students to know what is happening around them. Consider buying your student a subscription to the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. During school breaks, try to discuss major world and business issues with him or her.

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8. Expose your student to the world of work

Most students have a stereotypical view of the workplace. Take your student to your workplace. Explain to your son or daughter what you do for a living but encourage him or her to talk with other professionals besides you as well. Parents often present a slightly different perspective on a job to their own student than another co-worker will. Show how to network by interacting with and introducing him or her to your own colleagues. Also consider helping your student identify potential employers.

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9. Teach the value of networking

Introduce your student to people who have the careers/jobs that are of interest to him or her. Suggest that your student contact people in your personal and professional networks for information on summer jobs. It will be more productive and a better learning experience if your student does the reaching out, rather than you doing it for them. Encourage your student to "shadow" someone in the workplace to increase awareness of interesting career fields. This is a great way for your student to find out the positives and negatives about a particular occupation.

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10. Help the Career Development Center through your professional experiences

Join the Handshake network for employers and post notices about opportunities for summer, part-time or full-time employment, and internships. Join the Career Advising Team [CAT Program] located on the Career Development Center website and use your "real world" experience to advise students of their career options, participate in a career panel or career-related workshop.

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Contact Us

To make a career counseling appointment or for additional assistance in our services:

Office Hours

Monday 8:00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am - 5:00pm
Thursday 8:00am - 5:00pm
Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Student Quick Links


Handshake Logo


Career Shift Logo; text reads