In today’s economy, it’s never too early to start looking for, or at least thinking about, life after college, i.e. your career. And whether you’re an overeager 18-year-old freshman or a 20-something making a victory lap or two, Charleston’s local colleges provide career services for anyone looking for a sweet internship (by the way, the City Paper hires unpaid interns every semester), a part-time job for beer money, or a full-fledged, full-time occupation that’ll set you up for the rest of your life.

We asked Cheryl Wingert, CofC’s job location and development coordinator, for some tips for students who are looking for employment. “Seeking and obtaining a part-time job is not all that different from looking for a full-time job,” she says. “It takes time, research, a fit resume and creative cover letter, and leveraging any or all available resources.” Here are some of her recommendations:

• Explore your interests, options, and short- and long-term career goals.

• Understand your academic schedule and study requirements before committing to positions that will compromise your GPA.

• Use your college’s career center resources, including job websites, connections, on-campus interviews, and job fairs. Take advantage of workshops or seminars that relate to job searches and resume writing.

• Seek out on-campus opportunities or those in close proximity to your school; consider paid and unpaid internships.

• Be sure your social network sites present a professional image of you — not doing so could cost you the position.

• Create a resume that closely mirrors the job description you want. Yes, this means more than one resume.

• Share your resume and personalized cover letter with the career center for a professional review.

• Network, network, network. Let people know you are seeking work.

• Research a company before you apply.

• Pay careful attention to job application instructions and apply properly to be considered.

• When interviewing, listen well, articulate your answers and provide examples, and learn what you can about the position, culture, and company.

• Thank everyone you meet and follow up with a written thank you to interviewers following your interview.

• Follow up with your prospective employer within a reasonable amount of time after you apply or are interviewed.

• Be flexible and prepared to apply for more than one position before finding the right fit.

Where to Start Your Search

Each local college has a career services center, as well as extensive websites with tips, job banks, and more.

College of Charleston Career Center

Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Drop-in, Mon.-Fri. 1-4 p.m.

The Citadel Career Center

Mon.-Thurs., 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Fri. 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Charleston Southern University Career Center

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