Four-Year Plan

Take time to adjust to campus life – learn to balance academics and social activities.
(You do not have to make a career decision during your first year!)

  • Explore – your interests, skills, and values through assessments available through Career Services.
    • TypeFocus is an online personality type and career assessment resource that helps you assess your strengths, explore occupations, set goals, search for jobs, and gain skills for career success. It is available to you at your own pace and time, and you can access it as many times as you wish! It is an excellent way to gain self-awareness and start your career development process.
    • Or, consider scheduling a one-on-one appointment with us to explore how your values, interests, personality and skills may relate to major and career choices. We offer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Strong Interest Inventory in addition to the TypeFocus assessments. (Email us at careerservices@jsu.edu)
  • Build – your college résumé by finding a part-time job.
  • Join – activities and organizations on campus.
  • Research – majors and careers.
  • Develop – a positive online image.
    • Be smart! Social media or other online networking tools can shape others’ opinions and perceptions of you — personally and professionally. Use good judgment and think of the long-term consequences when sharing information online.
  • Create a profile in JLink.
    • JLink is a secure, online job-posting site and is accessible for you as a student, so create your account and familiarize yourself with the numerous employment opportunities available! You will find full-time, part-time, seasonal, internship, and co-op opportunities listed, both local and nationwide.

  • Declare a major.
    • You still have time to explore your options, so if you are confused, schedule an appointment with Career Services to take the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and Strong Interest Inventory career assessments. (Email careerservices@jsu.edu ).
  • Research career options.
  • Upload your résumé as an attachment to your profile in JLink.
  • Get relevant experience – job shadow, work a summer job, and get an internship or co-op
  • Develop – soft skills through on or off-campus employment.
    • Soft skills are personal attributes such as communication abilities, social graces, and leadership traits that make a student employable.

  • Follow the Curriculum Advising and Program Planning (CAPP) for your major, available through the Degree Evaluation in MyJSU and coordinate your class schedule with your academic advisor.
  • Update your résumé in JLink to include work experience, organization membership, community involvement, accomplishments, achievements, and skills developed as a result of your experiences.
  • Develop leadership skills by joining organizations and volunteering your time or committing to a cause important to you.
  • Gain additional experience in your field of study through internships and co-ops. 
  • Maintain a positive online image.
  • Attend Career Services events, such as fairs, events, or workshops.
  • Create a LinkedIn profile.
    • LinkedIn is a major, professional networking site that companies and recruiters often use as a job-search site. LinkedIn can connect you with professionals you may have already met through work or school, and it can help you connect with those you want to meet for career advancement. Don’t forget to grow your connections by linking with JSU faculty and staff! Don't know where to start? Your profile is similar to your résumé, so you can use that as a guide.

  • Update your résumé in JLink (you may upload up to five different résumés in JLink!)
    • Need help? Schedule an appointment with Career Services for a résumé and cover letter edit!
  • Update profiles in JLink and LinkedIn to reflect your work experience, organization membership, community involvement, accomplishments, achievements, and skills developed as a result of your experiences
  • Practice interview skills.
  • Attend Career Services events on campus! Some require pre-registration so check your email for announcements from Career Services!
  • Gain experience in your field of study through research, work (internships and co-ops), and job shadowing.
  • Refine leadership skills by joining organizations and volunteering your time or committing to a cause important to you.
  • Add critical information to your résumé, such as: the dollar amount raised for a particular fund-raiser or the number of people you supervised for an event.
  • Join professional organizations, such as those pertaining to your major or area of study. (for example: Student Accounting Association)
  • Research companies you identify as desired employers and keep a record or spreadsheet.
  • Search for full-time positions no later than during your last semester (and before graduation)! It is recommended that you begin searching and applying for positions 6 months prior to graduation!
  • Prepare for graduate school.
  • Formulate Plan B.
    • -It is always smart to have a back-up plan! Schedule an appointment with the Career Advisor in Career Services. (careerservices@jsu.edu or 256.782.5092)
  • Practice your 30-second introductory speech (who are you, what do you want, what you have to offer) or, attend a workshop hosted by Career Services that teaches attendees how to formulate one!
  • Last minute person? Our services are extended to JSU Alumni following graduation.