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Career Center for Students

Career Center Services

The Career Center at Freed-Hardeman University offers a variety of services that can help you choose your major, develop your resume, improve your interview skills, create a career network, and find internships and full-time jobs.

Career development is a lifelong process. Effective career development skills are among the most important skills you can acquire. The key is to develop these skills as early as possible.

  • Self-Assessment – understanding who you are and matching the skills you have to certain careers.
  • Career Exploration – exploring different majors and the careers available through those majors.
  • Set Goals – how do you plan to achieve the career opportunity you want?
  • Skill Development – develop your resume, improve your interview skills, participate in job shadowing and internship to improve your career skills.
  • Act – follow through with your goals and skills development to achieve the career you want!


Career experts estimate that the vast majority of job openings, up to 70% or more, are never advertised or publicly announced but filled through networking. Even with this information, many job seekers fail to use networking to its fullest in finding a job.

Networking means developing a list of contacts and using them and their knowledge of your career field when conducting your job search. These contacts may be able to give you job leads and other contacts to add to your network. Family, friends, and neighbors are the best places to start creating your network. 

Build Contacts

Anyone that you know can be a potential contact for your job search. Start your list with: family, friends, relatives, faculty, alumni, co-workers. Create a LinkedIn account and connect with FHU alumni and people who work in your chosen career field or in a city/state you wish to locate in. Be as organized as possible!

Contact Your Network

Once you have developed your initial list of contacts for your network, begin contacting them by phone, mail, or email. Communicate your needs so they will know how best to help you with your job search.

Stay Connected

It is important to keep your network informed of the progress of your job search. Always thank them, either by note, email, or phone call for their efforts.

Career Fairs

Career fairs are a great way to gather information about possible internships and full-time positions in your career field. They can also be beneficial in developing additional contacts for your network. The Career Center provides a variety of career fairs and workshops for students to attend each year.


An internship is a planned learning experience, in which a student spends time in the workplace under the supervision of workplace personnel, “learning by doing.” Interns take the knowledge and skills learned in the class room and apply them in real-life work situations, learning from professionals while they explore and experience career options.

For students who are wanting to use their undergraduate degree to pursue a full-time position in their chosen career field, it is strongly recommended that they complement their academic preparation with experiences offered by their university. This can be accomplished by participating in or becoming a member of:

  • Internships

  • Study abroad programs

  • Community service projects

  • Undergraduate research experiences

  • Participation in athletic programs

  • Student organizations

  • Pre-professional organizations

Freed-Hardeman University strongly believes in educating our students in the importance of internships in their career development.

By working with companies and alumni connections, we are striving to develop internship positions in all academic fields.

Four Year Career Action Plan

The goal of the Career Center is to assist students in achieving their career goals by developing their resume, improving their interview skills, and conducting career searches. The Career Center provides assistance with finding internships and full-time positions. Career decision making is a process that will have major implications for a lifetime and the Career Center provides a successful bridge between students’ academic preparation and entering their chosen career field.

For a student to develop a good career plan, good decisions must be made, planning for the career must be considered, and action must be taken to put the plan in motion. Students are encouraged to learn more about their own strengths, weaknesses, and the careers they are interested in. This can be accomplished through testing, job shadowing, and other types of career exploration tools.

The following plan is a list of activities students can use each year to help them discover their career objectives.

Freshman Year - Self Awareness

Academic Planning

  • Begin building a support network of faculty, advisors, administrators and staff members to whom you can turn for guidance and advice.
  • Get acquainted with offices on campus that provide academic support services for advising, study skills, writing, and math and statistics.
  • Meet with your faculty advisor to develop your tentative degree plan outlining the major courses and electives you should take each semester.
  • Review course descriptions with your academic advisor.

Campus & Community Involvement

  • Attend an Organization Fair to identify campus organizations that mesh with your interests. Attend a few meetings to meet people and get a sense of the groups mission and activities.
  • Join and become an active member in your first semester, preferably with an organization related to your major or career interests.
  • Begin to develop a network of colleagues in your field.
  • Participate in volunteer and service learning projects.

Personal Growth

  • Learn how to establish goals and action plans to achieve them.
  • Attend programs on study skills, time and stress management, and personal wellness.
  • Find a part-time and/or summer job to gain work experience, develop confidence and good work habits, and earn money for tuition and other college expenses.
  • Make a list of at least four skills employers want and plan to acquire these skills before graduation.

Career & Life Development

  • If you are “undecided” about a major or uncertain what you can do with your major, complete various assessment tests to help you learn more about your values, interests, skills, personality and occupations.
  • Meet with the Career Center to discuss the results of your assessments and occupational research.
  • Visit the Career Center Library to view a diverse collection of career planning resources and books on specific industries and career fields.
  • Attend career information session and job fairs to gather information about occupations, career paths and potential employers.
  • Begin to create your resume and have it critiqued by the Career Center. Remember, your resume is a “living” document. It will change as you acquire new knowledge; build your leadership skills, and complete co-ops, internships and other applied learning experiences.
  • Apply for part-time and summer jobs, internships, co-ops, undergraduate research projects, and volunteer and service learning opportunities.
  • Register with the Career Center’s Jobs Board to find video’s, PDF’s, and Podcasts to help with your career development. You can also search jobs which have been posted by the Career Center.
Sophomore Year - Career Exploration

  Academic Planning

  • Meet with your faculty advisor regularly to obtain timely, accurate information about the University’s academic policies, registration procedures, general education offerings, required and elective courses in your major or specialization and degree requirements.
  • Learn to navigate the “in’s and outs” of earning a college degree and various academic routes for achieving your educational, career and personal goals.
  • Complete introductory courses in your major or specialization and take electives that mesh with your interests.
  • Get to know your major professors well; they are critical to your success.

Campus & Community Involvement

Continue to enhance your skill development and clarify your professional and personal goals by taking advantage of various applied learning experiences (e.g., leadership roles, part-time jobs, internships, co-ops, undergraduate research and service learning projects and study abroad experiences).

Personal Growth

  • Be able to explain to yourself and others why you are leaning toward, or have chosen, a particular major or career direction.
  • Continue to think about whom you are and where you want to go. Think about how well your program of study aligns with your professional and personal goals.

Career & Life Development

  • Participate in field visits to potential employers.
  • Spend a day “job shadowing” a professional in your chosen occupation to gather inside information about the nature of the work, working conditions, required knowledge and skills, and employment and advancement opportunities.
  • Identify the positive and negative features of your chosen occupation and think about the lifestyle and trade-offs associated with your choice.
  • Read trade publications and industry reports to learn about new developments and emerging trends in your field.
  • If you are still “undecided” about a major or uncertain what you can do with your major, meet with the Career Center to identify occupational and educational options.
  • Update your resume and apply for relevant on- and off-campus jobs, internships and co-ops that interest you.
  • Attend career fairs to network with employers and schedule interviews for internships and co-ops.
  • Participate in an internship or co-op experience to boost self-confidence, gain practical experience, and apply your classroom learning to real world projects. Realize your strengths and weaknesses, develop new skills, work with people from diverse backgrounds and age groups, practice ethical behavior, and learn about career paths related to your major.
  • Register your co-op or internship with your academic department to receive college credit on your transcript.
  • Set measurable goals and develop an action plan to maximize your on-the job learning.
  • Register with the Career Center’s Jobs Board to find video’s, PDF’s, and Podcasts to help with your career development. You can also search jobs which have been posted by the Career Center.


Junior Year - Test Your Choice

Academic Planning

  • Continue to consult with your faculty advisor to select courses that match your career goals and fulfill specific degree requirements.
  • Begin taking advanced courses in your academic major or specialization.
  • Use research assignments, group projects and field experiences to expand your knowledge of the field and professional skills.
  • Select elective courses that will broaden your general knowledge and strengthen your qualifications.
  • Obtain between three to five strong references from your professors and/or supervisors who know your work and/or scholarly abilities.
  • Maintain excellence in your academic work.

Campus & Community Involvement

Assume leadership roles and contribute your talents to an organization by serving as an officer, chairing a committee, and/or organizing a major project or event.

Career & Life Development

Continue testing, evaluating and confirming your occupational decisions. Use campus/ community activities and career-related experiences to sharpen your professional skills and determine your strengths and weaknesses. (By the end of the year, you should have a good idea of your motivated skills and should be focused on a specific career direction.)

Become familiar with the Career Center’s website, educational programs, publications, job search services, and on-campus interviewing policies and procedures.

Meet with the Career Center to tailor your internship search plan.

If you are considering graduate school, consult your faculty advisor to discuss the feasibility of your admission.

Research institutions that offer programs of interest and request application materials.

Take appropriate entrance exams (e.g., GRE, LSAT, GMAT, and MCAT) and submit your applications and required documents by the published deadlines.

Have your resume and cover letter critiqued by the Career Center.

Update your resume and apply for internships, co-ops, and career-related summer and part-time positions.

Practice your interviewing skills and increase your self-confidence by attending an interview session or participate in a mock interview.

Begin to build your professional wardrobe.

Continue to attend career fairs, job search workshops, career panels and employer information sessions.

Create or expand your professional network by contacting FHU alumni, using professional association membership lists, Using LinkedIn, and asking family members, friends, advisors, and professors about their contacts.

Continue to interview until you receive and accept a job offer.

Register your internship or co-op with your academic department to receive college credit on your transcript.

Register with the Career Center’s Jobs Board to find video’s, PDF’s, and Podcasts to help with your career development. You can also search jobs which have been posted by the Career Center.


Senior Year - Career Implementation

Academic Planning

  • Meet with your faculty advisor to review your coursework at the beginning of the year to make sure you are on track to fulfill all academic requirements for graduation.
  • Make choices during your final year (regarding courses, activities, and experiences) to enhance your understanding of the field and strengthen your marketability.

Campus & Community Involvement

Continue to serve in leadership roles in campus and community organizations related to your career field.

Career & Life Development

  • Make an appointment with the Career Center to discuss your career goals and create a job search plan.
  • Strengthen your job search skills by attending workshops and seminars offered by the Career Center.
  • Become familiar with the Career Center’s website.
  • Have your resume and cover letter critiqued by the Career Center.
  • Continue to update your resume.
  • Practice your interviewing skills and increase your self-confidence by attending an interview sessions or participate in a mock interview.
  • Learn strategies “to work a job fair” and write your “one-minute commercial” to introduce yourself to recruiters.
  • Update your professional portfolio with artifacts and examples of your accomplishments from student teaching, internships, part-time and summer jobs, class projects, community and campus involvement, and academic endeavors.
  • Attend fall and spring career fairs and other recruiting events to meet recruiters and schedule interviews.
  • Continue to expand your professional network.
  • Check with the Career Center for a schedule of employers conducting campus interviews to determine which organizations offer training programs and positions that match your career interests. Sign-up for interviews online.
  • Tailor your cover letter, stating clearly why you are interested in working for the organization. Submit your resume and complete an employment application if required.
  • Follow up with employers to request a job interview. After each campus or on-site interview, send a thank you letter or e-mail expressing your appreciation for the recruiter?s time and reiterating your interest in the organization.
  • Continue to interview until you receive job offers. Evaluate them and accept one. Report any job offers and acceptances to the Career Center and your academic department.
  • Complete pre-employment requirements (e.g., criminal history checks, professional exams).
  • Register with the Career Center’s Jobs Board to find video’s, PDF’s, and Podcasts to help with your career development. You can also search jobs which have been posted by the Career Center.

Interview Skills

Interviewing is all about selling yourself and the qualities you have to offer an employer. It is very important that you prepare beforehand to maximize your chances for success. This will help you to be calm and confident when answering questions. First impressions are critical in the interview process so it is very important that you dress appropriately, be on time, and project enthusiasm about the position you are interviewing for. Below are some important resources which will help you with your interview process.

Mock Interviews

Mock interviews are a great way for students to gain experience and skills in interviewing that will prepare them for interviews in their chosen career field.

Guidance for Resumes, Cover Letters and References

Developing the right resume, cover letter and references are a major step in achieving your career goals. Here are some sample resumes which can help you get started. The Career Center provides assistance in helping you write and review your resume.

Resume Preparation

Things to do 

  • Keep it simple
  • Make it letter perfect
  • Print 10-12 font size
  • Limit to one page, unless you have extensive experience and education
  • Use specific key words/action verbs
  • Include email address

Things Not to Do

  • Be creative or use multiple fonts or formatting
  • send with misspellings or incorrect grammar
  • Use too small, large or scripted fonts
  • Fill up pages with irrelevant experience
  • Be generic
  • Use graphics and shading
Cover Letters

Many positions, both internships and full-time, will require that a cover letter accompany your resume. Writing a professional cover letter can be very important in being selected for an interview. The following information will help you develop the right cover letter.

Steps to Writing a Cover Letter

  • Write a targeted cover letter for each employer.
  • State why you are writing.
  • Indicate where you learned of the position and the title of the position you are applying for.
  • Explain the reasons for your interest in the organization.
  • Express your enthusiasm for the job.
  • Identify your most relevant skills and experiences.
  • Refer to the qualifications for the position and illustrate how your abilities relate.
  • Communicate your interest, motivation, and strengths.
  • Emphasize your achievements.
  • Indicate how you will follow-up, typically with a phone call.


  • Avoid cliches and meaningless or wordy expressions.
  • Your cover letter should compliment, not duplicate your resume.
  • Your cover letter is often the first contact with an employer so make sure it creates a good impression.
  • Take time to target your cover letter to the job you are applying for.
  • How to best organize your letter:
    • First paragraph – Introduction and what position you are applying for.
    • Second paragraph – How your academic coursework has prepared you for this job.
    • Third paragraph – How your previous work history has prepared you for this job.
    • Concluding paragraph – Conclusion, thank you, and how they can follow-up to schedule an interview.



Resume references can make or break your career search. It is very important that you provide detailed and complete information on the references you provide. It is standard not to provide references on your resume, but to create a separate sheet that lists your references. Typically 3-5 references will be required. It is very important that you ask permission to use someone as a reference and you should also verify what that reference will say about you. Here is a suggested format for how reference information should be listed:

  • Name
  • Position/Title
  • Company
  • Company address
  • Office Phone
  • Cell Phone
  • Email

The Career Center provides professional guidance and counseling to help students explore potential career paths and make informed decisions about their future.