As students approach the end of their college career, anticipation begins to build over which career path to choose. The Career Development Center at West Chester University has given students a new resource for career planning with the Online Career Library. The Online Career Library, powered by VAULT, is a new tool that students can use to research a career of their choosing. Fortune magazine described it as “The best place on the web to prepare for a job search.” With 53 different career links, visitors to the site can look at a complete guide to a career of their choosing.
After clicking on one of the career choices, an overview of the career immediately appears with “uppers” and “downers” to the profession along with a brief overview of the personality “matches” and “misses” for people looking into that career. As you look deeper into the site there is information about certain skills to acquire, which may range from strong writing skills to a particular certificate needed for a career. The site also gives a description of hours, education requirements, working conditions, salary information, links for further information and in some cases a look into a day in that career.
Philip Tripp, Assistant Director for the Career Development Center, described the advantage this source has for career research, “Vault provides more neutral information and information from actual consumers and employees. It may be very similar to what the company has put out, but it is from a different perspective.” The site gives a realistic view into what some careers may entail and where you may start with an entry level position. If you have clicked on a job that entails long working hours, an average work week is given with the skills needed for that profession.
If you are interested in finding out more information about a specific company you can find an extensive listing of companies and obtain the contact information, a “snapshot” and the “uppers” and “downers” of the company as a whole. While it is a brief overview, many companies are listed for students to get a general idea of all they do.
Students can also access career advice for a profession they are interested in with guidance on some of the things you will be doing on a daily basis and need to have an interest in. If you need information on how to compile your resume there is a resume advice link that even includes what fonts are best to steer away from and the kind of paper that is recommended. A link to sample resumes is also available to view resumes for the industry of your interest.
Information is available for what to do following an interview, including advice on thank you notes, and how to formally accept a job position. If you are not at the point of moving towards a career but are looking to gain internship experience there is an entire link with information such as when to begin looking into summer internships.
The Career Development Center hopes that this resource will give students more information for careers they are interested in, or are just looking to research. It also gives information on how to apply for a particular job, what the business world is like, information on full time jobs, and downloadable industry career guides.
While some of the services are offered for a fee, there is a vast amount of information that is available at students’ finger tips. Whether they are in need of information for how to answer the question “What’s your greatest weakness?” in an interview, or what the average salary is for an accountant, the information is available.
The VAULT Online Career Library is accessible for students through the Career Center Web site: www.wcupa.edu/cdc by clicking on the link in the left margin in the specific resources section. It can also be found through the Francis Harvey Green Library pages under “indexes and databases” under the letter “V.