Welcome Students!   

Throughout our careers, we encounter many situations when we could benefit from unbiased advice. We may be in the process of choosing a career, deciding whether      or not we should change careers or jobs, re-entering the workforce, job hunting, or recovering from a job loss. We come to the realization that this is an overwhelming process and we want and need some help.

Students utilizing the office of Counseling and Career Services will gain assistance in career planning, self-assessment, career advancement, skill development, continuing education, and coping with transition. 

Northwestern State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies. Employees or potential employees should contact the EEO Officer at 318.357.6359. Students should contact the Dean of Students at 318.357.5286.

The following customized career development services and professional development programs are available: 

 

 

        

Career Assessment

TypeFocus

 

Type Focus
Whether choosing a major or preparing for a career, let this new online self-assessment program help you decide on the "best fit". Simply click on the logo to begin. This service is free to all active students, and faculty/staff who have a NSU email account. Contact the office of Counseling and Career Services at (318) 357-5621 for the site password. 

Now that you have assessed your personality, interests, skills and work values explore majors, associated career paths and the available programs at Northwestern State University.

Sigi 3

Let Sigi3 assist you in creating short-term and long-term career goals from the comfort of your home. Sigi3 can help you examine your work-related values, interests, and skills while it finds careers that most closely match your preferences. Simply login to myNSU and click on the Sigi3 icon at the bottom left of the screen to begin.

Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator (MBTI)

 The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment is the most widely used personality assessment in the world. With a proven record of reliability spanning more than 50 years, it offers a foundation for understanding individual differences and applying that understanding to the ways people think, communicate, and interact. Versatile and dependable, the MBTI tool sets the stage for lifelong learning and development.

Strong Interest Inventory (SII)

  For nearly 80 years, the Strong Interest Inventory® assessment has helped organizations attract and retain the brightest talent and has guided thousands of individuals in their search for a rich and fulfilling life of work and leisure. The most respected and widely used career planning instrument in the world, the Strong is more powerful than ever, with major updates and new content that reflect the way we work and learn today.

        

Resume Writng Assistance

Would you like to have your resume critiqued by one of our professional staff? We will happily review your resume and communicate any suggestions for improvement. This resume service is free to all students and faculty/staff.

Drop off or Mail to:

                           Counseling and Career Services
                           Friedman Student Union, Rm. 305
                           P.O. Box 5286
                           Natchitoches, LA 71497

 

Email to: “Critique My Resume” and attach your file.

Writing a Resume

 

Your resume should be a well-organized profile of your qualifications for a job.

 

It should include your areas of knowledge and education, past experiences

                                                                  

and responsibilities, skills and abilities and accomplishments. Your resume should clearly

 

communicate enough information to an employer to elicit further interest and get you the

 

interview.

 

Select any of the following documents and get started writing your resume today.

 

Your Resumes Appearance

Writing Your Resume

Scannable Resumes

Writing: Cover Letters, Thank You Letters, Letter of Acceptance and Rejection

During the job search process, there are many times when it is appropriate to write a letter to an employer. When writing a letter, be sure to carefully proofread for grammatical and typographical errors. The following are the basic types of letters that you will be sending to employers.

Cover Letter (sample)

A cover letter (or letter of application) accompanies your resume. It should market your qualifications to the employer; communicate your skills, accomplishments and potential to the employer. It should also highlight experiences most relevant to the job/employer.

Thank you Letter (sample)

A thank you letter should be sent to an employer immediately after an interview. Make sure you thank the employer for taking the time to interview you and reinforce your interest in the employer and in the position. Also, mention some key points that were mentioned during the interview. If you forgot to mention something important about yourself at the interview, you can mention it in the thank-you letter.

Application Status Check Letter

If an appropriate amount of time has passed after you have interviewed with an employer, you may send a letter to the employer inquiring about the status of your application. Reiterate your interest in the position and in the organization. Be sure to thank the employer for their cooperation.

Acceptance Letter(sample)

If an employer offers you a position and you accept it, send a letter of acceptance expressing your appreciation of joining the organization. Confirm your date of hire. Also, if you received an offer letter from the employer, you may briefly confirm the terms of employment.

Rejection Letter (sample)

If you are not planning on accepting an offer of employment you should send the employer a letter letting them know that you are declining their offer. Express you appreciation for the offer, and above all, don’t burn any bridges!

Counseling and Career Services
Friedman Student Union, Rm. 305
P.O. Box 5286
Natchitoches, LA 71497                                                                                                                                               
        

Career Courses

ORIENTATION 1030 – Educational and Vocational Guidance (1-0-0)

Assessment of individual values, interests, personality, skills and abilities; opportunities and requirements of major occupations.  Required of all students enrolled in General Curriculum.  Adds one semester hour to requirements for a degree.

STUDENT PERSONNEL SERVICES 4000 – College to Work Transition Skills (3-2-2)

A senior capstone interdisciplinary course that focuses on the process and psychology of the transition from undergraduate studies to the world of employment.  Designed to provide graduating students with a solid foundation of skills and abilities appropriate for making the transition from college to life and work experience and will draw from the theories of John Gardner.  Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.

        

Career Fairs and Special Events

Career Services provides career fair events to dedicate to exploration and networking. Students of all classifications are encouraged to browse the career fairs and talk with recruiters about qualifications and experience needed to obtain a future full-time position or internship with individual agencies.

CAREER GRADUATE DAY
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Friedman Student Union Ballroom
185 Sam Sibley Dr., Natchitoches, LA 71497
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  

SPRING/SUMMER JOB FAIR                                                                                                                                                                               Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Friedman Student Union Ballroom
185 Sam Sibley Dr., Natchitoches, LA 71497
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

ARK-LA-TEX COLLEGE CAREER FAIR
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Bossier Civic Center
620 Benton Road, Bossier City, LA 71111
12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

TEACHER JOB FAIR *Education Majors Only
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Friedman Student Union Ballroom
185 Sam Sibley Dr., Natchitoches, LA 71497
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
* Upper-level Education majors: alternative certification majors, graduate students, and alumni 

        

What can I do with this major?

What can I do with this major?

Finally, a convenient website that helps you connect majors with careers. For each major that interests you, choose "either the PDF or HTML version" to find an outline of common career areas, typical employers, and strategies designed to maximize career opportunities. Choose "Links" to find a list of websites that provide information about listed majors and related careers.

Keep in mind that the information sheets and websites are representative of typical career paths associated with each major and not a comprehensive list. You may want to explore information and websites from multiple majors to help you learn about a wide range of career opportunities.

Disclaimer: Please note that the websites listed under "Links" are not maintained by UT Career Services but are provided as a convenience to students.

Get Acrobat Reader by clicking here Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view the Areas of Employment, Employers and Strategies Information. You can download this free from the Adobe Web site.

 

Areas/Employers/Strategies (HTML)Areas/Employers/Strategies
(Acrobat Reader required)
Links
A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M|N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z
Choosing a major and exploring career paths

Choosing a major can be confusing for many students. When deciding, it will be important for you to make a thorough self-assessment of your work-related values, interests, and skills, as well as your personality. Additionally, you will need to explore many careers to find those that will provide the "best fit" for you.

Don't wait until you are ready to graduate to explore the types of careers/jobs NSU majors will prepare you for.  The staff at Counseling and Career Services is always willing to discuss the various majors and career paths with students.

If you are undecided about a career path or want to confirm the one you have chosen, self-assessment of your personality, interests, skills and values is a good place to begin. Let these two online career assessment programs help you begin the career decision-making process. They are free to NSU students.

 Let SIGI 3 assist you in creating short-term and long-term career goals from the comfort of your home. SIGI 3 can help you examine your work-related values, interests, and skills while it finds careers that most closely match your preferences. Simply login to myNSU and click on the Sigi3 icon at the bottom left of the screen to begin.

 


Whether choosing a major or preparing for a career, let this new online self-assessment program help you decide on the "best fit". Simply click on the link to begin. This service is free to all students, faculty and staff who have a NSU email account . Contact the office of Counseling and Career Services at (318) 357-5621 for the site password. 

          

Find out how your personality, knowledge and skills, and abilities translate into career choices. This site provides additional information such as salary and job outlook.  

 

          Now that you have assessed your personality, interests, skills and work values explore:

          Majors (associated with career paths)

          Northwestern State University Programs

          Career Resources: Useful Links 

          Freshmen Career Exploration Center (for Freshmen)

 

What can I do with this major?

Are you ready to explore majors, common career areas, typical employers, and strategies designed to maximize career opportunities?

Visit "What can I do with a major in...?" to begin. 

Learn about the programs offered at Northwestern State University:

Art

Biology

Business

Chemistry

Criminal Justice

Education

Engineering Technology

English

Health & Exercise Science

Heritage Resource Management

History

Journalism

Liberal Arts

Mathematics

Music

Nursing & Radiation Technology

Physics

Political Science

Psychology

Scholars' College

Social Work

Sociology

Theatre

        

Career Guidance

A good career development professional can assist you with explore career options, inform you of labor market trends, and help you assess your skills, interests, and work related values. A career development professional can contribute to you sharpening your job search skills, and help you learn how to advance your career.

Strategies and techniques of the professional career counselors are tailored to the specific needs of the person seeking assistance; the career counselor will do one or more of the following:

  • Conduct individual and group counseling sessions to help clarify life/career goals
  • Provide opportunities for improving decision-making skills
  • Develop individualized career plans
  • Administer and interpret inventories to assess abilities, interests, skills, and personality
  • Encourage exploratory activities through assignments and planning experiences
  • Utilize career planning systems and occupational information systems
  • Teach job hunting strategies and skills
  • Resolve potential personal conflicts on the job through practice in human relations skills
  • Assist in understanding the integration of work and other life roles
  • Support persons experiencing job stress, job loss, and/or career transition
        

Career Resources: Useful Links

        

Credential Service

A service designed to bridge the gap between students and employers for potential professional employment. Credentials Services is for current juniors, seniors; alumni and NSU faculty/staff. Students must initiate the process; credentials files are not automatically maintained on all Northwestern students.

All persons who wish to participate in any On-Campus Recruiting program must have a complete file in Counseling and Career Services.  To activate a Credentials file, complete and submit a Student Information Form and resume to the office of Counseling and Career Services. 

Creating a Credentials File

The credentials service is provided to current students, alumni, and NSU faculty/staff. A credential file consists of an application (Student Information Sheet), a resume, unofficial transcripts, and other pertinent information. Your credentials will be shared with prospective employers looking for graduates of particular fields of study, skills, and experience.

Credentials files are not automatically established for NSU graduates. As you near graduation, you must personally initiate the process of establishing a credentials file at the office of Counseling and Career Services.

All students who wish to participate in the On-Campus Interview program or the Teacher Job Fair are required to complete a credentials file for the office of Counseling and Career Services.

Students' Rights to Privacy

Under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) safeguards have been established to protect student information contained within academic records. As this applies to credential files:

  • Students must provide written consent before any information contained within their academic records are shared with a third party. This includes, but is not limited to, a student's resume, transcript, GPA, directory information, degree and awards received, enrollment status and letters of recommendation.
  • Although most students have already seen the contents of their files, they have the right to inspect their credential files before giving consent to disclose information. If they have waived their right to access their files they still must be provided a list of the contents of their files. If a student's file has been altered in any way, disclosure to the student will be made before the file is shared with a third party.
  •  Third party redisclosure of information contained within the credential file is prohibited.
  • Credential files remain active for one year after graduation. After one year, the graduate must request in writing that the file remain active and submit an updated resume and current contact information.
  • Files remain inactive will be destroyed after a year post graduation date or active file date of Student Information Sheet (latest date enforced).
                 

Interview Skills

Mock Interview

The Counseling and Career Services Mock Interview Program allows students and prospective job candidates to practice their interviewing skills by participating in a simulated interview. Students will receive constructive feedback, which if acted upon, will improve their interviewing skills and increase their confidence and comfort with the interviewing process.

To Schedule a Mock Interview

Mock interviews are facilitated through the office of Counseling and Career Services, Friedman Student Union, Rm. 305. Students may come by to schedule a mock interview or call (318) 357-5621. It is very important for you to call and cancel your appointment if you are unable to attend as there are often students waiting for services.

 

Preparation

Professional Attire

The key to successful interviewing is preparation. Preparing your interview attire is part of that preparation. Clothes should be conservative and not detract from the interviewee. Dress as one would in the profession you are entering.

  • Clothes should be clean and pressed.
  • Hair should be neatly groomed and out of the face.
  • Keep make-up and jewelry at a minimum. Take out any facial piercing.
  • Avoid wearing heavy cologne or perfume.
  • Socks and hose should be dark or neutral.
  • Shoes should be dress shoes and be polished.

 

Self-Assessment and Preparation of your Responses

Another key to successful interviewing is identifying your skills and traits and past experiences that provide specific examples of those skills and traits. You must be able to support the claims you make in an interview. Be able to communicate effectively about your communication skills, motivation/initiative, interpersonal skills and leadership/teamwork skills.

Carefully consider questions that the interviewer may ask and prepare your answers. You will want to be able to respond in such a manner that your self-confidence, enthusiasm, and flexibility are evident.

Research the company/organization with whom you are interviewing.  Being knowledgeable about the company demonstrates your sincere interest. Consider additional information you want about the position or company and have questions prepared for the interviewer.

 

Participation

Interviewees should:

  • Allot at least an hour for the mock interview and feedback;
  • When scheduling state what occupation/job on which you would like the interviewer to focus questions;
  • Arrive on time;
  • Bring a current copy of your resume to the mock interview (and cover letter if you wish for it to be critiqued);
  • Prepare ahead of time;
  • Dress professionally in business attire
        

Job Search

Conducting the Job Search

Pursuing your career plans is a process, which requires your full commitment. You have invested thousands of hours to get your degree. Taking short cuts and using a hit or miss approach to the job search process will only diminish your chances of getting the job you really want! Organizing an effective job search will assist you in achieving your career goals.

Getting Started: Tools for the Job Search

This Career Guide is divided into the following sections designed to help you with the job search process. Click on each heading for more information about the topic.

Self-Evaluation

Before you try to market yourself to potential employers, you need to know something about what you are looking for and what you have to offer. The more you know about your interests, skills, abilities, values, goals and personal qualities, the greater your opportunities are for finding the most suitable position. Conducting informational interviews is a great way to learn about occupations.

Researching an Employer

Your task in the job search is to find the most suitable position for yourself. You will need to use your research and investigative skills to uncover job openings, contacts, directories, and other resources.

Your Resume

A resume is a critical tool in your job search. It is, essentially, a summary of your qualifications and experience that communicates enough information to an employer to elicit further interest.

Letter Writing

Letter-writing skills are essential to your job search. A good cover letter communicates your interests and qualifications to a potential employer, demonstrates your written communications skills and typically requests some action to be taken.

Successful Interviewing Skills

For most fields, without an interview you will not get a job. Good skills in interviewing are critical. It is this stage of your job search that you convince an employer to hire you.

Evaluating Job Offers

This section outlines the factors you will want to consider when determining whether or not you will accept a position.

Career Fit: Self-Evaluation

An important aspect of your job search is understanding yourself. Self-evaluation can help you determine what you are looking for in a career and what you have to offer.

Below are 20 questions developed by executive recruiters to help you know yourself and your career aspirations better. They are also questions that an aggressive recruiter may ask you during an unguarded moment in the interview. Try them on yourself and be frank; don’t try to kid yourself! Review these questions about once every three months. They will help you keep an inventory of your career assets and liabilities. 

  1. Would I work better in a large or small organization?
  2. How important is geographical location to me? To my family?
  3. Am I a loner, or do I work better as a member of a group?
  4. Am I more comfortable following than leading?
  5. Do I analyze better than I execute?
  6. Do I prefer to work with people or things?
  7. Do I work more successfully under pressure?
  8. Am I a good planner or idea person?
  9. Am I a good listener?
  10. Do I think well on my feet, make decisions well?
  11. Do I express myself well orally? In writing?
  12. What characteristics do I admire in others?
  13. Which functions of my job do I perform most effectively?
  14. Which do I perform least effectively?
  15. What do I enjoy doing most?
  16. In the past six months, what accomplishment has most satisfied me?
  17. What have I done to correct my shortcomings?
  18. What level of responsibility do I aspire to in five years?
  19. What should I be earning then?
  20. How will I achieve these levels? What skills do I need?
Researching an Employer
Why should I research an employer?
  1. To gain some ideas of the career potential that exists with a particular employer.
  2. To locate employers that I might not have been aware of that are in my targeted career field(s).
  3. To help prepare for an interview with an employer.

 

What do I need to know about an employer?

At a minimum, make sure that you are familiar with the following aspects of an employer.

  1. Name, age and location(s)
  2. Parent company and/or subsidiaries
  3. Financial picture or organization, assets, stock picture, recent mergers, etc.
  4. Product lines and/or services
  5. Major competitors
  6. Growth History
  7. Career Possibilities
  8. Deadline for Application
  9. Minimum requirements for the position

 

Where can I find information about an employer?

Your Career Guide:

This Career Guide is an excellent resource for you. It will assist you in identifying organizations that are actively recruiting college graduates like yourself! Take time to review carefully the advertisements that these recruiters have placed in your Career Guide. The advertisements will provide an address where resumes can be sent, a contact person and a general background information about the organization and/or the position(s) the organization is seeking to fill. You can then contact the organizations if you desire additional information.

Directories:

These resources may provide information about an organization’s products or services, number of employees, principal executives, history, etc. You should be able to locate the directories listed below in the reference section of a public library.

  • Dun & Bradstreet Business Information Reports
  • Moody’s Manual
  • Standard & Poors
  • Million Dollar Directory
  • MacRae’s State Industrial Directory
  • Consultant’s and Consulting Organizations Directory
  • Directory of Corporate Affiliations

Newspapers:

The business section of most newspapers contain numerous articles about local companies and their executives. Again, the public library is a good place to find current newspapers and indexes of newspapers. Below are some newspapers that you may want to use as a resource.

  • The Wall Street Journal
  • The New York Times
  • The Boston Globe
  • The Chicago Tribune
  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Reference Librarians:

This can be an excellent source of information. If you let a reference librarian know what type of information you are looking for, or what company you wish to locate information about, he/she will most likely be able to assist you with the appropriate resource.

Trade Associations:

These organizations produce membership directories, journals and information briefs. Find associations that match your career interest, and then write to ask for their membership list, any printed material they offer, job listings, (or publications) a resume referral service and student memberships. Remember, almost every type of field or industry that exists has a trade association affiliation.

Internet:

There are numerous places on the Internet that contain employer information. If you have access to the Internet, you may want to explore the World Wide Web home page addresses below.

 

The Job Interview

For most fields, without an interview you will not get a job. Therefore, good interviewing skills are a must. Others will be competing with you to obtain the same position. Thus, it is critical not only to convince an employer that you can do the job, but that you can do the job better than the other candidates that are also competing for the same position. You must understand that the interviewing process does not begin the moment you walk into an employer’s office for an interview and end the moment that you leave. Successful interviewing requires you to prepare prior to the interview.

The following links can help you as you prepare for the interview. Be sure to begin early and prepare thoroughly.

Preparing for the Job Interview

Evaluating a Job Offer

Listed below are factors you will want to consider when determining whether or not you will accept a position. While salary is an important factor, be sure you weigh your starting salary against the salary potential of the position and against the cost of living of the geographical area that you plan to live. Also, consider these factors as well.

 

Job/Employer Related Factors

· Potential for career advancement

· Work schedule (traditional 9:00 to 5:00 or flexible hours)

· Work environment/attire (formal vs. informal)

· Bonus or commission plans

· Benefits such as profit sharing, 401K plan, insurance, etc.

· Travel

· Reputation and stability of employer

· Size of employer

· Ability to gain a mentor

· Type of industry

 

Geographic/Life-Style Factors

· Geographic location

· Climate

· Social life for singles, couples or family

· Commute to work

· Availability to suitable housing

· Size and type of community (suburban, metropolitan, rural)