First-Year Career Planning Checklist

1) Tell Us Your Career-specific Interests

Time Commitment: 5 Minutes

Log on to Handshake, Davidson's job and internship recruiting system, to designate the industries that you are interested in learning about from our office. Go into your Profile and edit your Job Interests.

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2) Investigate Your Major and Career Directions

Time Commitment: 3-5 Hours

Start by taking a career assessment through the Center for Career Development, which can help you discover majors and careers that might best fit you. Even if you know your path, a career assessment can help confirm your decision. Meet with faculty in majors of interest to you.

To do:

  • Take a career assessment through the Center for Career Development. Call 704-894-2132 to schedule a meeting with a career advisor.
  • Explore majors

3) Create an Effective Résumé

Time Commitment: 5-7 Hours

Build a strong résumé by getting involved - participate in a student organization, or start your own group. You will need a college résumé for any internship or job, so stop by the Career Development daily walk-in hours so a career advisor can help you perfect it.

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4) Consider Securing a Summer Internship

Time Commitment: 20-40 Hours

Internship experiences are the best way to learn about possible career paths (and they look great on your resume). You will want to complete a summer internship before you graduate from Davidson, although it is highly recommended that you complete two summer internships to be competitive for full-time jobs. Opportunities are posted throughout the year on Handshake, the Liberal Arts Career Network and Nationwide Internships Consortium (both located on your Handshake homepage), and other databases like and Professional connections will also play an important role in helping you to secure an internship. Set up a meeting with a career advisor who will help lead you through your search for an internship.

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5) Join LinkedIn and Make Connections

Time Commitment: 4-8 Hours

Begin to build a strong professional network that will last during your time at Davidson and beyond. Over 8,000 students and alumni use LinkedIn, and it is the primary tool for building your online, professional brand. Connect with students, alumni and other professionals who can help you better understand career paths and develop leads on internships and other experiences.

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6) Consider a Job Shadowing Experience

Time Commitment: 8-12 Hours

Consider shadowing a Davidson alum or parent for one-day over winter break as they go about their day's work. This is a great way to meet a number of professionals and learn about a field of interest. Job Shadowing opportunities will be posted in Handshake.

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