Be prepared! Joyce’s Career Tip of the Week

Successful performance is the result of 90 percent preparation and 10 percent flawless execution.

I’ve written this sentence in many of my columns over the years. Preparation is absolutely critical in career planning and searching for internships and jobs. The process is complicated. There are things to learn about yourself, the choices you can make and all the things to do as a job applicant.

There are peak seasons for campus recruiting. Employers attend career fairs and interview on campus in October and February. The Fulton Schools Career Center hosts a series of preparation events in the weeks before the career fairs. That time is now!

Trying to do all of this just before (or after) graduation is overwhelming and often, ineffective. Working with the career center each semester starting as a freshman is best. Make an appointment with a peer career coach to get started. Plan to attend presentations and résumé reviews. When career planning and internship/job search are a part of each semester, the process is manageable.

Use this checklist to track your progress:

  • Learning about the major you’ve chosen – understanding what you are going to learn
  • Discovering the many opportunities where you can apply this knowledge (jobs)
  • Knowing how and where to find information about careers and employment opportunities
  • Discovering your own strengths, abilities and preferences and being able to articulate them
  • Creating your technical résumé
  • Knowing how to network and doing it
  • Learning to be effective at a career fair and attending them
  • Understanding the hiring process — knowing how and when to apply
  • Having realistic salary expectations and knowing how to negotiate
  • Understanding what it takes to be a valuable employee

Use Handshake to make appointments with peer career coaches/professional staff and to find information about upcoming events. We are looking forward to working with you!


Joyce Donahue is a Career Counselor in the Fulton Schools Career Center.  She is a Certified Career Counselor.