The Career Development Process

While some students arrive at Princeton with a specific career goal in mind, many students' goals evolve over time as they explore their academic interests, extracurricular and co-curricular pursuits and the many opportunities available at this distinctive university. 

Be there for support as they make their way on their own.

You may have always been there to guide them and cheer them on. You can still be there for them, but allowing them to make their way on their own is an important part of the career development process, and this is part of their individuation as they become adults.

Encourage their independence.

Help your student on their way toward career achievement by starting here and identifying specific ways you may add value and insight. No matter where your child is in the process, you may help prompt thinking and action as they identify, pursue and reach their goals — realizing, of course, they will become more confident along the way by taking these important steps on their own, with support from you and their school.

Discover Your Path IconDiscovering One's Path

Your student's journey on the path to developing a fulfilling future career begins with self- discovery. We can help them assess their skills, strengths, interests, values and personality as they make decisions about majors and careers.

Your student is: 

  • Exploring their strengths
  • Taking assessments to learn more about interests, personality and skills
  • Taking early steps to connect these insights to future possibilities

You can help by: Encouraging them to reflect on assessment results, talking about strengths and skills, helping them understand how those can be applied to many fields and talking about campus activities that might dovetail with their interests.


Explore Your Options IconExploring Options

Your student is able to research a variety of career options by using our wide range of services, online resources and programs. We can also help to connect them with alumni and employers as they explore industries and fields of interest.

Your student is: 

  • Gaining insight through workshops, industry guest speaker events, panels and other career events
  • Comparing/contrasting industries and learning what they seek in prospective employees
  • Declaring a major while thinking about potential career options

You can help by: Reminding your student that a major doesn't necessarily translate directly to a career path, talking with them about your industry and connecting them with your friends and colleagues to learn more about other career options. Familiarize yourself with our event calendar and encourage your student to attend workshops, seminars, panels and other career events.


Find Jobs and Internships IconFinding Internships/Jobs

A customized strategy to search for options in their field of choice is important and there are many tools and approaches. They can learn how to create targeted resumes, cover letters and online profiles and boost their skills (and confidence) with our workshops and resources on interviewing and networking.

Your student is: 

  • Developing a search strategy
  • Putting together a resume and cover letter
  • Upgrading and managing their online profiles
  • Applying for internships or jobs
  • Networking to grow their roster of career connections

You can help by: Introducing your network of professional and social contacts, providing advice from your personal experience (while realizing that some job search and recruiting processes have changed over time), encouraging them to meet with a career adviser to review their resume and cover letter drafts, lending an ear when they want to practice talking about themselves and most of all, allowing them to take these important first steps toward independence.


Further Your Education IconFurthering Education

If your student is considering graduate or professional school, we can advise them regarding applications, personal statements and recommendations. We also connect students considering master's and doctorate programs to departmental faculty who can help them best explore their graduate program options.

Your student is: 

  • Deciding if graduate or professional school is a possible next move
  • Exploring programs and defining the factors that will guide their selection
  • Attending school information sessions or visiting campuses to get a sense of their options
  • Preparing admissions materials, from required tests to recommendations

You can help by: Being available to talk as they weigh options, discussing program pros and cons, helping them research the link between graduate education and careers, emphasizing the importance of internships and other enrichment opportunities and encouraging them to visit Career Services for a review of their personal statement . Encourge them to meet with graduate and professional school representatives on campus.


Launch Your Career IconLaunching a Career

Ready, set, launch! Students gain knowledge of the workplace, grow their professional network and develop strategies for transitioning from college to career with our array of tips, educational programs and resources.

Your student is: 

  • Evaluating job offers and making important decisions
  • Getting their arms around the transition from school to work
  • Gaining early experiences that will fuel future success
  • Learning what it means to be a young professional

You can help by: Discussing their career plan and asking how you can help, offering support and encouragement by sharing experiences from your own early career, helping them draw connections between what they are doing now and their future possibilities and applauding their first experiences of professional success.