Career Exploration & Assessment

Welcome to our Career Exploration resources! Please click on the links below according to your specific needs.

Schedule an Appointment with a Career Exploration & Assessment Coach

If you are a current student, schedule a coaching appointment in Handshake by clicking on the Appointments link on the left side of your profile. If you are an alumna or alumnus, call us at 202-994-6495 to schedule your appointment.

Schedule an Appointment

Self Assessments

Self-Assessments

Gaining self-knowledge is essential for successful career preparation.  Take advantage of any of the following free self-assessment tools to identify your personality traits, values, interests, strengths, and skills that will help guide you in your exploration of potential majors, careers and work environments.

Understanding Your Strengths & Well-being

Personal Strengths Inventory
Authentic Happiness

Understanding Your Personality

16 Personality Types
Jung Typology Test
Big Five

Understanding Your Interests/Career Exploration

Holland Code Career Test
MyNextMove

Meet With a Career Coach

Schedule an appointment with a Career Coach to help you learn more about yourself and support your personal and career success. The Center for Career Services also provides professional interpretations of two complimentary in-depth assessments, the Strong Interest Inventory® and CliftonStrengths® for Students.

Identify Your Strengths

Use CliftonStrengths® for Students to complete a 30-minute assessment about your strengths. You’ll receive a customized report that lists your top five talent themes, along with action items for leadership, career development and suggestions about how you can use your talents to achieve academic, career and personal success. This assessment will help you:

  • Articulate your natural strengths and talents in an interview and cover letter
  • Consider the career roles and environments that might suit you best
  • Better understand who you are and what you can offer employers 

Attend an upcoming Know Your Talent and Find Success With CliftonStrengths®  workshop (held throughout the academic year - check the Events calendar in your Handshake profile or dates) or meet with a Career Coach to learn more about identifying your strengths through CliftonStrengths® for Students.

Discover Your Interests

Use the Strong Interest Inventory program to find out how your interests compare to those of people in various career fields and college majors. The Strong Interest Inventory® assessment is one of the world’s most widely-respected and frequently-used career planning tools. It has helped both academic and business organizations develop the brightest talent and has guided thousands of individuals—from high school and college students to mid-career workers seeking a change—in their search for a rich and fulfilling career. This assessment will help you:

  • Choose or confirm a major or minor
  • Chart your career path and begin to explore relevant occupations
  • Consider suitable work environments
  • Seek options for volunteer, campus leadership or leisure activities
  • Better understand who you are and what you can offer employers

Attend an upcoming “Strong Interest Inventory®” workshop or meet with a Career Coach to learn more about identifying your interests.

Self-Assessment & Professional Skill Development Programs & Workshops

Find out more about our interactive career learning programs and workshops that assist students with identifying skills and interests, and preparing an effective job search strategy.

Careers & Majors Exploration

Exploring occupations and majors based on your preferences, personality, interests, skills and values is an important part of identifying a career path you’ll enjoy. The Center for Career Services offers an exclusive array of online resources that allow you to research career information, and search for employment opportunities and contact information at thousands of organizations in a wide variety of industries. If you’re not ready to search for positions, talk to our coaches about tools and resources you can use to explore organizations and industries based on your skills and interests.

Get Started

  • Make a Career Exploration appointment with our team to help you define your questions and needs.
  • Take a Self-Assessment to explore your strengths and interests.
  • Review our Career Option Sheets to become familiar with sample occupations, work settings and skills needed for specific industries related to your particular academic major.  These may also be found in the Resources Library in Handshake and in our Resource Room.
  • Attend an upcoming workshop to learn about the basic strategies and resources available to you as you carry out your internship or job search.
  • Register to attend an Employer Information Session in Handshake. These in-depth sessions provide an opportunity to meet company representatives and learn about their organizations in a less formal atmosphere than an interview.
  • Use websites such as O-NETBureau of Labor Statistics or Wet Feet to conduct research about jobs and industries that match your interests.

Conduct an Informational Interview

Informational interviews are a great way to learn specific details about an occupation or career. It includes setting up a time to talk to a professional on the phone or in-person who works in a field or job in which you’re interested. Preparing the right questions and knowing what you want to accomplish are the most important parts of an informational interview.

The GW Alumni LinkedIn Group is a great way to connect with alumni who may be willing to discuss their job, organization, industry, and career path.

Cover Letters & Resumes

The Center for Career Services provides resources that can help you learn how to create, present and manage an effective professional resume and cover letter.

Crafting an organized, actionable and focused resume and cover letter is crucial for getting a job or internship. Here are some actions you can take with your resume and/or cover letter that will help you succeed.

Resumes

The average employer only spends 15-20 seconds reviewing each resume, so you need to ensure that yours is targeted, error-free and easy to skim.

First you will need to decide which type of resume is appropriate to represent your experience. Before you start writing your chronological or functional resume, determine which sections of information you are going to need to include.

Cover Letters

A cover letter is the primary way to provide an introduction to a potential contact or employer. Your cover letter should:

  • Communicate your accomplishments, skills and experience.
  • Convey your writing style and thought processes.
  • Capture the attention of your reader and compel them to continue reading.

Every time you write a cover letter you should:

  • Identify and customize the letter for a specific position or purpose.
  • Know your audience by thoroughly researching the organization and industry.
  • Express yourself with confidence.
  • Display enthusiasm for the employer, work and position.
  • Avoid opening the letter with “To Whom It May Concern.” Address the person who is hiring for the position if possible or use “Dear Sir or Madam” or “Dear Hiring Committee.”

How We Can Help

  • Meet with a Career Ambassador or Career Coach during drop-in hours to review your resume, cover letter or application for a part-time job, internship or campus leadership position.
  • Schedule an appointment with a Career Coach in Handshake.  Appointments are available in person, online and by Skype.
  • Attend our resume and cover letter workshops to learn how to create a professional resume with polish, professionalism and proper punctuation. These sessions discuss appropriate content and formats and also include a review of the basic structure of cover letters and how to customize your resume and cover letters for each job application.

Summer 2017 Changes to Online Resume Critiques

In August 2017, the Center for Career Services will be moving to VMOCK, an automated online resume review system. Prior to that time, during the summer of 2017, please note our alternative process for online resume critiques:

You can request online critiques in the following ways:

  1. Make a virtual appointment with an Exploration Career Coach in Handshake (formerly GWork) and request an online resume/cover letter critique
  2. Email gwcareercenter@gwu.edu with your resume and/or cover letter attached

Critiqued resumes will be returned by e-mail within five business days. For a deeper review of the critiqued resume, students are encouraged to visit our Resource Room during drop-in consulting hours (Monday-Friday, Academic Year,11:00am-2:00pm; Summer, 11:00am-1:00pm), or schedule an appointment with a career coach in Handshake.  Alumni should call 202.994.6495 to schedule an appointment.

Download Our Guides to Get You Started

Resume & Cover Letter Info & Tips and more helpful guides can be found in the Resources Library in your Handshake profile.

Self-Assessment & Professional Skill Development Workshops

We take our programs directly to students by partnering with student organizations, residence halls, and academic career exploration and core skills workshops. These programs assist students with identifying their skills and interests, and preparing an effective job search strategy. Log into the Handshake Events Calendar to learn more and to RSVP for any of these workshops.

  • Know Your Talents and Find Success With CliftonStrengths®: Identify your talents and strengths and learn how to apply them for career, academic and campus success.
  • Strong Interest Inventory®: Learn how your interests compare to those of people in different careers and majors, and use this information to explore career and major options.
  • Finding Internships: Discover strategies and effective resources available to help carry out an internship or job search.
  • Interviewing: Learn key steps to follow before, during, and after an interview.
  • Resume and Cover Letters: Create and develop a professional resume, and review the basic structure of cover letters.
  • Utilizing LinkedIn for the Job Search: Discover how social media and LinkedIn can be used to find potential contacts, industry information and networking opportunities.

Online Resources