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Career Planning

We're Focused on Your Future!

two women sitting in front of a whiteboardCareer planning is one of the many services available to students at Otero. Our experienced Career Coach can assist students with the career exploration process to find the career path they have been searching for, along with the academic path that will help them get there. 

The Functional Resume Format

The Functional format is useful for graduating high school or college students who do not have extensive job experience. This type of resume emphasizes skills and accomplishments achieved in school activities, internships, and in life.

These are the 5 basic parts:

  • Header: your name, address, phone number and email address.
  • Job objective: a short statement describing how you can be of help to the employer and what you intend to do (i.e. sell, design, operate, manage).
  • Qualifications: a brief list or statement highlighting your background, your strengths and what you want your employer to know about you. This can be optional.
  • Skills/Achievements: a description of your abilities, accomplishments and areas of competence. These can also be grouped under a heading, such as Office Skills, Technical Experience, or Planning/Organization.
  • Education: a list of all formal education, workshops, seminars, internships, school related activities and on the job training (if any). The most recent should come first.


  • Use only 1 or 2 typefaces in the design of your resume.
  • Use short phrases instead of long sentences and paragraphs.
  • Line up all headings to keep your resume looking clean and professional.
  • Use good quality bond paper; a neutral color such as white is recommended.
  • Do not include salary requirements.
  • Do not include personal information such as date of birth, height, weight, marital status, health, or religion.
  • Do not use the word “resume” at the top of the page.
  • Keep your resume to one page.
  • Have a list of references ready to give if requested.

Use descriptive words in describing skills:

  • accomplished charted evaluated improved trained
  • activated classified executed launched updated
  • administered coordinated formulated lectured wrote
  • advanced critiques gathered managed instructed
  • advised computed generated organized designed
  • analyzed completed guided outlined assembled
  • arranged communicated initiated refined reorganized

Your community is one of your best resources for information on careers, finances, etc.. See your academic advisor or counselor for information on career planning. Get informed! Success doesn’t happen by itself. Make a plan! Chart your course! The sooner you start the sooner you will begin to achieve your goals. This calendar will help you explore your career possibilities and give you some tips on reaching your destinations. Enjoy the trip! Assess Yourself.

Employers are looking for certain skills and attitudes.

Think about it:

  1. What interests and skills have you developed?
  2. What do you like best, working with people, things or ideas?
  3. What goals and values have you set for yourself?

Explore Possibilities

Interested in a few careers? Check them out:

  • Search the Web.
  • Check them out first hand by volunteering or working part-time.
  • Get to know what they are all about through talking to people in a specific field, observing them at work or visiting professional meetings.
  • Find out about internships, summer jobs, and other options.

Note: don’t base important decisions on only one experience. Give everything a fair trial, and keep your options open.

Inform Yourself. Investigate a variety of career paths.

Know the facts:

  • What qualifications are required?
  • Is there room for personal and professional growth?
  • What’s the projected growth?
  • What are the working conditions?

The more knowledge you have about a career choose, the better your decision will be.

Prepare Yourself

Prepare your job hunting tools.

Get Ready:

  • Create a resume and cover letter.
  • Contact people for references.
  • Investigate companies that interest you (check the library).
  • Being prepared will boost your confidence for the next stage.

Present yourself

Make yourself stand out:

  • Prepare a great resume.
  • Create a cover letter for each company.
  • Check the interview tips below.

75% of the applications most companies receive are messy, incomplete, completed incorrectly, or all three.

  • Read carefully and follow directions.
  • Use a black ink ballpoint pen (unless indicated otherwise).
  • Do a rough copy first and correct errors before completing the actual copy.
  • Answer all questions, if a question does not apply to you, write “n/a” (not applicable) or write “will explain during interview.”
  • Be positive; do not volunteer negative experiences.
  • Be honest.

How to conduct yourself in the job interview

  • Introduce yourself and be prepared to shake hands (do it firmly).
  • Be well groomed, neat and clean, but don’t be overdressed for the occasion.
  • Listen carefully to the interviewer and answer all questions fully and honestly.
  • Show your energy and enthusiasm for the job, but don’t overdo it.

Never be late for an interview. If there’s some emergency situation that arises, contact the employer immediately to explain.

Take some deep breaths before the interview and relax yourself, physically as well as mentally. This will make you more alert during the interview.