Throughout your four years, we encourage you to engage in the following activities as a complement to your academic curriculum in order to be positioned to better articulate your strengths and successes, more strategically transition to the world of work and be more competitive for employment.

These activities will help you develop the career competencies that all employers seek in college graduates. The Competencies are

Review the plan and resources below or download a copy of the plan here.

Freshman Year: Explore

Evaluate & Explore

  • Meet with CPAD* to discuss major to career connection (decided or still exploring) to develop career goals and schedule meeting with Student Success Center counselors to create Soar in Four academic plan
  • Complete CPAD career exploration tools to identify how skills, interests, values and personality align with careers and majors of interest
  • Pursue meaningful work (part-time, summer or volunteer) to further develop skills and explore career interests

Tell Your Story

  • Develop professional resume using our career readiness resources (submit to your liaison for review) and update each semester
  • Create Handshake profile to search for part-time jobs
  • Update social network sites’ privacy settings and behave professionally


  • Create Runway profile; join and engage in organizations to develop communication, collaboration and teamwork skills
  • Meet with advisor, instructors and older students to learn more about major(s) of interest and career options
Sophomore Year: Engage

Evaluate & Explore

  • Meet with CPAD to discuss internships and update career goals – if still exploring major/career path, utilize “What Can I do With This Major?” and career exploration tools.
  • Conduct at least 2 informational interviews with professionals in careers of interest – send thank you within 24 hrs
  • Identify needed technological skills for careers of interest and enroll in courses to expand skill set

Tell Your Story

  • Create LinkedIn profile using CPAD tips, get free headshot photo taken and seek feedback on profile from CPAD – connect with alumni:
  • Update Handshake profile and resume and search for part-time jobs and/or internships
  • Write a cover letter draft using O*Net descriptions:


  • Pursue leadership roles in organizations to develop leadership skills and enhance other related skills – track involvement in Runway
  • Meet with faculty to pursue undergraduate research and service learning opportunities
  • Attend at least 1 career event, 1 employer information session and 2 CPAD career readiness events
Junior Year: Experience

Evaluate & Explore

  • Complete Professional Development Track/Career Life & Planning Course; meet with CPAD to review plan; and demonstrate skills in internship and part/full-time positions
  • Use LinkedIn to identify alumni and job shadow at least 2 – identify any needed skills and ask about hidden job market
  • Pursue opportunities to utilize technology skills in leadership, class and work roles

Tell Your Story

  • Schedule time weekly for career planning, exploration and preparation – evaluate if you will job search or apply to graduate programs
  • Update HandshakeLinkedIn profile, Runway involvement and resume and search for internships
  • Schedule a mock interview to practice interview skills


  • Communicate career goals to faculty and supervisors and determine from whom you want to request reference letters and who to ask to serve as references
  • Diversify experience by participating in a Study Abroad/Travel Study experience
  • Attend career events, employer information sessions and CPAD career readiness events, including etiquette dinner, if offered
Senior Year: Enhance

Evaluate & Explore

  • Meet with CPAD to develop plan of action: timeline, networking strategies, positions to target, events to attend, graduate tests needed and graduate school application deadlines
  • Use LinkedIn to identify alumni and conduct informational interviews to expand network
  • Make sure you have fulfilled all graduation requirements and no money is owed to the University (Advisor, Registrar & Bursar)

Tell Your Story

  • Using career exploration tool results, brainstorm how experiences have utilized skills, interests and values and prepare to communicate to others via Elevator Pitch
  • Update HandshakeLinkedIn profile, Runway involvement and resume and search for jobs
  • Develop a personal budget, research realistic salaries and prepare to negotiate based on skills, training and experience


  • Apply to relevant positions, track the status of each and follow-up on applications
  • Join professional organizations and LinkedIn discussion groups related to your field
  • Attend career and networking events (on and off-campus) and any needed CPAD career readiness events
Terms Defined

Elevator Pitch

Introduce yourself in 30 to 60 seconds to succinctly communicate what you do well, what you bring to the position and organization, what you would like to do and what motivates you to take action.

Informational Interview

Ask a professional in your career of interest questions about corporate culture, job search strategies unique to the industry and educational training and experience needed to prepare to be a competitive candidate in the field.

REview our Career Readiness resources


Internships integrate practical experience with education in a structured, supervised work environment. They are available year-round and typically last one semester.

Job Shadowing

Spend a day to a week with an employer to gain unpaid exposure to a career field of interest. Use your network and contact CPAD for help identifying Job Shadowing sites.

Mock Interview

Call CPAD to schedule an experience that models a real interview. Be prepared to provide the organization name and position title. These can be interviews for anything from campus leadership positions to full-time job positions.


This summary of your experiences communicates skills and personal traits that directly align with the needs of the employer. See tips and samples. Submit your draft to your liaison or schedule an appointment with your liaison (see liaison list below) for feedback.



Connect with employers who are actively recruiting for part- and full-time jobs and internships. Upload your resume to find and apply for available positions. Access via your MY UTMARTIN portal.

Career Exploration Tools

These formal assessment tools will help you assess your interests, values, skills and personality as they relate to major and career selection. A counselor will discuss results and strategies with you.


Use this powerful networking tool to connect to industry experts, jobs and colleagues. Explore to find UT Martin alums. Find profile building tips.


Connect to organizations, communicate with members and find events. Document your involvement to create an extracurricular transcript to compliment your academic one.

Soar in Four

The program seeks to increase four-year graduation rates and improve career and professional skills to help graduates find profitable employment

Study Abroad / Travel Study

Challenge yourself to learn from and interact with people from around the world.

Final Tips
  • Go to class and study – grades matter
  • It’s ok if your major and career interests change
  • Meet with your advisor, faculty members and Career Planning & Development staff often
  • Build your professional wardrobe early
  • Network – it’s the #1 way to get a job
  • Approach your job search strategically
  • Prepare – the job search can take 6 to 9 months