October 4, 2023

Introduction to Career Services

By Elizabeth Mimms, Career Center Specialist

Career Services is a division within Student and Alumni Engagement (SAE). The mission of Career Services is to provide Columbia Southern University students and alumni with resources to assist in the achievement of their career related goals.

Our division helps students:

  • Develop greater self-understanding in relationship to work goals
  • Expand awareness of various career opportunities and labor market information
  • Foster effective job search practices both online and in person
  • Produce unique, articulate professional correspondences

We offer one-on-one appointments with trained career development counselors. As CSU is completely online, physically meeting with a counselor is a challenge; therefore, you may make an appointment either through Skype or via telephone. This service is available to all degree-seeking students. CSU career development counselors encourage students to utilize online resources and attend virtual workshops, programs, and events to gain assistance in the career development process.  We do not guarantee job offers, nor do we place individuals into positions

Steps to working with a Career Development Counselor

  1. Make an online appointment – You can schedule appointments with a career development counselor whether you’re a current Columbia Southern University student or a CSU alumni! You may schedule an appointment via CareerQuest, the CSU Career Services private database that contains job boards, employer profiles, self-assessments and more.

Appointment instructions – After logging into CareerQuest, click “Make Appointment” on the left-side navigation bar. Select a date/time that works best for you. Standard appointments between 15 and 45 minutes can be made online or by calling (877) 297-6192. Phone meetings are available upon request.

  1. Select a topic to discuss – All career topics are open for discussion including, but not limited to, career counseling via career related assessments (interests, values, skills, and personality) and appropriate employment suited for your strengths; industry research and labor market information; networking and conducting mock interviews; creating a LinkedIn profile; writing a first – or final draft – resume; cover letter/inquiry/thank you letters; and interviewing and salary negotiation.
  1. PREPARE! PREPARE! PREPARE! Usually, the first meeting is a time to become acquainted with our resources. Be sure to prepare any questions you have regarding your future career. Even if you are not sure what you need yet, we can help you clarify those things in this meeting. Please be ready to discuss your current major/career status and your thoughts and feelings about that status. Depending on the topic of conversations, the preparation will vary. For example, ensure a copy of your resume is uploaded to CareerQuest if a resume review is the reason for a meeting. Or, if a mock interview is scheduled, know the specific position you are applying for and what skills that position requires. If you are unsure about position requirements of job duties, review the information on the O*Net website. If you would like a comprehensive resume or cover letter review, please email your resume to for a review. We ask that you allow 2-3 business days to receive written feedback on your resume. Overall, career counseling offers an opportunity for you to find out about your possibilities, so be ready to talk with your counselor and be open to questions and suggestions.

During career counseling, we:

  • Focus on you. We are here for you and what is important to you. We can help you with a wide range of issues ranging from broad career exploration to specific plans for reaching your job or education goals.
  • Remain confidential, safe, and supportive. We respect your privacy, your values, and your uniqueness.
  • Need you to participate. In order to make progress, you need to be an active participant. We can advise you about appropriate action steps but you must be the one to act on those steps.
  • Recommend career information resources. Career counselors have a breadth of knowledge about a variety of career fields, but our main expertise lies in the career planning process. Instead of telling you details about careers, we can help you find the resources to get the information you need.
  • Recommend tactics and strategies for finding a job, including provide a database of open positions through CareerQuest. We talk with you about ways you can discover job opportunities but we cannot provide you a ready-made list of open positions that fit your exact situation.  For that, we provide CSU students and alumni exclusive access to more than a million job and career opportunities around the globe through our online job bank.

In career counseling, we are not:

  • Always a quick solution to your problems. We cannot provide you with a list of employers, graduate school programs, or jobs that are a fit for you. We can point you toward resources for you to develop your own unique lists.
  • Predictive or omniscient. We cannot tell you what career path is best for you or what you should do, nor do we have a “test” that will do so. We can discuss strategies for exploring your options and making informed decisions.
  • Academic advisors. You need to meet with your department advisors for advice about your coursework.
  • A job placement service. The Career Development Center provides many opportunities for you to connect with employers in person and online. We do not have a hidden database of jobs or internships for our clients and we cannot make referrals for you.
  • A resume writing service. Instead we will help you develop and revise your own resumes and cover letters.

Career Services Contact Information

Office Hours: Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. CST and Friday 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. CDT

A career development counselor is only a phone call or email away to provide one-on-one support, brainstorming, and guidance. If you have a question or just want to talk things through, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.