Cumberland University

Student Plan

Four Year Plan

It is never too early to start planning for life after graduation. The Four Year Plan provides tips for success during your time at Cumberland.

Freshman Year: Explore

  1. Collect, analyze, and evaluate information about yourself to aid you in obtaining a career position consistent with your personality, abilities, aptitudes, values, interests, academic training, past work, and life experiences.
  2. Visit the Career Services Office to familiarize yourself with the services available.
  3. Talk to your faculty, advisors, counselors, and friends about possible majors and careers. Career and Interest inventory assessments are also available to aid in selecting a major or career path. Solidify your major and choose a minor or concentration.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the Career Services website and register for HireCU.
  5. Use your degree plan electives to take courses in areas of interest to you.
  6. Take a resume writing workshop and write your first resume.
  7. Join university organizations that will offer you leadership roles in the future.
  8. Think about your answers to the following four key questions:
  9. What do I want to do?
  10. What can I do?
  11. What do I need to do to develop myself further?
  12. How can I get the job I want after graduation?


Sophomore Year: Research

  1. Update your resume and have it critiqued by a Career Services staff member.
  2. Visit the Career Services Office and your advisor for information regarding the internship process.
  3. Explore opportunities to participate in an internship, co-op or summer job related to your interests.
  4. Register with HireCU on the Career Services website. Check regularly for internship/job listings and companies interviewing on campus for internships/jobs.
  5. Explore at least three career options available to you through your major.
  6. Attend career fairs, job fairs and employer information sessions that relate to your interests.
  7. Write a cover-letter and have it critiqued by a Career Services counselor.
  8. Get a part-time job or volunteer in a business that is related to your career plans or major.
  9. Review your progress in learning four (or more) skills employers look for in new hires.
  10. Join at least one professional or honorary organization related to your major. This will help you learn more about the profession and make contacts with people in the profession.
  11. Work toward one leadership position in a university club or activity and continue your involvement in other extracurricular activities.
  12. Identify organizations and associations in your interest areas for shadowing opportunities and informational interviews.
  13. Put together an interview outfit.
  14. Think about your answers to these questions:
1. What do I have to offer an employer?
2. Who needs what I have to offer?
3. How do I make them want me?

Junior Year: Decisions

  1. Update your resume and have it critiqued by a Career Services staff member.
  2. Update your resume on HireCU and check the job listings and on-campus interviewing sections regularly.
  3. Narrow your career interest areas.
  4. Continue to explore and participate in cooperative education opportunities and internships in your field.
  5. Participate in interviewing, cover-letter writing, and other job-search workshops. Practice your skills in a mock interview with a Career Services staff member.
  6. Plan your job search campaign.
  7. Attend career fairs and employer information sessions related to your interests.
  8. Take leadership positions in clubs and organizations.
  9. Review alternative career plans. Consider graduate school and get information on graduate entrance examinations.
  10. Ask former employers and professors to serve as references.
  11. Research potential employers in and talk to recent graduates in your major about the job market and potential employers.
  12. Build your professional wardrobe.
  13. Network! Network! Network!

Senior Year: Job Search

  1. Put your job search campaign in high gear. Commit yourself to a thorough search.
  2. If you have not registered with HireCU on the Career Services website, do so now!
  3. Apply for jobs and participate in as many interviews as possible.
  4. Update your resume and keep it updated!
  5. Develop an employer prospect list with contact names and addresses from organizations you are interested in pursuing.
  6. Discuss career opportunities with faculty and counselors, friends and acquaintances. Network! Network! Network!
  7. Attend workshops you may have missed on resumes, cover letters, interviewing, networking, and conducting a job search. Practice interviewing.
  8. Keep track of your interview results and assess your performance after each interview.
  9. Be positive and stay alert to opportunities.
  10. Gather information on realistic salary expectations.
  11. Draft an acceptance and refusal letter that can be adapted for a variety of employers and have it critiqued.
  12. Read two or more professional or trade publications from your major and career field on a regular basis.
  13. If applicable, take graduate school entrance exams and complete applications.
  14. Consider and review job offers.
  15. Accept the job that best fits your career and professional needs.

The information on this page was adapted from NACE Job Choices, 2001.