Career Clusters are groups of occupations and career tracks organized around the similar skill sets required for career success in these fields. These 16 clusters provide a starting point for understanding what skills and knowledge you will need in order to be prepared for specific industries and broader career paths. Working your way through career choices with Career Clusters has the advantage of not pigeonholing you into one specific job; instead, the tool offers you clusters of jobs with related requirements.
In three short steps you can begin to identify career paths and even specific jobs that interest you.
First, take the Career Clusters Interest Survey. This survey, which will only take you about 10 or 15 minutes to complete, identifies your top three Career Clusters.
Second, find your top three Career Cluster handouts below:
· Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
· Architecture & Construction
· Arts, Audio-Visual Technology & Communications
· Business, Management & Administration
· Education & Training
· Government & Public Administration
· Health Science
· Hospitality & Tourism
· Human Services
· Information Technology
· Law, Public Safety, Correction & Security
· Marketing, Sales & Service
· Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematic
· Transportation, Distribution & Logistics
Third, explore the specific jobs and career paths listed in each of your top three Career Clusters. Keep track of your progress so you know which jobs you liked and which ones you did not.
Importantly, combining Career Clusters with O*NET and the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook gives you a powerful set of tools to help identify career interests, discern what is required for those careers, and then actually find job postings for those jobs.
Once you have identified a few jobs that you like from your desired Career Cluster, take these jobs to O*NET. Under the “Career Cluster” heading, select the career cluster you are interested in. Once you search for that specific Career Cluster, you will get a list of all the jobs within that cluster. Find the one you want and click on the link. This will provide you a plethora of information regarding the job: salary ranges, day-to-day work experiences, degree requirements, and much more.
Once you have narrowed your search down to a few jobs, you can actually search to see if there are any specific jobs postings within each state. At the bottom of each O*NET job page there is a little button labeled “Find Jobs.” Click on that, and then search for that specific job by state.
Finally, you can also take a specific job and search the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook in order to identify if the job prospects for that specific position are projected to grow, stay the same, or shrink.
As always, if you want assistance in navigating these tools, please come by the Learning Center and see Brenden Kennedy or call him at 683-7143.
Volunteering/Awards and Achievements/Skills
You can put a Reference section on your resume. If you do, make sure it is the last section. Include the person’s name, position, phone number, and email. Make sure to ask all your references before you put them on your resume. You may also attached a separate sheet entitled “References.”
Resume YouTube videos:
Dress professionally. Be on time. Bring extra copies of your resume and references list.
Have questions for the interviewer. Interviewers will (almost) always ask if you have questions at the end of the interview. Keep the questions focused on the company and position. Ask about expectations, requirements, the company, the specific position, and the atmosphere at the company. Some appropriate questions are as follows: How has this position evolved since it was created? How have past employees succeeded in this position? What have you enjoyed most about working here? What are the top priorities for the person in this position over the next three months? If offered this position, could you describe how I would interact with other people at the company?
Common mistakes made during the interview process:
Creating Your Account
From “MYUMW” homepage, hover your cursor over “ACADEMICS” on the top of the page, when the sub-menu pops up, click on “Student Success.” Once on that page, click on “Career Services” along the left hand side.
To create an account with Optimal Resume, click on the large Optimal Resume option on the bottom-middle of the Career Services homepage. This will open a new window. In the upper-right-hand corner, you will see a “NEW USER” button, click it.
Fill out all the required fields. You now have an Optimal Resume account.
Accessing Your Account
Go to the Career Services homepage (see above on how to do so), click the Optimal Resume button, and in the upper-right-hand corner of the new window, click “LOGIN.”
Navigating Optimal Resume’s Website
The first page you see when you log on is the “Document Center” page.
This page will allow you to create resumes and cover letters, as well as let you practice your interviewing skills.
To enter data, simple click on the section of the resume you want to edit. For example, click on the “Education” section. A smaller screen will pop up, allowing you to change the Section Name and also to enter information into the text box. Click “Save” to save any changes you made. These will be automatically updated in your resume. Some boxes have more options than others. Pay attention to what boxes you are typing information into.
Here are just a few examples of resumes you can make with Optimal Resume. The resumes pictured are for entry level jobs in the following fields: elementary education; human resources; and environmental science.
* If you need any additional help, please stop by and see Brenden Kennedy in the Learning Center.
The Learning Center offers free peer tutoring services for Western students. Students are welcome to stop by during scheduled tutor hours or call 683-7200 to make an appointment. The Learning Center is located in the Lower Library Commons (LLC) 006.
Take some time to think about what you see yourself doing. Is there a friend or relative who has a job that really excites you? What can you compromise on? Location? Salary? Work hours? Benefits? What can't you compromise on? The below tools and guides will help you in identifying your interests and a possible career.
What Can I Do With This Major?
This is simply a start to give you some ideas. Your degree does not necessarily limit you to specific careers. What is more important is the development of skill sets. How do you do this? Two options are to acquire a part-time job or an internship. You also need to be able to translate what you have learned in college into well-written resumes and cover letters.
Internships allow you to test out possible career choices. What better way to see if you will like a job then to actually work at it, or in a related job?
Internships are not just for upperclassmen. You can get an internships at any point in your college career. Have an idea for a possible career during your freshman year? See if you can set up an internship over the summer, or maybe even outside of class during the semester.
Not all internships are paid. Make sure you pay attention to whether or not the internships are paid when applying for a position.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
This database is put out by the United States Department of Labor. It contains information on hundreds of careers. You can use this database to find out the projected job growth in an area, the education level required for specific jobs, salary ranges, and a description of what you would do at a given job.
Skills Assessment/Personality Profiling:
Cover Letters and Resumes
Cover letters and resumes give any future employer a first impression of who you are. Making sure these documents are professional, effective, and efficient will help set you apart from other candidates. Do not be fooled by the short length of these documents. They are vitally important and making a great cover letter and resume takes a substantial amount of time. Want help putting these documents together? See the information on this webpage about Optimal Resume and drop by to see Brenden Kennedy in the Learning Center.
Recent Montana Western graduate Taeler Rodriguez has been accepted to the University of Denver’s graduate program.
Kolby Brown is a literature major at the University of Montana Western.
Coming to Montana Western was part of fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming a doctor for Lindsey Densmore.
UMW grad Justinn Marshall was accepted into the University of Washington's regional medical education program.
Marcus Williams came to Montana Western to play football and major in business administration.