The sections below describe the many ways that the Career Center partners with faculty by providing programmatic support, access to online career resources, and helpful tips as you guide and advise your students. We look forward to working with you!
Don’t Cancel a Class — We’ll cover your class time with a career-related workshop
While creating your syllabi, you don’t need to cancel classes to work around your conference schedule. The Career Center will cover your class time with a career-related workshop. Possible topics include:
- Introduction to the Tufts Career Center
- Choosing a Major
- Job Search
- Cover Letters
- Interview Skills
- LinkedIn & Social Media
Faculty Request for Career Program
To request a Career Program, please complete this short form with your contact information and some details about your class. We require at least two weeks notice to schedule a workshop.
Questions? Please contact Donna Esposito, Interim Executive Director.
Career and Major Exploration
- Encourage your students to reflect on their skills, interests, competencies, personality and values. We offer a variety of self-assessment tools, as well as information about competencies and career readiness (see below for more detail), including practical ways that students can strengthen workplace skills.
- Suggest Career Center resources. Tools like What Can I Do With This Major? and other sites listed on our Explore Careers page can be used to research career options for a variety of majors. Students can also schedule 1-on-1 appointments and quick question appointments with career advisors.
- Debunk major and career myths. We believe that major does not determine or limit students’ career options. Unless a student is planning to enter a technical field, such as engineering or accounting, he/she can obtain the skills necessary to succeed through any of the 100+ majors offered at Tufts. We encourage students to study what they enjoy, assess their values, interests, and personality, and explore careers related to what they have learned about themselves. We invite you to partner with us in encouraging this flexible career mindset.
Competencies and Career Readiness
Career readiness is more than a college degree or doing well in one’s major. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) defines career readiness as “the attainment and demonstration of requisite competencies that broadly prepare college graduates for a successful transition into the workplace.” In other words, soft skills matter.
Much has been written over the last few years about the fact that employers think students lack some of these important skills when they get to the workplace. NACE has identified eight competencies that students should be developing, and the Tufts Career Center dedicates itself to helping students continue to build these competencies so as to be more fully prepared when they leave Tufts. As faculty, you most certainly foster these competencies with students throughout their years at Tufts. Here are a few suggestions for helping students more intentionally focus on competencies:
Identify the Tufts competencies that contribute to career readiness
- Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
- Oral and Written Communication
- Civic Engagement (added by the Tufts Career Center based on additional research)
- Digital Technology
- Global/Intercultural Fluency
- Professionalism/Work Ethic
- Career Management
Make explicit which class sessions/assignments/projects link to building particular competencies. (Discuss it during class and include them on your syllabus)
Be aware of and send students to the Competencies and Career Readiness page on the Tufts Career Center website where there are resources, tools and activities to assess and develop each competency
- Encourage students to join The Herd and the Tufts University Career Network on LinkedIn. By joining The Herd (our student-alumni mentoring platform) and the Tufts Career Network (largest Tufts group on LinkedIn), students will be able find alumni and request informational interviews from individuals whose career paths interest them. Helpful tips for creating a LinkedIn profile and composing questions for informational interviews, as well as more general networking info, is available via the Networking section of our site.
- Remind students to attend networking events scheduled throughout the academic year. Students will find many networking opportunities, including virtual industry fairs, Professional in Residence programs, and more on the Career Center calendar.
- Share personal networking stories with your students. Networking can be an intimidating process, especially for novices, and your success stories — or even times when things didn’t go as planned! — will help demystify the process for students. Have you ever found a job lead through a connection? Received great career advice from a conversation with someone? These are examples of networking in action.
Job and Internship Search Resources
The Career Center offers numerous resources for finding jobs and internships, including tools just for Tufts students, field-specific career sites, and much more. In addition, we meet with students in 1-on-1 appointments and quick questions to discuss resumes and cover letters, internship and job search strategies, and more.
Handshake is our online, mobile-friendly platform that connects students and alumni to employers for jobs, internships and career events. Students can find postings for thousands of external jobs and internships, Tufts on-campus student positions, career resources, virtual career events and announcements.
- To see Handshake for yourself, you may log in as a guest. Visit the site and click “sign in with your email address” and enter this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next, click “Tufts Alumni Login”
Finally, enter the password: Dowling123
Click around to see job and internship listings, events, and more! Note: This is not a test site, please don’t actually apply for positions.
For more information on navigating the site, see Getting Started with Handshake.
Additional Job & Internship Resources
- Tufts Destination Outcomes: See where students from your department go after graduation (including both employment and grad school data from recent grads)
- Career Center Summer Internship Grants: The Career Center funds 40 – 50 Summer Internship Grants for undergraduates doing unpaid internships for a minimum of 300 hours.
Advice for Recommendation Letters
A letter of recommendation is “expert testimony” to a student’s ability to perform a task: contributing to a team project, succeeding in graduate school, or learning from a particular experience (such as foreign study/travel). You need to be confident of the applicant’s ability to be able to write convincingly. You could put your professional credibility at risk if you consistently write letters for applicants who are not qualified. For detailed information about the letter writing process, including sample recommendations, view this document (PDF).
Recommendation Letters for Graduate School Applicants
For graduate school, there is a kind of “code” for levels of confidence. Letter writers use these phrases at the beginning or end of the letter to express their professional evaluation. Generally speaking, there are four levels of confidence as suggested by graduate school forms themselves:
- Strongly recommend – You are very confident in the applicant’s ability
- Recommend – You are confident in applicant’s ability
- Recommend with reservations – You are somewhat confident, but have specific areas of doubt (include an explanation)
- Do not recommend – You do not believe in applicant’s ability to succeed (include an explanation)
Tips for Successful Recommendation Letters
A letter of recommendation succeeds on the same merits as any form of persuasive writing: good vocabulary, solid essay structure, appropriate content, and relevant details.
- Vocabulary – use strong, vivid language in both nouns and verbs.
- Essay Structure – Structure the letter as a four-to-five-paragraph essay with a thesis.
- The first paragraph should state how long writer has known applicant, in what context, and general “thesis” statement regarding applicant’s abilities/suitability for position.
- The main body should provide two or three examples or qualities that inspire confidence (or lack of confidence) in the applicant’s skills or character.
- Conclude with an explicit level of recommendation (strongly/highly, recommend, recommend with reservations [must provide explanation], do not recommend [must provide explanation]).
- Appropriate Content – Avoid exaggeration or speculation outside of your knowledge base.
- Details – Include a few well-chosen examples of why you recommend this individual. The examples should be obviously within your sphere of knowledge.
Format of Recommendation Letters
These are official documents and should be written using the following professional/business format:
- On professional or organizational letterhead; Appropriate addressing
- Block flush-left paragraphs; Appropriate greetings and closings
- 11 pt. font; One to two pages long
Programming for Your Department (Arranging guest speakers, alumni panels)
If you are interested in holding an event for your students, the Career Center can guide you toward a variety of options:
If you’d like to invite a guest speaker to your classroom to speak on a specific topic, the Career Center can train you in the use of The Herd, Tufts LinkedIn Groups, including using LinkedIn and the Tufts Online Community to find potential alumni speakers.
If you’d like to host an alumni panel discussion, the Career Center can help you think through your plan and advertise the event. Typical steps to planning a panel discussion:
- Determine the panel topic
- Secure date, time, room, etc.
- Determine the appropriate number of panelists (we suggest securing 4-5 people to ensure 3-4)
- Determine the various perspectives on the topic you want represented on the panel
- Solicit possible panelist names from other faculty members, students and the Career Center
- Send invitations to potential panelists in waves (as people are busy, you’ll need to invite many more than you need) well in advance of the event
- As alumni respond yes/no, determine who you’ll ask next so as to maintain a variety of perspectives on your panel
- Once panel is finalized, stay in touch with panelists. Write communication plan, including dates to send reminder emails
- Complete facilities requests and finalize logistical details
- Write blurb for advertising. The Career Center can publicize events in Handshake, as well as in our weekly eNewsletter and through our social media channels
Tufts Career Fairs, Events & Employer Outreach
Each year, the Career Center is involved with a significant number of in-person and virtual career events, including everything from large-scale career fairs to industry-focused networking nights and skill-building workshops. Visit our calendar for upcoming events, including opportunities you may want to suggest to your students.
How you can help your students:
- Announce Career Center events in your classes and encourage all majors, all class years to attend relevant events
- Help publicize events that are not an obvious match for your students, e.g., someone majoring in English can find a job in the life sciences industry (major doesn’t define you!)
- Offer extra credit for attending relevant events or make an assignment out of attending a Career Center event once per semester
How you can partner with the Career Center for events and employer outreach:
- Suggest alumni for events, e.g., Professional in Residence opportunities, networking nights, or career fairs
- Recommend companies to invite to career fairs and/or to post jobs and internships in Handshake
- Volunteer to be on relevant panels and participate in events of interest (students like to see professors at events and there are always new things to learn!)
- Bring a Career Center staff member with you if you’re planning an employer site visit
- Attend employer events to hear more about what is going on in industry or to find funders for your research