Many think career planning happens after graduation.  Not so!  It’s a process that should begin early in one’s education.  It ensures that you are selecting the correct program of study and are preparing to be employable after graduation. 

Schedule time with a member of the Career Center staff for further assistance.


Self-assessment is foundational to career exploration and is a primary step in the development of a plan to a career. Through self-assessment, you can learn and identify personality traits, abilities, interests, values, and experiences and how these lead to careers. 


Career Coach allows individuals to discover majors and in-demand careers and education based on their interests.  This online tool provides current, local data on employment opportunities, wages, and education and training required for a variety of careers. 

Begin your exploration here with the career assessment:  We encourage you to do the 60 question assessment. 

After you take the assessment, schedule an appointment with a member of the Career Center staff for further discussion and clarification of your discoveries. 

Career Coach Video


YouScience is a career aptitude assessment for students.  It includes a series of “brain games” that students complete.  Results will indicate your aptitude and will allow you to research good-fit careers based on your aptitude and/or interests.  It’s a unique new tool that we are using to help students discover their strengths and plan for their future career! 

To request a YouScience Account, please email including your first name, last name, and email address.

After you take the assessment, schedule an appointment with a member of the Career Center staff for further discussion and clarification of your discoveries. 

You Science Video 

Explore Careers

Career Exploration helps you identify work fields, jobs, and majors.  The Career Center encourages you to research occupations, majors, skills, wage and salary, work environment, and meeting people who are doing what you think you want to do. 

Pathful Explore (Formerly Virtual Job Shadow) is a comprehensive career exploration platform that allows you to research and learn more about the many outstanding careers out there waiting for you. With hundreds of highly engaging, day-in-the-life videos of real people in real jobs and the supporting career profiles, you’ll learn everything you need to know about salaries, required education, career outlook, etc. You can even compare salaries across all 50 states!

  • Click on the Login Tab & Cincinnati State Technical & Community College – Portal
  • Click on the New Account box in the upper right-hand corner of the login page and follow the instructions from there.

Ohio Means Jobs is Ohio’s free, online career counseling center that connects businesses to job seekers and provides career services to all Ohioans.

Resources include:

  • Top Jobs
  • Resources for College students
  • Resources for Veteran’s
  • Career Pathways
  • Job Postings and more!

Career Video Resources on OhioMeansJobs:

  • Career Connections by PBS is a behind-the-scenes access to top jobs & what it takes to get there.
  • Uwannadu – a collection of career videos, research, and career infographics.  (Must create an account.)
  • Career Zone Video Library – a video library of over 650+ short 2-minute videos that feature highlights from specific jobs.
  • Exciting Careers in Ohio – Great Job! is a PBS video series of 3 minute episodes that highlight five of Ohio’s fastest-growing careers.

Other Resources:

  • Career Pathways – overview of typical paths by which an individual might reach employment in a certain occupation.

Career OneStop Videos

Browse CareerOneStop’s video collection to learn about careers, industries, skills, and abilities, or work options and education levels and more.  Organized into 16 career clusters, or related work types, you can select a category  to view a list of videos related to that cluster.

Informational Interviewing/Career Conversation

The purpose of an informational interview is to gather information and meet someone who is in a role or company you aspire to be in. It’s not a job interview – the person conducting the informational interview (you) should be the one asking the questions. 


  • Get firsthand information about the realities of working in a particular field, industry, or position.
  • Get tips and knowledge about how to prepare for your career and what it takes to become employable in the field.

Resources for Conducting an Informational Interview

Don’t Forget to Send A Thank You Note After the Informational Interview

Road Trip Nation

For 15 years, Road Trip Nation made it their mission to talk with professionals of every kind and ask the questions that no one is asking—honest questions about their struggles, successes, and how they figured out the age-old dilemma, “What should I do with my life?”

From video game designers to lawyers, sports journalists to STEM professionals, and everything in between, we’ve sought out untold stories and shared them. These stories form the basis of our career exploration products—including an educational curriculum, personalized online tools, video content, bestselling books, and live events. Together, these tools create a diverse and relevant collection of resources showing young people the vast scope of careers and possibilities.

Short Videos:

Recent Documentaries:

Please note some of Road Trip Nation’s services cost money.

American Graduate – WCET

Over the past six years, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has supported public media’s American Graduate initiative, helping our country understand the importance of improving high school graduation rates for all youth. Entering its newest phase, American Graduate places its focus on what happens after high school graduation, helping young people access pathways to gainful employment in high-demand career sectors.

Videos include:

  • Getting to Work:  Smart Money
  • Getting to Work:  In-Demand Careers
  • Getting to Work:  Community Colleges
  • Finding Your Pathway:  Career Exploration
  • Finding Your Pathway:  How Parents Can Help


Making Decisions and Creating a Career Path

Career decision making can be tough and frustrating.  Here are some resources that can be used to help in the process.  We encourage you to work with Career Center staff for coaching and assistance.  You’re not alone!

Decision-Making Resources

Key aspects of Career Decision Making

  • Define the decisions and priorities.
  • Use career assessments as a tool, not the ultimate decision-maker.
  • Investigate and research options both through websites and talking to people.
  • Think about the things you are unsure of – how is your research answering these questions?
  • What is the demand for the career, what does the work look like, who are the companies hiring?
  • What skills and qualifications do they look for in these careers?
  • Consider all options.

How to Make Tough Career Decisions 

  • The 80,000 Hours site walks you through the process of making a career decision.  Includes information on clarifying a decision, research options, and creating a plan.

Making the Right Career Move 

  • This article by Mind Tools helps you create a framework and process for analysing the career decision making process.

Career Plan

A career plan is your road map for the future.  You know the end in mind for your career.  Now how do you get there?

The plan should include:

  • Understanding the skills, education, and experience needed to succeed in the career.
  • It should also include goal-setting.

Articles to assist:

Develop a Career Action Plan 

What is a Career Action Plan

How to Write A Career Action Plan

Gain Relevant Experience

If experiential education is not part of your academic program, consider ways to incorporate opportunities such as community service, joining student organizations, or professional associations to build on your experiences. 

Most Cincinnati State degree programs require experiential education through co-op, internship, or clinical education. Talk to your Co-op Coordinator, Program Chair, or Academic Advisor to learn more.  For more information visit our Cooperative Education Page.

Build Networks

Networking is a vital part of your job search and career. Developing relationships and connections within your network allow you more opportunities to advance your career.

Networking Resources


LinkedIn is a social network specifically designed for career and business professionals to connect.

Click here for resources for college students to help you get started with your profile and brand.

Click here for a LinkedIn Profile Checklist.

Connect with our Alumni Page on LinkedIn

Professional Associations

professional association is an organization with members who work in or share an interest in a specific job field or industry.

Benefits for College Students:

  • Connection to individuals working in the job or industry of interest.
  • Ability to attend programs and events at a discounted rate.  Allows you to understand the trends of the industry, best practices, and added education.
  • Networks and relationships with individuals in the industry.


Job and Career Fairs

Career Fairs offer the opportunity to:

  • Explore careers – it’s an opportunity to learn more about types of employers, types of employment opportunities, and career paths.
  • Networking – connecting one-on-one with employers and their representatives.

Resources for Career Fair Success

Upcoming Events


References are used as part of the job search process.  These are individuals who can talk about your work experience, skills, and character.

Reference Sheet

Job Search Resources for Ex-Offenders

Felon Friendly Companies

Job Search Help For Ex-Offenders  – CareerOneStop

Resources for Returning Citizens in Cincinnati – Ohio Justice and Policy Center

Second Chance Legal Assistance – Ohio Justice and Policy Center

Marketing Yourself

Marketing yourself is a key aspect of the job search. It’s presenting your best self to potential employers. Showing that you have the technical skills and soft skills that an employer is seeking in their potential new hire.

Job Search Tools

Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a short/quick synopsis of your background and experience. It’s about you:  who you are, what you do, and what you want to do.

How to Create an Elevator Pitch With Examples – The Balance Careers (Article)

How to Create Your 30 Second Elevator Pitch – The Intern Queen (Video)


Schedule an Appointment for Assistance

The Career Center is available for one-on-one assistance.  We encourage you to schedule an appointment with us either via Starfish or by calling 513-569-4242.

Key Aspects of a Resume

  • Purpose:  A resume is a document that introduces your skills and qualifications to potential employers.  The goal is to get an interview.
  • Think like an employer – what relevant skills and abilities do you have that the employer is seeking?
  • Types of Resumes 
    • Chronological – presents your education and work experience in a straightforward, reverse chronological order (most recent first). If the majority of your work experience is related to your stated job objective, this style can be effective.
    • Functional – A functional resume differs from a chronological resume by concentrating on your skills that relate to your stated objective rather than on the jobs you have had. A functional resume is particularly effective if your work experience has not been closely related to your job objective, if you are changing careers or if you are seeking a promotion. In this format, you elaborate on the skills necessary to perform the desired job and how you have demonstrated those same skills in a different type of job.
    • Combination – Sometimes a combination format will adequately suit a jobseeker’s needs. This can, for example, help to highlight both a chronological employment history while simultaneously highlighting some outstanding skills and achievements.
  • Key Elements of a Resume include and are dependent upon the focus of your job search:
    • Personal Contact Information (Name, E-mail, Phone)
    • Objective or Professional Summary
    • Education
    • Work and Related Experience
    • Awards and Honors
    • Activities
    • Skills

Guides and Samples


Employment references are individuals who can talk about your work experience, work habits, character, and skills.

  • This is a separate document from your resume and cover letter and should be formatted in a similar style to those documents.
  • Before you add an individual’s name and contact information to this document ask permission.
    • Confirm they are willing to be a reference.
    • Update them on your job search and remind them of your skills and accomplishments.
  • The typical format for the reference is
    • Name
    • Title
    • Employer
    • Phone
    • Email
    • Information on their connection to you

For a sample, please click here.

Interview Preparation

job interview is a meeting between the potential employer and an applicant in which questions will be asked regarding qualifications to determine if you match the needs of the organization.

Employer Goals:  Determine if you are a good match for the position and if you will be a good employee.

Applicant Goals:  Ability to display skills and talents that would be useful to the prospective employer.  It is also a time for you to determine if this organization is a good match for you professionally and personally.


  • Introduction
  • Questions and Answers
  • Your Questions
  • Closing

Practice Interviewing

Interview Preparation Guides

Interview Attire

Interviews are where you put your best foot forward and impressions are made about you as a candidate.

Dressing appropriately for an interview shows that you are serious about the job.  Employers have expectations about how you prepare for an interview and that includes appearance. From their perspective, are they going to be more impressed with an individual in a suit or an individual in jeans?

The basic rule is to dress one step more professionally than what you would wear on the job.

Definitions of Professional Dress and Business Casual:

  • Business Professional
    • Masculine: conservative and tailored suit, tie in a muted color, polished shoes and well-groomed facial hair
    • Feminine: conservative and tailored suit (either with slacks or skirt), closed-toe shoes, subtle jewelry, make-up and accessories
    • All: suit should be a neutral color. Consider a professional briefcase or purse. Shine up shoes.
  • Business Casual
    • Masculine: slacks, collared shirt and/or tie
    • Feminine: slacks or skirt, collared shirt or professional dress
    • All: avoid jeans, shorts, tennis shoes, or flip-flops

Tips for Professional Dress:

The Best Outfits for a Job Interview – The Balance Careers


Job Search Assistance For Individuals With Disabilities

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) 

Referrals available through the Career Center staff

  • Job placement assistance for Ohioans with disabilities
  • Can provide on the job employment support
  • Can assist with providing additional job training

Other Resources


Negotiation is a process between the employer and identified candidate for employment on the terms of employment.

Areas that can be potentially negotiated include but are not limited to salary, vacation time, flexible work schedule, ability to work from home, tuition reimbursement, professional training, and development.

Resources on negotiation:

Employment Scams – Beware


CState CareerLink and other online job systems make it easier for you to find positions. Unfortunately, the same technology makes it easier for scammers to create fraudulent positions to take advantage of you. While the Career Center tries to screen employers and the positions posted to CState CareerLink, it is imperative that you, as a job seeker, exercise common sense and caution. Read position descriptions carefully!

If a position or job offer seems too good to be true, if you feel uncomfortable with some of the information requested, or if something just doesn’t seem right – proceed with extreme caution. Even if the original position description seems valid, if you receive follow-up e-mails, phone calls, or job offers that make you feel uncomfortable, you need to proceed cautiously.

IF YOU ENCOUNTER SUSPICIOUS POSTINGS IN CState CareerLink or via your Cincinnati State email, report your experience to the Career Center at or 513- 569-4242. You also can visit The Internet Crime Complaint Center.


Job Posting

CState CareerLink

CState CareerLink is an online system that connects Cincinnati State students and graduates to employment opportunities.

Student Access to CState CareerLink  

Alumni are in the system for one year after their graduation date. Access can be reactivated by calling the Career Center.  

How Jobs Are Defined in the System

  • General Jobs (PT/FT/Temp) – this category is for students looking for general employment that is not dependent on degree completion. (To have your resume approved – please work with the Career Center.)
  • Co-op/Internship – this category is for students working with their Co-op Coordinator to secure employment to fulfill their Cooperative Education experience/requirement. (To have your resume approved – please work with your Co-op Coordinator.)
  • Upcoming Graduate/Alumni – this category is for students who will be graduating in the coming 3-6 months or have recently completed their degree. (To have your resume approved – please work with the Career Center.)

How To Access CState CareerLink


Students use your username is your SurgeMail email address (including Your password is the same as your password for SurgeMail/MyCState/Blackboard 

Resume Approvals

Resumes must be approved in the system.

Co-op Students must receive approval in the system from their Co-op Coordinator.

Students seeking other positions such as part-time, temporary, or full-time positions must work with the Career Center for approval.

Other Job Posting Sites

On-Campus Employment

  • Federal Work-Study Opportunities.

Ohio Means Jobs

  • is Ohio’s free, online career counseling center that connects businesses to job seekers and provides career services to all Ohioans.

Kentucky Career Center

  • Kentucky Career Center is the area’s leading workforce development network, specializing in connecting employers with qualified workforce talent and job seekers with career opportunities.

Ohio (COVID-19) Job Search

  • A new web portal that allows individuals to access new opportunities due to the pandemic.

Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

  • The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce site is a robust jobs board that connects those who are seeking exciting new employment opportunities with open positions within our network of Chamber member business organizations.
Events, Programming, and Other Resources

Career Center Newsletters and Weekly Job Postings

The Cincinnati State Career Center is now publishing an online Newsletter and Job Posting Update.

New “issues” of the newsletter will be released on Friday each week.

Past Programs

Alumni Career Series 

  • Sessions with Cincinnati State alumni on their education and work experience.

In-Demand Careers Week 

  • Featuring sessions on Brewing Science, Engineering, IT, Civil Engineering, and more.

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities

In partnership with the State of Ohio’s Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) office, Cincinnati State is proud to offer college-to-career services for our students with disabilities.

The OOD counselor is employed by Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities and receives referrals for services from the Career Center and Office of Disability Services. OOD’s goal is to help students explore careers and options, find an internship or job, gain workplace skills, and gain experience.

OOD Website

If you are eligible, OOD can help with:

  • Major and career exploration
  • Finding a job
  • On the job supports
  • Paid work experience
  • Finding an internship
  • Rehabilitation technology
  • Networking
  • Work incentives planning

Interested in a referral to OOD?  Please complete a form for a referral. (Must be logged in to MyCState to access the form.)

Career Center Staff
Career Center Social Media