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Institute for Career Readiness and Lifelong Learning: Alumni Resources

Your Gateway to Career and Professional Success

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The value of your Defiance College education extends well beyond your years on campus, especially when it comes to career development. We offer career planning and graduate school resources for you, along with ways you can help current Defiance College students seeking to find their path. Check out the resources below and information on the other Career Development pages. 

Developing a professional brand is an essential step in your job search process.  Your professional brand should include a clear picture of who you are and used to effectively communicate with a potential employer.  Your resume and cover letter as well as social media should represent you as a professional.

It is extremely important to have your resume, cover letter, and reference page reviewed before applying for employment in a professional setting. All Career Development services are FREE to Alumni!!


Review and gather the suggested information on the resume checklist to get started.

There are two types of resume to consider. Chronological Resume is more appropriate for a recent graduate while a Functional Resume is more suitable for alumni who has been in the work world. A Sample Resume Packet is available to assist you. To help you create a powerful resume use action verbs in your resume (and cover letter). 

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is another type resume to consider creating and includes information on your academic background, teaching experience, degrees, research, awards, publications, presentations, and other achievements. CVs are much longer than resumes, and include more information, particularly details related to one’s academic background.


Use the cover letter as a way to convey your interest in a position and to highlight the unique qualities or experiences to make you stand out from other candidates.

Here are some samples to help guide you in creating an effective cover letter!


Think about your network of individuals and who would be the best to serve as a reference based on the employment opportunity. Seek out at least 3-5 references that know different aspects of your work and are willing to support your candidacy enthusiastically and knowledgeably.

Consider reaching out to the following to serve as a reference:

  • Professors/Staff you have worked with closely or completed research
  • Supervisors from current and previous employment including an internship
  • Advisors from extracurricular activities
  • Coach or volunteer leader (to serve as a personal reference only)

Reference Checklist:

Make sure to allow plenty of time to complete the reference checklist. Be considerate of your reference's time and do not put them in a time sensitive situation.

  • Obtain complete contact information for each reference. This should include a phone number and email address.
  • Share your resume, cover letter and a copy of the position description
  • Offer to meet with your reference in person to discuss the opening.
  • Follow up to check on the status of your reference if needed.
  • Thank your references and let them know the outcome of your application.

If there is a hesitation or refusal to serve as a reference, know that this individual may be encouraging you to seek someone else who would write more positively or comprehensively on your behalf.

Check out this sample reference page.

 Once you have made the decision to go to graduate school, the next step is to research programs that match your interests and fit your needs. Don't limit yourself at this point, but instead gather information on a broad range of programs.

Consult sites such as these for researching graduate and professional schools:

Peterson's Graduate Schools

US News, Best Graduate Schools

Contact programs directly to get more detailed program information such as courses, professors, costs, financial aid and application forms.

Graduate School Resources:

Enroll in Defiance College’s GEN300 Preparing for Graduate and Professional School course.

Connect with your advisor and/or professor’s for input and direction in making a decision.

Attend Defiance College’s Fall Graduate and Professional School Fair

Conduct informational interviews with current graduate students, professionals, and faculty in the graduate programs you are considering to gain insider information.

Evaluate Programs - Factors to Consider:

  • Reputation of the Faculty - What are their academic degrees/credentials and research specialties? What is the student/faculty ratio?
  • Quality of the Program - This is measured by many different factors such as faculty credentials and alumni success.
  • Financial Costs - What are the opportunities for fellowships, assistantships, or scholarships? What other sources of financial aid are available?
  • Admission Requirements - GPA test scores, undergraduate coursework, specific entrance examinations, etc.
  • Available Course Offerings - Are courses you need to fulfill degree requirements frequently offered? Will the course offerings help you meet your professional or educational goals?
  • Employment - Where are graduates of the program working, and how much are they earning?
  • Facilities - Consider the quality of on-site facilities such as libraries, computer labs, and research facilities.
  • Geographic Location - Will studying in a particular location help you meet personal or professional goals?
  • Student Life - Consider the diversity of students, student organizations, housing, and campus support services.

Other Application Materials:

Chances are you will need to provide a curriculum vitae or resume with your application. 

Curriculum Vitae (CV) includes information on your academic background, teaching experience, degrees, research, awards, publications, presentations, and other achievements. CVs are much longer than resume, and include more information, particularly details related to one’s academic background.

Review and gather the suggested information on the resume checklist to get started.

Here are some samples of resumes to help guide you! And to help you create a powerful resume, here are some action verbs to assist you.

Rules for developing a personal statement and samples

  • BE CONCISE (max. 2 pages double-spaced, 1” left margin, min. 11 pt. font—if no formatting guidelines are provided)
  • MAKE SURE IT’S RELEVANT to the graduate program
  • BE CONSISTENT with your format and content
  • SCHEDULE a PROFESSIONAL EDIT with a Professor or Career Development staff
  • BE YOURSELF—MAKE IT YOUR STYLE  Use language you are comfortable with but show off your vocabulary. Remember that this is a written document—stay away from oral speech patterns

Article from INSIDE HIGHER ED, “Advise about grad school from a Ph.D. holder looking back a decade later.”

 After completing your resume upload it on College Central to be reviewed by a Career Development staff member.

College Central Network

CCN is Defiance College’s online career management system. It serves as the clearing house for all part-time, co-op/internship, and full-time job positions and is your on-line connection to employers.

  • Search jobs posted at our school!Search part-time and full-time employment opportunities
  • Send resumes to employers
  • Stay updated on career opportunities and events on campus

 As a DC Alumni/Alumnae, here is a chance to give back to current Defiance College students by assisting with Career Related Events and Experiences.  Your DC and employment experiences are valued by the Career Development staff and are a great way to share your success!

  • Mock interviews
  • Networking events
  • Alumni are a valuable source of full-time job leads, job shadowing and internships, allowing students to explore careers and gain practical work experience and mentorship. Similarly, the current student community is a significant potential source of talent for your organization.
  • Let us know about open positions within your organization by posting on College Central
  • Recruiting on-campus Schedule on-campus space to hold information sessions and interviews with current DC students. 
  • Participate in Career and Internship Fairs-CareerFest sponsored by the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC)

If you are interested in participating in any of these career-related activities, please contact the Career Development Office at or 419-783-2366.

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College Central is your go to website for work and internship opportunities!

Follow us on LinkedIn

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College Central Podcasts

Ranked "New and Noteworthy" by iTunes and reviewed as "outstanding," College Central Podcasts provide clear, concise, expert advice and tips for entry-level job search and career related issues

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