Carolina Career Readiness Certificate

The Carolina Career Readiness Certificate is open to all UNC-Chapel Hill students interested in enhancing their personal and professional development skills. This program will help you narrow your career interests, encourage your participation in professional development events, and get you hands-on work experience that you can add to your portfolio. By the end of this program, you'll be prepared and marketable for a summer internship, full-time job, or graduate school. Upon completion, students receive a digital badge and certificate of completion.

For questions, contact Kelsey Williams, Assistant Director for Internships and Experiential Learning

Who is Eligible to Complete the Certificate?

This certificate is primarily for students who are looking for career-related experiences related to their academic major or career goal. This includes undergraduate students from freshmen to seniors pursuing Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary majors, international students, master's, doctoral, and PhD students (except MBA, Law or Dental).

Note: Certificate requirements can be completed in one semester. However, additional time can be approved up to three semesters if necessary.

Getting Started

1. Complete the Carolina Career Readiness Certificate Interest Form to express interest in singing up

2. You will receive a welcome email from Kelsey Williams with next step instructions. You will also receive an email from Canvas notifying you that you were added to the certificate program.

3. Login to the Canvas course and view the assignments listed under the "Home" tab. Click one of the assignments and read the instructions to complete it.

Certificate Requirements

This certificate leverages the UCS Four Steps to Career Success Model to give you with an a-la-cart style of requirements, empowering you choose the career readiness resources that you need and establish a professional foundation for your future career. Activities include career coaching appointments, career workshops and events, and getting an employer-involved work experience.

The requirements are non-linear and can be completed in any order:

Pick one (1) activity to complete between the following career preparation and awareness resources

Complete Handshake profile to 70% (note: completing your profile to 100% is encouraged but not required)

Complete one (1) LinkedIn Learning course on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership in the workplace

Complete the NACE Career Competencies worksheet
(Worksheet available for download under the Canvas assignment)

Schedule one (1) Resume Review appointment with a UCS Career Peer

Career Peers are students who provide peer-to-peer career preparation services in University Career Services. Appointments made through Handshake

Attend one (1) Career Exploration and Recruitment Fair

Discover upcoming career fairs on the Career, Graduate Education, and Networking Events page

Pick two (2) Career Prep Activities*:

*Career Prep Activities are defined as employer-involved, professional, or leadership development activities that provide career or job function exposure or networking to students. They can be facilitated by UCS, faculty/staff/departments, Student Affairs, industry professionals or recruiters, alumni, or student organizations

Job Function Pathway Assignment

Step 1: Select one (1) employer-involved experiential learning or leadership development activity to complete:

Step 2: Once you've selected your activity, find one (1) projects that aligns with one of these Job Roles

  • Project Management
  • Business Analysts and Consulting
  • IT and Data Science
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Other (choose an experience aligned with your post-graduate career goals)

Need help? For assistance in finding a project or internship that aligns with your major and career interests, contact Kelsey Williams for support.

Schedule one (1) Career Coaching Appointment with UCS or any UNC Career Staff

  • Job or Internship description review
  • Customized resume review
  • Mock Interview
  • Cover letter review
  • LinkedIn Profile review

View the full list of department-based career offices to meet with UNC Career Staff

Attend UCS workshop: How to Find Internships & Employer-Involved Experiential Learning Opportunities

Note: If there are no upcoming workshop dates, you can find a recording of the presentation on the UCS YouTube page.

Schedule one (1) Experiential Learning with Kelsey Williams Coaching Appointment

This requirement will be completed before you submit the Career and Life Plan final assignment. You will meet with Kelsey to plan for how you can leverage your completion of this certificate program for future opportunities. We will also discuss how to customize your application materials for a specific work position, whether it is a summer internship, full-time job, or graduate school.

Deliverable: Career & Life Plan

Your final assignment: Write a 3 paragraph essay wrapping up all your assignments and deliverables. Finish the essay by explaining what your next step toward your career readiness journey will be.

Once you complete this step, you will have completed the certificate. You will receive an email form Kelsey Williams on instructions on how to receive your digital badge and certificate of completion

Frequently Asked Questions

How many activities are required?

The Carolina Career Readiness Certificate is designed to be self-directed. You must complete all of the required activities plus one of the optional Job Function Pathways in order to be eligible to receive your Certificate that covers the four categories (i.e., Self-Awareness, Career Exploration, Experiential Learning/High Impact Experiences, Self-Marketing/Professional Branding).

How is attendance tracked?

Log in to all University Career Services activities using your UNC credentials on Handshake and Heel Life. For upcoming fairs, follow registration instructions through Handshake. For events and activities, register on Handshake or Heel Life and check-in using the available kiosks (when applicable).

What if I’m not interested in the designated Job Function Pathways?

The pathway activities can be completed through any of the UCS-facilitated programs: 1) JLD Program for Part-Time Jobs, 2) UCS Micro-Internship Program, and 3) Parker Dewey Micro-Internship Platform. A minimum of one of the listed Job Function Pathways must be completed in order to be eligible to obtain the Certificate. However, students are welcome to identify and complete additional job function pathway experiences listed on the platform that more closely align with their professional interests.

Does participation guarantee me a job at the companies that support this Certificate?

No. However, it does guarantee that you will receive an interview if you earn the credential. We have established that protocol with the participating companies and continue to add to that list each year.

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