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Professional Skills (Career Ready) Certificate Program

Employers are seeking candidates who are both skilled and professional.

This program is a means to enhance your professionalism by:

  • Determining how your personal strengths make you a better candidate
  • Assisting you with your career documents (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile)
  • Meeting employers who currently work in your career field
  • Receiving advice from a professional mentor and expanding your network
  • Boosting your resume with certification status

Goals/Benefits and Time Requirements of the program

The goals and benefits of this program are:

  • Help you determine your professional strengths and weaknesses – This will be accomplished/aided through meetings with a Career Counselor and taking a personal assessment.
  • Build professional employer relationships and increase your employment opportunities
  • Assist you in polishing your professional skills – There will be multiple opportunities for you to practice your communication, networking, leadership, and problem solving skills.
  • Ensure you are ready for the next step in your career journey
  • Augment your résumé with a certification status to have a competitive advantage in your job search

Time requirements of the program are:

For most participants, this program will take three academic semesters to complete. It is ideal to begin the program once you have completed 30-60 academic credit hours but you can begin as late as 75 academic credit hours and still complete it. The goal is to give you enough time to truly benefit from the work you will be doing to earn this certificate. Students with prior experience in experiential learning opportunities, involvement and events will be pre-approved for certificate requirements on a case-by-case basis by a career counselor.

Program Requirements


Discover your Professional Identity - First Semester

  • Complete registration and meet with career counselor
  • Complete strengths assessment and formulate first semester professional development action plan
  • Submit first résumé for approval, discuss cover letter and references
  • Complete LinkedIn profile and have it reviewed
  • Determine on/off campus involvement initiatives
  • Attend at least two of the workshops/webinars and one event from the list below


Expand your Professional Network - Second Semester

  • Connect with career counselor, determine a professional mentor, and create second semester professional development action plan
  • Complete a Job Shadow Experience or Informational Interview
  • Create 30 second professional introduction to be used at networking events
  • Attend one networking event or career fair (on/off campus)
  • Complete at least one community/campus involvement initiative and take on a leadership position (record in Grenadier Central)
  • Identify/complete experiential learning experience (see options below)
  • Attend at least three of the workshops/webinars and one event from the list below


Build your Professional Experience – Third Semester

  • Meet with career counselor and create third semester professional development action plan (review résumé, cover letter, and references)
  • Meet with professional mentor and report to counselor
  • Complete a résumé review and mock interview with professional mentor or employer
  • Attend one networking event or career fair (on/off campus)
  • Identify and complete experiential learning experience (see options below)
  • Continue to grow in community/campus involvement and record in Grenadier Central
  • Serve as a program ambassador for students beginning the certificate program
  • Complete at least three of the workshops/webinars and two events from the list below

Workshops/ Webinars and Events


  • Creating/revising your résumé, cover letter, and references
  • Interviewing - phone/video and face-to-face interviews
  • Professional introduction (elevator speech) and networking
  • LinkedIn - creating profile, how to research field of interest, job search strategies
  • Office and dining etiquette (a minimal fee)
  • Internships - how to get started
  • Job search techniques - working a Job Fair and finding the hidden job market
  • Graduate school - when and how to apply, how to find the right school (MBA info session?)
  • Financial Future - creating a budget, insurance needs, when to invest
  • Salary negotiations and how to evaluate a professional employee’s benefit package
  • Panel of professionals - first 90 days on the job, how to be prepared


  • Job Fair (on/off campus) - practice elevator speech and take résumés
  • Networking (on/off campus)
  • Panel of Professionals - First 90 Days on the Job
  • Sanders Speaker Series, One Southern Indiana Business Expo or 5 o’clock Network
  • Common Experience event (pre-approved by career counselor)
  • Attend meeting with professional organization related to student’s academic major

Experiental Learning Opportunities

  • Internship/Externship - for credit or non-credit
  • Study Abroad
  • Participation in Professional Organization’s Conference (pre-approved)
  • Minimum of 50 hours of a community service project (pre-approved)
  • Complete a faculty approved research project and present at Student Conference

How to Apply

Applications will be received from the Professional Skills Certificate Application.