Job Seeker's Rights and Responsibilities

Choosing and attaining meaningful post-graduation employment is an important challenge for college students. To aid this process, your Career Center and employers develop connections and programs, such as on-campus recruiting, resume referral services, and career fairs, in which you and your fellow students are active participants. For this process to be successful, everyone involved must work together. The National Association for Colleges and Employer's (NACE) Principles for Professional Conduct provide guidelines for the process to ensure that:

  • students can openly, freely, and objectively select employment opportunities, making these choices based on their assessment of the best use of their abilities, their personal goals, and all other pertinent facts;
  • the recruitment process is fair and equitable to students and employers alike; and
  • support is available for informed and responsible decision making by students.

What you can expect from your Career Center:

1.  Confidentiality
Career staffs are expected to exercise sound judgment and fairness in maintaining the confidentiality of student information, regardless of the source, including written records, reports, and computer data bases. Disclosure of student information outside the college/university should be made only with your prior consent, unless health and safety considerations necessitate the distribution of such information.

2.  Freedom of choice
You're entitled to be assisted by the career staff in developing a career plan and making career decisions without having staff members' biases or personal values imposed upon you.


Interview only with employers you're sincerely interested in working for and whose eligibility requirements you meet.


3.  Access to all services and events
Career centers may charge students for registering or taking part in certain services or events. Such fees should be sufficiently nominal so as not to hinder you from participating.

4.  Access to career information
All students, regardless of personal or educational background, should be provided by career staff with equal and full access to information on career opportunities and types of employing organizations. Career staffs also are expected to inform you as to how and where to obtain information that may influence your decisions about an employer.

5.  Testing information
Career staff should inform you of the availability of testing, the purpose of the tests, and the disclosure policies regarding test results.

What you can expect from employers:

1.  Confidentiality
Employers are expected to maintain the confidentiality of student information, regardless of the source, including personal knowledge, written records/reports, and computer data bases. An employer shouldn't disclose information about you to another organization without your prior written consent, unless necessitated by health or safety considerations.

2.  Accurate information
Employers are expected to provide accurate information about their organizations and employment opportunities. This includes, but is not limited to, positions available, responsibilities, career advancement opportunities, and benefits.

3.  Freedom from undue pressure
Employers are expected to provide you with a reasonable amount of time to make a decision about accepting an employment offer. They also are expected to provide you with a reasonable process for making your decision. An unreasonable process, for example, is one in which the student is told the offer is good for a set amount of time; however, the same offer has been made to others, and the student who accepts first gets the job. It also is improper for employers to pressure you to revoke your acceptance of another job offer.

4.  Timely communication
Employers are expected to inform you of your status in the hiring process and communicate hiring decisions within the agreed-upon time frame.

5.  Fair treatment
If an employer is required by changing conditions to revoke a job offer that you've accepted, you're entitled to a fair and equitable course of action. That can include, but is not limited to, financial assistance and outplacement service.

6.  Testing information
Employers should inform you in advance of any testing, the purpose of the tests, and their policies regarding disclosure of test results.

7.  Nondiscrimination
Employers are expected to avoid discrimination in their recruitment activities and to follow equal employment opportunity and affirmative action principles.

What's your part?

1.  Provide accurate information about your academic work and records, including courses taken, grades, positions held, and duties performed.
You can, however, refuse to provide an employer with specific information about any job offers you may have received from others. You don't have to name the organizations that have made you offers, nor do you have to provide specific information about what salaries you've discussed with those organizations. Instead, you can give broad responses to such questions, naming types of employers-"I've interviewed with employers in the retail industry"-and offering salary ranges rather than specific dollar amounts-"The salary offers I've received have been in the $25,000 to $30,000 range." Incidentally, it's in your best interest to research salaries and to let employers know that you have done so.

2.  Interview genuinely.
Interview only with employers you're sincerely interested in working for and whose eligibility requirements you meet. "Practice" interviewing is misleading to employers-wasting both their time and money-and prevents sincerely interested candidates from using those interview slots.

3.  Adhere to schedules.
Appear for all interviews, on campus and elsewhere, unless unforeseeable events prevent you from doing so. And, if you can't make the interview because of an unforeseeable event, notify your career center or the employer at the earliest possible moment.

4.  Don't keep employers hanging.
Communicate your acceptance or refusal of a job offer to employers as promptly as possible, so they can notify other candidates that they are still being considered or that the position is filled.

5.  Accept a job offer in good faith.
When you accept an offer, you should have every intention of honoring that commitment. Accepting an offer only as a precautionary measure is misleading to the employer and may restrict opportunities for others who are genuinely interested in that employer.

6.  Withdraw from recruiting when your job search is completed.
If you accept an offer or decide that full-time graduate or professional studies are for you, notify your career center and withdraw from the on-campus recruiting process immediately. And, inform employers that are actively considering you for a job that you are out of the running. By doing so, you'll help your friends who are trying to get on interview schedules or who are being considered for positions.

7.  Claim fair reimbursement.
If an employer has agreed to reimburse you for expenses you incur in its recruitment process, your request should be for reasonable and legitimate expenses only.

8.  Obtain the career information you need to make an informed choice about your future.
It's up to you to look into career opportunities and the organizations that offer them, as well as acquire any other relevant information that might influence your decision about an employer.

By the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Principles for Professional Conduct Committee

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