|Middle School / Junior High School
- Begin exploring interests. Look at which activities students enjoy most and help them think about potential careers.
- Start learning about Internet career planning resources such as the CIS Junior by clicking on the links in the left side menu bar.
- Take career assessments to identify interests, skills, work values, and personality preferences. Several assessment tools can be found in CIS.
- Set up a "My CIS Portfolio" and use the Course Planner to keep track of requirements and related courses that support career directions.
- Join organizations and volunteer in fields related to intended career goals.
- Schedule a time to take the PLAN test (a pre-ACT test) and the PSAT (a pre-SAT test) for the college bound.
- Consider all opportunities, including apprenticeship programs for skilled trades, military service, entrepreneurship and employment as well as college.
- Schedule the SAT and/or ACT for the fall of the junior year. Use the Test Prep section of CIS to prepare.
- Talk to guidance counselors for more information on schools and careers. They can be helpful in making sure all time lines are met.
- Explore school-sponsored job shadowing or other ways to observe people on the job. Sign up for internships or other work experience programs.
- Generate a resume using CIS the portfolio section, "My Education and Work History." Learn about writing a college entrance essay in CIS' Illinois Schools located in the FAQs.
- Check Financial Aid Sort in CIS if college bound, and apply for financial aid by January of the senior year.
- Use the Job Search section of CIS to fine tune cover letters, resumes and interview skills. The Employer Locator can help target where to apply for jobs.