Duke Career Center Terms You Need to Know: A Guide 

Coming to Duke can be overwhelming at first, particularly with the influx of Duke specific terms and concepts for you to learn as you navigate your academic career and prepare to enter or re-enter the workforce. Here is our glossary of the career-related terms we recommend you know in alphabetical order.   

Accomplishment Statement   

Accomplishment statements have three components: strong action verbs, what you did, and the result. Each accomplishment statement is used to highlight your skills and experiences related to the opportunity you’re applying for.  

Big Interview 

Big Interview is an online system that combines training and practice to help you improve your interview technique and build your confidence through: Challenging, virtual mock interviews for all experience levels and dozens of industries. A database of thousands of interview questions with tips on how to answer them. 

Career Advisor  

Professional staff hired to support your career development journey. We’re available to discuss topics like exploring your interests, likes and dislikes, skills you prefer to use or develop, and how past experiences can guide future decisions. See how your strengths can impact your interest areas and how your values shape your choices while studying at Duke and beyond.  

Career Communities  

Career Communities are a way to connect with people, information, and resources to explore interests and connect to potential opportunities. We encourage you to explore and follow any career communities that align with your interests, goals, and career plans. Eight of our career communities focus on a specific industry, such as Healthcare, Data & Technology, Education, or Social Impact. For students who are unsure of their interests or considering post-Duke options, the Discovery and Exploration Community may be for you.  

Career Development Process  

The Duke Career Development Process and accompanying skills require ongoing reflection and adaptability. Sometimes you might be unsure of the next steps or what paths to choose. The stages of the development process establish a framework to guide you through this brainstorming process. They include 1) Know Yourself, 2) Explore Options, 3) Focus & Prepare, 4) Take Action, & 5) Evaluate & Refine.  

Career Everywhere, For Everyone  

Career Everywhere (for Everyone) is our belief and understanding that students are not only seeking advice about their career aspirations (and questions) from the staff at the Career Center but also from faculty, staff, Duke alumni, our employer partners, and more. We seek to work in collaboration with your support systems on campus to help you achieve your career dreams.  

Career Exploration Group   

These series serve as exploratory spaces for students interested in exploring their career options before completing their degree at Duke. Typically offered to doctoral and master’s students, the 4-week series explores many career questions led by career advisers.  

Career Fair  

A recruiting event where employers and recruiters meet with potential employees to establish professional relationships, exchange application materials, and discuss prospective job or internship opportunities.   

Career Hub  

The Career Hub acts as the homepage of the Duke Career Center. Visit this website to learn about campus events, read career development-themed articles, find resources, schedule appointments with career advisers, and more. 

Career Influencer  

The Career Influencer Network recognizes faculty and staff across the Duke community who have meaningful career conversations and provide support, training, and resources to further career advising expertise.  

If someone supports you in this way, you can nominate them for recognition.  

Career Services  

We assist students with almost any aspect of their career journey, like brainstorming industries of interest, deciding what jobs they’d like to pursue after graduation, and reviewing application materials. 


Catalyst is a collection of curated tools and resources built to help sophomores activate their highest potential. Duke Catalyst is built with intentional career readiness in mind. We find that early career readiness support can lead to explore career success later. We want to help you build confidence and awareness to help you communicate what you bring to the table.  

Cover Letter   

The cover letter is one of your marketing documents (in addition to your resume) and acts as an opportunity to bring additional focus to your skills and experiences with a specific reader in mind. You should write a unique and well-researched letter for every opportunity you apply to.  

Curriculum Vitae  

A curriculum vitae (CV) is an all-encompassing tool used to showcase academic, research, and professional accomplishments. This document may resemble a resume but is more comprehensive and typically used when applying for positions within academic institutions or areas where field-specific knowledge and expertise are required.  

In industry, both in and outside the US, the term CV and resume may be used interchangeably. Identify your audience and understand which document they are requesting.  

Drop-In Career Advising   

No appointment is necessary! Bring quick questions or application documents (resumes, cover letters) to be reviewed by a career advisor or Career Ambassador Team member.  


FOCUS 2 is the Duke University Career Center’s online career and education planning system and is an interactive, self-guided activity designed to help you make decisions about your future career goals and education plans.  


Handshake is Duke’s career readiness platform to help you discover new career pathways, interact with employers, and find jobs and internships.  

You will also find and register for all Career Center events and career fairs, sign up for career advising appointments, and explore employers’ and other students’ profiles.  

Informational Interview  

In contrast to the conventional job interview, the information interview is not part of the candidate selection process. It is an opportunity to help with:  

  • Career readiness – do I want to enter this kind of career?  
  • Career flexibility – develop contacts in other places  
  • Hearing good ideas – bring ideas from other places to your work or new career pathways  


A professional opportunity that offers hands-on experience in a professional’s chosen field of study or career interest. 


A career platform created by international students that has global job opportunities, visa and immigration support, student resources, networking, mentorship, webinars and more. 


Networking is a process through which you thoughtfully create and sustain relationships to exchange information. The most successful networking, like any relationship, is built upon mutual benefit and can be done in any setting.  


Your resume is a marketing tool that concisely communicates the value of your experiences, skills, and accomplishments in one document. Resumes get you in the door for an interview.  

Transferrable Skills  

You have developed many skills from coursework, extracurricular activities, internships, jobs, and your life experiences. These skills are not limited to any academic discipline or knowledge area but are transferable to many occupations.   

 You may also hear these skills referred to as soft skills in the US. 

What’s Career Got To Do With It?  

This podcast was developed to provide a space for honest conversation and information that encourages our listeners to take the next steps in their career journey. Wherever you are in this process, we hope each episode will offer you affirmation, guidance, and maybe some laughs along the way. Hosted by four Career Center team members and esteemed guests.   

 Tune in on Apple Podcasts, Spotify Podcasts, or Amazon Music.