Life after AmeriCorps

Every year the Washington Service Corps provides Life After AmeriCorps materials to assist WSC AmeriCorps members with the transition from their service term into whatever comes next. In addition to the resources below, see CNCS’s AmeriCorps Alumni page

If you have questions about any of the materials on this page, please reach out to WSC Training Specialist Bryce Bateman at


Enrolling in College/University

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An overview of things to consider when exploring and applying to college programs.

Which College or University is right for you? 

It is important to understand what you are looking for in a school before applying. Some things to consider include: location, student body size & diversity, major/minor offerings, student-teacher ratio, on-campus groups and activities, financial assistance, internship & job placement assistance, and culture. Once you have a list of schools that satisfy your criteria, attend an in-person or virtual information session to learn more about the specific program you are interested in. 

Application materials

College applications may include personal statements, writing/studio samples, standardized test scores, and letters of recommendation. See UI’s application writing resources for guidance how to approach these documents. See UC Berkley’s FAQ on letters of recommendation for tips on how to maximize the quality of your recommendation letters.


Using your Segal Education Award

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An overview of how to access your Segal Education Award for schooling or loan payments.

*Education award amount in video is not current. Education award is $6,195 as of Oct. 2019.

Applying your Segal Education Award to education related expenses or loans. 

The award may be used to pay educational expenses at eligible post-secondary institutions, including many technical schools and G.I. Bill approved programs, or to repay qualified students loans. The dollar amount of the education award is equal to the maximum amount of the U.S. Department of Education Pell Grant and may change year to year ($6,195 as of October 2019). 

Visit the CNCS Education Award page for up-to-date information on awards, including tax implications, matching institutions, and how to apply the award to loans.

Login to your AmeriCorps portal at to check the status of your Segal Education Award, and apply it to educational expenses or loans.

Visit for information on federal student loans, and your options for repayment, forbearance, forgiveness, and cancellation.


Job search & interviewing

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Tips for searching, applying, and interviewing for an employment opportunity after AmeriCorps.

Refining your job search

Before beginning your job search, think about what kind of role and workplace is ideal for you. Consider the job location, type of work, corporate structure, pay range, and level of responsibility that you are most interested in. Refine your search to jobs that meet your criteria so you do not spend time applying to jobs that you do not want.

Job Search Resources

The CNCS Alumni Job Resources page is filled with information specific to AmeriCorps alumni looking for employment opportunities. There are also many online job boards where you may find paid opportunities after your service term. These include: Indeed, CareerBuilder, Idealist, USA Jobs (federal), Government Jobs (state & local), Monster, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, AG Careers, and Glassdoor. Some of these job boards allow you to setup an email alert, notifying you when a job is posted that meets your criteria. Organizations like Worksource and Robert Half can also help match you with an employer and provide resources to help in your search.

Job Interviews

Interviewing for a new job can be stressful. Minimize that stress by being well prepared, and well practiced in talking about yourself. See The Guardian’s article on the star technique for one way to structure stories about your past experiences. For more ideas, see’s articles on interview tips, and how to discuss your strengths and weaknesses.


Resume & cover letter writing

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Overview of resume and cover letter composition, content, and formatting.

Writing a resume

Think of a resume as the most concise description of your education and professional experience relevant to the job you are applying. 

Writing a cover letter

Think of your cover letter as an opportunity to elaborate on what the experiences listed on your resume mean to you, why you are applying to the job, and why you think you will be a good fit for the position.

See Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) for guidance when writing a resume and cover letter.

Elevator pitch & networking

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Overview of how to deliver a quality elevator pitch, and how to network with others to open new opportunities.

Talking about yourself and your experiences

An “elevator pitch” is a concise description of your current or previous professional role, and where you are headed next. Becoming well-practiced in talking about your experiences and goals concisely will heighten your ability to make connections and find opportunities. See this LinkedIn post for tips on structuring a pitch.


Think of the field that you are interested in. How would you meet people interested or experienced in that field? Some people network through groups that are specifically designed for networking (ie. young professionals & special interest meet-ups). Others network through volunteering, part-time work, and schooling related to their field of interest. However you network, be open to meeting new people and investing in those relationships. Networking rarely delivers immediate results, but can present otherwise inaccessible opportunities and benefits later on. 

Start by reading this Forbes article for networking tips, register with AmeriCorps Alums/Service Year Alliance, and becoming a member of groups you’re interested in on social media.

Staying involved with service

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Ideas on where to find volunteer opportunities after AmeriCorps.

Where to find new volunteer opportunities

There are a number of ways to find volunteer opportunities after your service term. First, register with AmeriCorps Alums/Service Year Alliance; there may be AmeriCorps alums volunteer events in your area. Check for volunteer opportunities with your local municipality and organizations that you’re interested in. For a broader view of volunteer opportunities, check and

Finding new ways to serve

There is a wide variety of job opportunities out there. See the CNCS news page for ideas about different ways to serve.