Planning on attending the Spring Career Fair? Have you thought about what you are going to wear? If you are still wondering what to wear, look no further for your sound advice from a wise wardrobe sage. It is actually VERY important that you take some time to think about what to wear at the Career Fair. Although we have been told since chilwhat not to weardhood that one’s character is more important than one’s appearance, this is not an excuse to wear your everyday outfit to job search. In this competitive world, you need every advantage you can get. So as the saying goes “dress for success”; especially if you are actively seeking a job or internship. At the Career Fair you might meet someone who actually wants to interview you. Dressing appropriately demonstrates a serious commitment to landing a job. It shows that you took the time to do your homework and look nice. It also demonstrates that you are a professional, well-put together person, who knows how to dress appropriately. Dressing appropriately is not something that an employer wants to teach you. They expect you to know that already.

At this point, you might be asking yourself “But how do I know what is appropriate to wear?” First I shall give you my top five list of what NOT to wear.

  1. Yoga Pants, Yoga Pants, Yoga Pants! Maybe if I say it three times, they will disappear. Ladies, I understand what a genius invention yoga pants are. I wear my yoga pants whenever I can justify it. But you know where I don’t wear them? Work. School. Giving a presentation. And JOB SEARCHING. Although they are the most comfy-fantastic leg wear on the planet, they are not appropriate for a professional situation. This rule also applies to tights, leggings, and any other form of legwear which is basically just a second layer of skin. Also, pairing such outfits with long shirts, still not professional.
  2. Jeans. Again one of the most amazing clothing items known to the human race. But unfortunately not considered professional. No matter how dark the wash.
  3. Tennis Shoes/ sneakers. Guys, this one is for you. Even if you get every other part of your outfit right, your brightly colored sneakers stick out from your black slacks like a bull in a china shop. You can easily find a cheap pair of nice dress shoes at your local Payless Shoe Store. Make the investment, you will not regret it.
  4. Athletic wear. I know I already thoroughly covered yoga pants and tennis shoes, but basically all forms of athletic wear should not be worn in a professional setting. Including (but not limited to): Sweatpants, athletic shorts, t-shirts, etc.
  5. Any item which includes the following words: Top, spaghetti, mini, low-cut, v-neck, etc. Part of being professional is knowing that no matter how cute something is, it isn’t always appropriate. Just ask your grandmother. Your shirts should have collars and your bottoms should at least hit your fingertips at the hemline.

Did I mention yoga pants? But in all seriousness, these rules will help you grow in your journey towards becoming a professional. Now, you might be wondering what you should wear. I am not going to spend a whole lot of time in this area because I am afraid that my suggestions will be misconstrued without proper examples. For example: If I say “skirts” you might interpret this as “mini-skirt”. In case you were wondering, that is not what I meant. So instead, I will leave you with this tip: Go to a professional place of business and look at what they are wearing, for example a bank. I know that there will be some silly bank teller that will break my rules, but you should be able to identify who is dressed correctly and who is not. The people who dress correctly will look competent, professional, and let’s face it, powerful. You might also look to a cool older sibling or friends who is in a professional position for advice. The best way to learn what to wear is to observe others who have experience.


What will you be wearing to Spring Career Fair?

How do you dress for success and stay true to your own style?

Let us know!


 posted by Rebecca Schaffeld, Career Services Graduate Assistant



1.       All your friends are doing it. (Or, they will, if you go! Think of how inspiring you’ll be . . .)

2.       There are, in fact, internships and other opportunities specifically available to first and second year students.  A common misconception is that you must be senior standing to benefit from a career fair. However, it is often the case that employers are looking to recruit first and second year students as a way of “getting in early” and starting a long-term and in-depth professional relationship with future employees. Check out the employers listed at the Career Fair web page, for more information on who is recruiting for what.

 3.       You can stop and get coffee at Dutch Bros. on the way. And check out the new Beaver Store!

 4.       It’s a chance to see how long you can wear those fancy shoes before you have to take a break. Often, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to dress professionally as a student. For Career Fair, it is a chance to dress in your best business casual or business formal attire and practice behaving as a professional—which is what you are! It can be fun, and definitely confidence boosting.

 5.       You can eavesdrop on professional conversations! You will be walking through and standing close to many people who are conversing with professionals and recruiters from various industries. As a first year student, take advantage of the time to “listen in” and learn some of the nuances of a networking conversation. You might learn a bit about what to expect for conversations in your future, and what you might want to think about or practice.

 6.       Practice your “30-second Infomercial” or “Elevator Pitch”. Beyond just listening in, this is a chance to try out an introduction of yourself, your interests and skills. Because you may not be seeking employment this early in the game, there is little pressure to perform in a specific way—which makes it a prime opportunity to take a risk, and just give it a try. Who knows? You may learn something! If you need some help prepping your “pitch”, check out the example “30-second Infomercial” at

 7.       See who’ll be there next time. Career fairs occur at OSU every term except during the summer. While there are different employers present every fair, there are also returning employers. If you can introduce yourself this time, or get an idea of who might be there in the Spring or Fall, you’ll have a jump start on preparing, terms in advance!

 8. Get familiar with the setting. It can be intimidating to walk into an unfamiliar place and attempt to put on a professional face. Use this time to just get comfortable with the environment—where to go, how to dress, how to drop off your backpack and what to bring. You can get an idea of the venue and the culture of the fair, so next time, you aren’t navigating any confusion in that way, but can focus just on getting to know the recruiters.


9. Find some motivation for those classes you’re taking. During coursework on campus, especially in the first two years or so, it can be difficult to see how what you’re learning is going to apply in the “real world” (Chemistry, Calculus, and Writing, oh my!). When you interact with employers in this setting, you may start to develop a more accurate and interesting picture of how your education now will be applicable in the future. The experience can also help you get a sense for what you might want to pay attention to and work on “between the lines” of the syllabi for classes. For example, how are your communication skills? Critical thinking and problem solving? What sort of transferable skills can you strengthen and learn, even while getting through that Health requirement?

 10. Get some candy, pens, bags, and other forms of SWAG—all while making connections and practicing your social and communication skills the old-fashioned way, which most employers still value more highly—without a screen separating you from them! Collecting goodies is not the point of any career fair. However, approaching a table to grab a cool water bottle may open up interactions between you and any number of professionals. You will be creating connections, taking risks and learning about yourself and the world, in actual face-to-face encounters, which are becoming more and more rare. And then, as a bonus, you get to go home with some gadgets and pens and candy, as a reminder of your experience and some encouragement tcareer fair photoo come back next time!

 Remember– University-wide and Engineering Career Fairs are next week, February 19th and 20th in the CH2M Hill Alumni Center, across from Reser Stadium! Stop by and say hi and have a fun and productive time!


~ Malia Arenth, Career Counselor

Ready to get inspired for your job, internship, or career search? Each month we will spotlight an OSU student that has inspired us when it comes to their career development. Check out their success stories—besides inspiration, they also show that academic major does not have to restrict your goals and that there are many ways to define success.

Want to nominate an OSU student or alum for the Student/Alumni Spotlight series? Or do you want to share your own success? Then please fill out this quick form and Career Services will contact the person nominated.brian_powell_linkedin_profile_pic

Name: Brian A. Powell

Major: Sociology (minor in Economics)

Year in school: Senior

Internship: Advertising Sales Representative, University Directories

1.   How did you find out about the internship?

I discovered University Directories during the Winter 2013 Career Fair at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center on campus. The funny thing is that I was not even sure I was going to attend that day, but I ended up going and when I came across the University Directories booth the managers were very interesting and convinced me to sign-up for an interview.

2.   What will you be doing in your position?

I cold called businesses face-to-face in my geographical territory in Corvallis and built relationships with business owners and marketing managers, learned about their advertising needs through asking good questions, presented ad spaces in the campus planner and directory I was selling, and sold them advertising space that fit their needs. I attended a week long Sales Foundations Academy training in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and worked about 50 hours per week for 13 weeks over the summer.

3.   What advice do you have for others interested in finding an internship?

Take advantage of as many opportunities as you can to connect with recruiters and find an internship. Go to every career fair, talk with your academic advisor, make an appointment with Career Services, schedule informational interviews with companies, and do research online. If you are not sure what field you want to go into, an internship is a good way to test the waters to see if the career is a fit for you or if you would rather do something else. Make sure to have a well prepared career portfolio/packet (resume, cover letter, reference letters, sample work) and go into an internship interview knowing what you want to get out of it.

4.   Did Career Services or anybody else assist you with your career development? If so, how?

Career Services was instrumental in my career development. The resume drop-ins were useful for having a trained reader proofread my resume as I made changes to it. I also scheduled a one-on-one consultation with one of the career advisors who assisted me with tailoring all of my documents and provided me with a good strategy. Last, Career Services hosted the Career Fair which landed me my internship. Without the Career Fair, I probably would not have had an internship this summer and would not have found out that I want to go into sales.

Thanks Brian  for being our Student /Alumni Spotlight! If you are interested in learning more about internships or the Career Fair,  there are many resources available to you on the OSU Career Services website.

Something I think not a lot of students realize is that you can definitely make student business cards, and, in fact, it’s highly recommended that you do. They’re a great option for Career Fairs, so you can leave your information with an employer even in situations where it might not be appropriate to leave your entire resume. Business cards are very professional and are a great resource for networking.

I recently personally made some new business cards so I wanted to share the process and some thibusines card photongs I noticed.

In terms of what information to include, the most important pieces are:

  • First and last name
  • University name
  • Major
  • Phone number
  • Professional email address

I personally also included my expected graduation date, and on the back a QR code that goes to my LinkedIn profile. Make sure you only do the latter if your profile is complete and you are going to make sure to keep your profile up to date and professional.

For the design, make sure your business card looks professional but don’t be afraid to use it to showcase your personality a little bit. A business card that’s too boring and doesn’t stand out at all is probably just as bad as one that’s unprofessional. Here are some options for ways to design your business card:

  • Online sites (,, etc.): Some sites have an option for free business cards, but make sure you pay the couple dollars to take off their ad on the back of the card! Leaving the sites ad on the back will detract from your professional image
  • OSU Printing and Mailing (for OSU branded cards)
  • Use MSWord to print your own using the templates options and special paper
  • Retailers (such as Staples, Office Max, etc.)

Make sure you triple-check everything to eliminate any mistakes before you place your order! You can even get a business card holder if you want, or just use whatever method you want to keep your cards nice. Now you’re ready to start networking!

posted by Deirdre Newton, Career Assistant


How to prepare for a networking event:

As an introvert myself, I find that preparing is the key to being successful at these types of events. The initial idea of going to a crowded place, where the goal is to have some conversations with strangers, does not sound like my cup of tea. In my younger years, I had many similar experiences that were not beneficial for me and only resulted in a few very awkward conversations and free pens.  However, it is a valuable use of time if one is prepared. Bintroverty researching companies and people that are coming, preparing casual conversation topics, and preparing questions, you can have a successful experience at the event. Introverts feel most comfortable in situations in which they feel knowledgeable about the topic of conversation. If you have questions prepared and know a little about the companies and people you want to talk to you, it is going to make the conversations flow a lot easier. You will be empowered to initiate a conversation and feel knowledgeable enough to contribute to it. Introverts often feel that if they are going to say something, it should be something valuable. Having a basis of knowledge about the company and what they are working on will provide you with valuable things to say. However, don’t hesitate to talk about topics that you think the employer probably already knows about. Just because they know it, doesn’t mean that they don’t want to know that you are aware of it as well. The goal is to demonstrate your knowledge to them.

Making connections:

Now comes the hard part. Taking a deep breath and actually going to the event. Put it in your calendar and give yourself a deadline for researching companies and people that will be there, so that you will have no excuse not to go. It is too easy to “forget” to prepare for it. Don’t take the easy way out. Hold yourself accountable and make sure you get there. You could even ask a friend to go with you.

Once you walk in the door and wander around for a bit, you might feel the urge to quietly slink out the door, to breath in the sweet relief of solitude. Don’t give in! Do what you came to do and talk to some people. You might want to make a goal ahead of time. For example: I will have at least two successful conversations before I go.

Unfortunately, it might take you more than two conversations to meet this goal. Humans are unpredictable creatures and as much as you would like your conversations to go as you had planned, they don’t always. Some people might be more willing to chat with you than others. Sometimes certain people are very popular and you might have a hard time finding an opportunity to chat with them. You might encounter a fellow introvert who might not always give you enough information to initiate further conversation. But be sure and use the questions and knowledge you prepared. Even introverts can have great conversations about a topic that they are knowledgeable about, but they might need prodding more than others. If an employer has a very popular table, you might want to wait and come back later. If that is not an option for you, try to make yourself heard and visible.

How do you start a conversation?

For most extraverts, this is a very natural process. But introverts can have a difficult time initiating conversations. You of course are prepared with your lists of questions and interests, but social norms dictate that you don’t jump right into these. Here are some simple steps for making conversations:

  1. Say “hello”, introduce yourself, and smile. I also would recommend adding something along the lines of “how is it going?” Sometimes people at professional events don’t get asked questions about themselves and it really makes them feel like you care about them and not just a potential job.
  2. Identify a topic of conversation that can apply to most people. For example: Think about what day of the week it is. If it is on Monday, you could say something along the lines of “I can’t believe it is Monday already, the weekends just fly by.” If nothing else, this shows that you are capable of small talk.
  3. Remember that body language is also important, so try to have upright, confident posture. Also, a common trait among introverts is to look around as you speak. Try to limit this. It can appear as if you are disinterested in the conversation. I often role my eyes while I am thinking about what I am saying, but this can come off as nonchalance.

Once you have successfully had some chit chat, you can move into your comfort zone- the reason you are talking to them. Try to confidently articulate the conversation topics you researched ahead of time. When you have exhausted your conversation capabilities, end with attaining some contact information from the person you talked to. “Do you have a business card in case I think of any more questions?”  I recommend bringing your own business card or resume to hand out as well.

Congratulations! You did it! That wasn’t so bad, right? Once you have met your conversation goal for the event, you may swiftly make an exit. However, you are not done. Don’t let the connections you made go to waste. File the business cards you received with notes to remind you about who they were. For example: Jo Shmoe with Apple Computers- Brown hair, green polka-dot tie, and we talked about internships in HR. Shortly after the event, send Jo Shmoe an e-mail thanking him for chatting with you and inviting him to talk again in the future. Be sure and remind him who you were with some specifics about the conversation you had. Ask Jo Shmoe if he would mind connecting with you on LinkedIn (if you don’t have a LinkedIn, get one). Once Jo Shmoe e-mails you back and says “of course”, you are assured of the beginning of a new relationship that may be useful in the future. But, don’t let your relationship die! Stay in touch and in the near future invite him to coffee for an informational interview.

These steps will ensure that your time at the event was not wasted. You now have contacts that might be able to help you get a job someday. By showing interest in them, you are demonstrating your good qualities. There is no need to let intimidating situations deter you from having the career that you want. Everyone has unique qualities and passions to contribute, but you have to make sure that others are aware of those qualities. Networking is a key component of the world of work, so start building those skills now.


Posted by Rebecca Schaffeld, Career Services Graduate Assistant

Ready to get inspired for your job, internship, or career search? Each month we will spotlight an OSU student that has inspired us when it comes to their career development. Check out their success stories—besides inspiration, they also show that academic major does not have to restrict your goals and that there are many ways to define success.

Want to nominate an OSU student or alum for the Student/Alum Spotlight series? Or do you want to share your own success? Then please fill out this quick form and Career Services will contact the person nominated.

Name: Nick Reed

Nick Reed

Major: Business Administration (options in Management and International Business)

Year you graduated: 2010

Company: Adaugeo Healthcare Solutions

1.      How did you find out about your job?

I attended the fall career fair as an alumnus in November 2012. I spent nearly the entire day interacting with potential employers, including the company that I now work for.

2.      What do you do in your position?

I manage our company’s medical laboratory operations in central Oregon, work on projects on the clinical side of the company, as well as train in clinic management.

3.      What advice do you have for others interested in finding a job?

First I would encourage persistence and patience. In the span of 6 months I went from being the one applying for jobs, to the person responsible for hiring. If there is one thing that both helped me get into my current position and continues to help me find qualified candidates for positions that I have open, it is the persistence of the candidate. It shows that you want the position you have applied for. It also keeps your name in the forefront of the hiring managers’ mind, versus being buried by busy days. Second is requiring professionalism from yourself. This encompasses many different areas of your life and job search including, how you dress, what your social media reflects, how you speak to potential employers, your resume, cover letter, and letters of recommendations. Finally be open to new ideas of what your career could look like. You may find difficulty getting your dream job directly out of school, so be prepared and open to look for jobs that can help you build your resume and work towards your dream job.

4.      Did Career Services or anybody else assist you with your career development? If so, how?

I received assistance from career services. I had help with career guidance, resume editing and my job search.

Thanks Nick  for being our Student/Alum Spotlight! If you are interested in learning more about Career Fair,  there are many resources available to you on the OSU Career Services website.  Here is also a great link to help you prepare for the fair.

Regardless of what your major is or if you graduated with honors, there are specific skills all employers are looking for in their new hires.  According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) 2013 Job Outlook report, although degrees and majors in demand may vary from year to year, the key skills and qualities that employers seek in their new college hires remains nearly identical year after year.


Ability to:

1.     Verbally Communicate

In today’s world of text messages and social media, the ability to effectively communicate verbally is in decline, but is still in high demand.  Start improving this skill by putting the smartphone away and engaging in conversations.

 2.     Make Decisions and Solve Problems

With the increase in standardized testing, there has been a decrease in the teaching of critical thinking, but this is still a skill employers are expecting of their employees.  Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and risk being wrong in order to solve problems.

3.     Obtain and Process Information

Listening and understanding is an important part of success in the workplace.  Employers are looking for someone who is able to understand directions presented to them in verbal and written methods, but don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions if you are unclear of the expectations.

4.     Plan, Organize, and Prioritize Work

Employers are looking for people who are able to effectively manage their time in the office.  Practice developing this skill by utilizing organizing software or apps and making and completing “to do” lists.

5.     Analyze Quantitative Data

Statistical analysis is what drives decision making within companies.  Employees don’t need to be statisticians to be effective in their jobs, but they must be able to disseminate quantitative information presented to them to assist with problem solving in the workplace.

6.     Understand Technical Knowledge

Every job will have specific hardware and software specific to that location and it is expected of employees to constantly learn and adapt to the new technical information presented.

7.     Be Proficient with Computer Software

Just like the technical knowledge requirements, employees are expected to be proficient with the most common computer software applications (Microsoft Office for example) and be able to learn and adapt to new software specific to the company.

8.     Create and Edit Written Reports

Effective professional written communication is vital in the office.  Remember that all written forms of communication should be professionally composed, including text messages and emails.

 9.     Sell and Influence Others

In 1936, Dale Carnegie wrote “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.  Over 70 years later, this is still one of the most popular references for business communication skills.


Think about which of these skills you do well and a personal example to support your claim.  For the areas you need to improve, think about how you can start improving these skills and implement a plan to gain these skills.  Keeping your nose in the books and graduating with a 4.0 GPA won’t cut it when you get out into the workplace.

Posted by Jennifer Edwards, Career Services Career Advisor

The Winter 2013 Career Fairs are almost here (February 27th, University Wide and February 28th, Engineering)! Take advantage of this last weekend to put the finishing touches on your resume and 30-second infomercial. If you’re still debating whether you want to go or not, here are a few great reasons to stop on by.

  • If you’re a senior and still need to find a post-graduation job, what better way is there to find one than through the Career Fair? The employers come to you, and often they’ll also conduct interviews here on campus, no need for you to go anywhere. The Career Fair offers a large potential for reward with little cost of time or energy.
  • If you’re looking for a summer job, consider stopping by to chat with employers about internships. Internships are a great way to gain real-world experience in your field of study and are often either paid or offer a stipend. Participation in an internship might even help you decide whether a certain career path is for you or not, and could lead to a future job if the company likes you enough to hire you after you graduate.
  • Practice makes perfect! If you’re a freshman/sophomore and don’t feel ready for post-graduation life, use the Career Fair to practice meeting employers and networking. That way when it comes down to actually getting in the game, you’ll have a lot more confidence and be more prepared for what to expect.
  • If none of those reasons convinced you, then hopefully I can appeal to the most basic sensibilities of a typical college student – free stuff. Companies donate awesome prizes to win, and they’ll often also bring free goodies which you can pick up at their table when you meet them.

Don’t be intimidated by the prospect of meeting employers, they’re nice people and some of them are even OSU alumni! Just put your best foot forward and have confidence in yourself, and I’m sure the Career Fair will be a great experience for you.

P.S. Don’t know what a 30-second infomercial is? Check out our helpful guide to creating one and other ways to prepare for the fair.


Posted by Deirdre Newton, Career Services Assistant

With umbrellas showing up in movies, song titles, photographs, commercials and pretty much everywhere on rainy days (except in Oregon), it seems appropriate that there is a National Umbrella Day. Each year on February 10th pull out your umbrella to celebrate. While we all may own an umbrella, most know little about them, so here are some fun facts to help you brush up on your umbrella trivia. Around the world umbrellas are also known as a parasol, brolly, parapluie, rainshade, sunshade, gamp, bumpershoos and umbrolly. Also universal, their main objective is to provide protection from rain and shade. Umbrellas began to appear around the 11th Century B.C. in sculptures in the Middle East and China, looking pretty much the same as they do today.

Even though many Oregonians often opt for a raincoat, umbrellas are one of the most common accessories worldwide. With the Career Fairs and interviews coming up, select an umbrella! To ensure you make the best impression with employers arrive crisp and dry, by adding an umbrella on top of your raincoat. Just like your professional attire and briefcase, add to your ensemble a professional umbrella. Of course always dress yourself for the company you are applying to, so if it is an Oregon based outdoor wear company don’t bring along your umbrella; however, if it is a more corporate location keep dry with a nice looking umbrella. Here are a couple tips to selecting the perfect umbrella:

  • Canopy – Make sure it is well made and watertight, or else there is no point.
  • Frame – Check out the quality of the frame to make sure it will not collapse or flip out on you when a gust of wind comes up.
  • Color – While the bright pattered umbrellas may draw your eye, for a professional umbrella find one with neutral colors.
  • Type – Figure out which type of umbrella you like and which will suits you best, be it a traditional, automatic, compact, bubble, or high fashion umbrella.


Posted by Sami Kerzel, Career Services Assistant