My name is Zack Sperow and I am going to graduate in the next few months. I am starting to get nervous about graduation – I have already had a 2 job offers but denied them both because they did not feel like the right fit, and currently I am working on 3 more job offers with some pretty awesome companies. My friends wonder how I am able to get so many interviews and offers with so many great employers. I always tell them that I act as my own sales representative to help me get recruited. Here are 4 tips to help you become your own sales rep while on your road to a job after graduation:

Zack Sperow, Career Assistant
Zack Sperow, Career Assistant


1. Lead Generation: Researching and finding companies is actually harder than you may think. Just like a salesperson might look for qualified leads to make a potential sale, you will need to see if the company fits the culture, job, location, and pay you are looking for.

2. It’s a Numbers Game: Much like Sales Reps need to meet with many prospective customers to make a sale; You will need to meet with many employers to find the right one. Look at your industry and know if it is in demand or not and then start making educated guesses. In example I apply to 10 jobs, get 3 interviews, and in the end receive one job offer. If I want 3 job offers then I will need to apply to 30 jobs. (It’s a lot of work!)

3. Sales is a Relationship: Sales people constantly need to be in contact with their customers and building relationships with potential customers. You will need to build relationships in your network to help you find the best jobs. Figure out how to connect to people on a professional level and get them to like you.

4. Close The Deal: Sometimes a sale won’t happen unless you ask the question. This is really a delicate dance when you are the job seeker. You do not want to offend the employer  but at the same time, you want to know if they are already thinking you are a good fit. When closing the deal remember not to be in a rush, if you have other opportunities try negotiating your pay. Be willing to walk away from the deal if the employer cannot reach your needs.


Wish you all the best,



As a student that isn’t very involved in their chosen field yet, it can be hard to come up with a list of companies to target when it comes time to search for a job for after graduation. You can do general Google searches, but that process is inefficient and can actually be surprisingly ineffective. Even Career Fairs will be very limited help if the field you’re going into doesn’t have a lot of prospects in this region of the US. Here are a few options for you to help you target new companies in your job search.

Be aware of geography. Maybe you’re someone graduating with a major that can work anywhere, but not all majors have that freedom. Do some research on what geographic areas have a high concentration of companies in your field (a well-known example is Silicon Valley) and concentrate your research there. It’s not impossible to find jobs in areas that don’t have a lot of companies relevant to you, but it is going to be harder.

Join a professional organization. Many professional organizations will have specific career resources available to you. You can discover companies in your field through the career resources they provide or even through who they’re connected to on LinkedIn – assuming the professional organization has a LinkedIn presence (they usually do).

LinkedIn is a useful tool in general. You can find jobs, follow companies and see related companies, and even enter cities that you’re interested in and it will pull up companies in the area. Don’t be afraid to message people on LinkedIn to start making connections – either by directly expressing your interest in working for them or using it as an informational interview experience.

Use the internet to your best advantage. Sites like Monster and Indeed are well known, but it might be advantageous to find less well-known sites that are set up differently. For example, Glassdoor is a site that’s more about researching companies rather than finding any job listing – what it’s like to work for that company, salaries, etc. AfterCollegeJobs is a site that specifically advertises entry-level and internship positions that are appropriate for a new graduate. There are undoubtedly many more tools you could use, you just have to find them!

Meet with a Career Consultant. Last, but certainly not least, career consultants are professionals in the field of helping you build your career! Meet with a Consultant at OSU’s Career Services office to get great tips on how to optimize your job search. Sign in to Beaver Careers to make an appointment!

posted by Deirdre Newton, Career Assistant

It’s easier than you think. And you can do all of these in the first two weeks of the term.

OSU Fall Image with Bicyclist and Yellow Tree
Welcome Back for Fall Term, Beavs!

1. Show up to all your classes. On time.

Showing up is the first step to success. It sounds simple, but sometimes getting past all of the basics of negotiating life every day can make it tricky to fully “show up”, and especially to be there on time and prepared. Showing up on time and fully engaging in the activity in front of you speaks volumes about your ability to manage a schedule, assess other people’s expectations and contribute meaningfully to growth and learning. All of those things are essential to growing successfully in your own career!

2. Talk to a professor.

Epic career development, like the epic responsibility of becoming a successful human, is not a project meant to be done in isolation. Translation: make friends and connect now. Professors are typically more experienced versions of people, who have not only had to build their own careers, but have also been instrumental in providing guidance and learning for countless others’ careers. Most hold office hours and are available for networking and learning from NOW, not just during the term before you graduate.

3. Check out clubs and activities on campus.

How will you know where you’re going unless you know where you’re coming from? Getting to know yourself is an unending process and is supported by getting involved and learning more about how you operate in different environments. And there are SO MANY options. Did you know that there is a club for people who like water? And one for zombie apocalypse survivalists? And a place that provides access to a TON of opportunities to volunteer?

4. Update your resume. Or start a new one!

Now is a fantastic time to put your professional YOU down on paper. Why? Because it’s waaaaaaay easier to stay updated in real time, rather than try to catch up after the fact. Do an awesome project in class? Write it down! Finish up that summer job? Write it down! Learn the basics of a new computer program? Write it down! If you want some help or advice on how to put a resume together, check in with our fantastic Career Assistants during drop-in resume/cover letter hours, which are Monday through Thursday, 1-4pm!

5. Schedule an appointment with a Career Consultant.

Planning a career can be overwhelming and confusing. Just choosing how to start is sometimes difficult! The good news is, you’ve already started. The better new is, you don’t have to do all of this alone! You have friends, family, classmates, professors, advisors, coaches and more who are available to help. If you’d like to talk to someone who isn’t in one of those categories, schedule an appointment with one of our Career Consultants, through your Beaver Careers account. They are friendly and knowledgeable coaches and counselors who can help you sort through all sorts of questions: What major do I want? How do I find a summer job? How do I work on my grades? Where can I get involved? What is the difference between a resume and CV? Who am I, anyway?? And more!

6. Build a LinkedIn account! And then clean up your Facebook account. And Twitter. And Instagram. And blog. And Vine. And . . .

This is, like all the other steps, an ongoing process. Social media, in some form, is here to stay. And there are more options for engagement every day! If you want to use social media for professional purposes, creating a LinkedIn account is a great way to start now. It’s free and easy to use, and provides a lot of help and information for getting started and building your profile. Once you’re on, you can connect with other professionals, search jobs and companies, participate in discussions, join groups and write and receive recommendations from others.

With other social media, just make sure you clean it up. Over half of hiring managers and employers out there are using social media searches as “informal background checks”. Be sure that what you put out there is what you want your future boss to see!


What else do you do to keep moving towards an epic career? Tips? Questions? Let us know!



There we all are, browsing through job postings, looking for that little nugget of gold that will match ME specifically, a place that I will be happy and valued. There it is, a job title that is exactly what I want to do, and so I click on it. It’s a startup company… great. Less pay, and more responsibility than in a bigger corporation, no guarantee of a job five years from now? Eek! Next.

But why shouldn’t we all consider those startup companies? Don’t they have a lot to offer? Startups offer Culture, Opportunity, and Responsibility; whereas many of the corporate companies that might approach you will offer higher pay, benefits, and stability. Haven’t you ever wanted to be part of something big though? Something new that you can make your own? What if your startup takes off and their product is huge? Keep in mind, Facebook is only 10 years old right now, and there are still market niches that need to be claimed, so are the benefits of working at a startup worth taking a small gamble, and accepting a little less pay?

Let’s talk about culture. Working at a startup you will probably be in a small group of individuals that were all hired for a different set of skills that they possess. This means that every conversation that takes place in the office will be something that might not have ever occurred before… a new mixture of different people that are thrown together will unknown results, and you have a chance to shape that culture too. In such a small environment you can make jokes, and enjoy the company of everybody in the office, not just sit in a cubicle or tackle projects with the other new hires in your corporate position. Go out and start traditions with your quirky new coworkers! Not to mention the laid back atmosphere. Want to wear jeans to work? No problem. Do you want to cut that down to shorts and sandals in the summer? Sure! As long as you are getting your work done, there’s no reason you should have to worry about it in your startup job.

But even better than the culture is your opportunities and versatility that is offered by startups. You might find yourself being pulled into projects that you never expected to end up in. You can really show your stuff and take on as much responsibility as you want— volunteer to run your companies blog— show how you have a talent for designing websites or brochures. Take ownership of all those skills and talents that you have accumulated over the years, and the next thing you know you will be renown in your little community for what you can do. And as soon as the company starts to grow, you might end up in charge of some people, or a whole department, all because you were able to demonstrate your skills, and received those opportunities. To be realistic, you can’t find any opportunities like that in a big corporate company.

Even if the startup doesn’t work out, you have just earned yourself 6 months, or maybe a year worth of good experience to put down on your resume, and that made you that much more desirable and valuable to the next company that takes a look at you. You are still young, so take some adventure with you in your life.

by Richard Thomas, Career Assistant

career trail one

College is the time to develop the  skills you need and Career Trail  is here to help!  Take advantage of the Career Trail Prep by Step program I am excited to be part of Career Services’ Initiative to reach out to OSU students both on and off campus by offering  a new way to engage students in career preparation and develop their skills! Student success is the focus!

Career Trail is our new online career development self-directed and interactive program to reach students and alumni 24 hours per day, making accessibility for all at their fingertips.  Career Trail engages faculty and staff by providing a resource including curriculum/assignments that can be used individually or in a classroom setting.  Career Trail engages users with diverse levels of experience.

One of the  aspects of the “Career Trail Prep by Step” program that I am excited about is how a student or alumni can quickly review the steps and determine where they are at in the career preparation process and find the step they are ready to engage in.  career trail two

  • The Career Preparation process begins with getting to Know Yourself, your strengths, values, interests, and personality.  What a great way to start!
  • Know the World of Work is the next step where you can learn about majors, what you can do with your major, and learn about jobs that excite you!
  • Next it is off to Develop Tools and Skills that will prepare you for a job.  Here you learn about building a stand-out resume and developing stellar interviewing skills.
  • Next you Learn How to Connect.  Connecting with others through your network, expanding your network through informational interviewing and using professional social media like LinkedIn can help you learn about opportunities and be ready to act on opportunities when they present.
  • You can even learn how to develop a professional website or blog under Now Keep Going!

career trail three

Link to Career Trail:

For more help or information visit us at Career Services|B008 Kerr Administration Building | 541-737-4085 |


Carolyn Killefer serves as an OSU Career Counselor with over 20 years of professional counseling experience in academic, community, private practice, and industry settings with a commitment to helping others reach their personal goals.

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

I wrote this after watching Larry Smith from the University of Waterloo give a TEDx TALK on “why you will fail to have a great career” , an interesting video to me  especially because I work in the Career Services department. I hope that you will take the time to watch the video that inspired me to write this blog post.

I am writing you today because…

  • I want you to reach your fullest potential.
  • I want you to find your true passions, those that go deeper beyond mere interests..
  • I want you to influence the world in positive ways and become a person whom you admire.

One of my favorite quotes is “I am Human. Nothing Human can be alien to me.” – Terence.  This quote means to me that if a human being dares to change the world, dares to be a doctor, dares to be Martin Luther King, or dares to be the person they admire, it means so can you, because you are human being also.

Reaching your fullest potential is hard and maintaining it is even harder. We all have looked at someone close to our heart and felt a sense of sadness because they are not being the great human being that they could be. I personally have watched a friend of mine who has a vast amount of potential constantly veer away from becoming the amazing woman she could become. I notice though that we are constantly assessing our friends and family trying to help them reach their fullest potential, but what are we doing for ourselves? It is time to practice what you preach. So here is a self test that is currently working well for me in my life to ensure I reach my fullest potential and self-actualization.

Do a self-assessment of the person you are and the person you are becoming. A good way to see if you are in line with becoming the better and greater you is to see if you are in line with your life purpose. If you don’t have a life purpose, take the time to write one now and do a check in with yourself to make certain you are choosing the right career, the right mate, and the right friends. If you realize you are not, then it is time to make changes. Below is my life purpose:

“My life purpose is to nurture my community and the people that surround me. I wish to become a person in leadership where I will empower, educate, and embrace new ways of thought that will lead to overall success in my life and that of my team’s. I want to make people feel worthy of my time and attention. When I leave the room I want to people to have many good things to say about me instead of bad.  I want to mentor my future kids to be successful, active members of society that do good for the world and their local communities. I want to be an example, leader, husband, father, family member, and mentor. By doing these things in my life it will help me feel fulfilled, thankful, happy, and healthy”.

By assessing what your life purpose is,  I hope that you choose a career path that supports your values and goals. Finding passion in the career you choose that is also in line with your life purpose is going to be difficult but finding this out earlier rather than later will save you lots of money, time, and energy. We all have interests and sometimes our parents tell us what our interests are. This can lead to us choosing a career path that we are not totally in love with. I met a woman recently who found out she hated accounting and now has a bachelors degree in a field she hates. She is now pursuing sales and that is her real passion. We may end up in a career that makes us feel miserable and at that time it may feel it is too late to make the switch. But it is never too late to discover your passion. Everyone in your life will respect you more if you do this for yourself.

Now hopefully you are running full force for your full potential. Your passion is driving you there. So now what are you going to do for humanity? When you leave a room, do the people you’ve affected have more good things to say about you than bad? I love to give back, it makes me feel so good. Part of that comes from my job. But what else are you going to do? What imprint on the world will you leave? How will what you do for others affect the generations that come after you? Doing something for the greater good  will make you feel full. Be grateful that you are here and you still have the opportunity to do something .This will also get you connected with bright, enthusiastic people who share the same passion as you.

In conclusion, be the person who you admire, be the person I would admire. Go for the career that will bring the greatest passion into your life. I cannot wait to read about all the great things you are doing!


What do you think about the video? What is your passion? Please comment and share!


Posted by Zack Sperow, Career Services Assistant and Human

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

CTRAIL_Cover-02With summer coming to an end and the academic year fast approaching you may find yourself trying to squeeze in a few last minute trips and moments of relaxation. Take the next few weeks to also think about some goals you have for this coming academic year, whether they are academic, professional or personal. Here are a few tips for starting the academic year off right!


  • If you don’t already have one, go out and get yourself a planner: writing out assignment due dates, work schedules, classes and midterm days and times can help you stay on track
  • Write out a list of all your commitments for this coming academic year including classes, clubs, organizations, work responsibilities.

Set Measurable Goals

  • Write out goals for yourself, both short term and long term, and make a list of the steps you can take to accomplish those goals. Set a timeline of when you want to have them completed.  Once you have completed one goal, set another.
  • Meet your Academic Advisor or visit a Career Counselor.
  • Make a point to meet with your Academic Advisor early in the term to plan out the academic year, talk about career goals and make sure you are on track with meeting your degree requirements.
  • If you find yourself struggling to choose a major, consider meeting with a Career Counselor; they can help you outline your strengths and interests as well as prompt you with questions to start thinking about your future.

Get Involved:

  • Depending on your level of commitments, consider getting involved with a new club or organization on campus, completing an internship or getting a part-time job.  All of these opportunities will build your resume and enhance your skill set.  You can check out internship and job opportunities on Beaver JobNet.

Posted by Ciara Lynn – Career Services Internship Coordinator