Posted by:  Tim Chen, OSU Student and Career Services Career Assistant

Are you interested in finding a job that gives you a chance to explore the world?  If so, consider looking into job opportunities with various cruise lines.  The top cruise lines in the United States are based in Miami, Florida.  With various routes used all year long, Cruise ship companies are always looking for people to employ.  There are many different job opportunities available on board each cruise ship depending on the skills and/or abilities you would like to bring with you.

I had a chance to attend an Alaskan Cruise last summer.  During their last trip, the cruise director of the Serenade of the Seas had talked about the employment process for working on a cruise ship.  Although not all companies follow this process, this particular company seeks interested applicants and will place them in a short seasonal contract (3 months), to try out the position.  If the employee enjoys their job, then they are generally offered a contract that lasts for about 8-10 months.

The advantage for working as a crew member on a cruise ship is the ability to travel to many attractive destinations.  Although most of the time is spent on the cruise ship, crew members often have a chance to visit and shop the various destinations.  Also, because the crew members live on the cruise ship, they don’t have to worry about paying rent for a place to live, and they also have access to free meals, free laundry, free medical insurance (required by maritime law), and a free shared room on the ship.  All in all, this can save the crew member expenses when working on board the ship.

The potential disadvantage is the amount of hours worked in a week.  Although each position has specific details, most crew members work roughly 12-14 hours 7 days a week.  Crew members are guaranteed breaks throughout the day to compensate for the long hours.  Another fact is that crew members generally share a bunked bed in the lower cabins of the ship, which do not contain any windows.  The living areas may not be appealing for those who are picky about where they sleep at night.  Finally, this position is NOT recommended for those with sea sickness.

All in all, working on a cruise line is definitely an experience!  It provides an opportunity to gain many skills such as work safety, first aid, and customer service skills.  Best of all, you have the ability to meet people from all over the world.  Cruise ship lines always hire crew members from various parts of the world, so there is a high level of diversity on board the ship.  I remember that my cruise director made the joke saying that if the cruise ship was a country recognized by the United Nations, it would be one of the most peaceful places in the world.  That statement reflects the amazing diversity experience people can gain from traveling and working with the crew members in a cruise ship.

Posted by:  Silvestre Trujillo, OSU Junior and Career Services Career Assistant

Writing a resume for a specific company is always tough. There is always the stress of trying to figure out what to put on your resume that will make you stand out. The thought of an employer going through your resume and not liking what is on there can be very nerve-racking. Companies in today’s businesses hire people to personally look through resumes and pick out the candidates that stand out. However, more and more businesses are moving to a key word screening process where technology is used to find the person for a particular job.

Keyword screening is a process that many people are not familiar with. When a resume is submitted, you don’t usually think of the screening that occurs through keywords, but it needs to be kept in the back of your mind. This is how it works:  a company has software that takes online resume submissions and (through fancy programming), it looks for specific words. These words can vary depending on the company or the position description of the job they’re trying to fill. This form of screening candidates is usually done by bigger companies but is being used by many smaller companies as well. When writing a resume or tailoring it to a specific company it is important to always keep in mind that the use of technology could be the way in which you are selected.

A way in which to write your resume so that you have a higher chance of being selected over other candidates is to look at the position description for the job you are applying to. A typical job description will look like:

Communication Skills: Strong verbal communication skills that will be applied to customer interaction, client relation and colleague interaction.

Computer Skills: Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office 2007, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop, iMovie, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, DivX, PowerDVD DX

After seeing the position description it is important to take the key skills addressed and add them to your resume—IF you do, in fact, have knowledge of those skills stated.  For example, you could simply add a computer skills section to your resume, and then include every skill you have related to computers and technology.  This would definitely help if some of those programs you state are in the keyword database.

When writing your resume for any job, always remember that screening by technology could be used. Make sure to go through the position description and try to use keywords to describe the type of work you did in a past job. The hiring process is always changing and it is important to keep up to date in order to have a an edge on the competition.

Posted by:  Silvestre Trujillo, OSU Junior and Career Services Career Assistant

Being nervous before a big interview is very common, and something we all experience. Though nerves are natural, it’s also important to at least appear to keep our composure during the interview process. By keeping our composure we leave a good impression with the interviewer and give ourselves a better chance of obtaining the job. The good news is that there are several ways in which you can better prepare yourself so that you are not nervous before an interview—or at least less nervous.

1.  Practice makes Perfect. Practicing is the most important way in which you can be prepared for an interview. Practicing reduces the amount of errors that you could make during an interview and it helps you think quicker. Going over potential questions that you could be asked reduces the fear of the unexpected. By practicing you also help reduce minor uncomfortable things that come up during interviews. One example of minor uncomfortable thing is sweating.

2.  Don’t Sweat It! Sweating is a little extra added pressure when being interviewed. Sometimes during an interview we think that we are sweating profusely when in reality it is not noticeable to other people. When we thing that we are sweating a lot we get even more nervous and that tends to affect the rest of the interview. A couple of tips to keep in mind if you have this problem is maybe keeping a handkerchief with you in order to calmly wipe off the sweat and arriving early to an interview. By arriving early to an interview you tend to not be sweating because you are trying to run to the interview and this keeps you calm and collected.

3.  Prepare, and Talk Slow. Preparation will come a long way and it will help relieve some of the nervousness that we feel during interviews. By preparing you knock out a couple of problems that may arise such as sweating. Sweating could lead to talking fast which occurs during many interviews. Though we may not realize how fast we are talking it happens after a little thing things that make you more nervous come up. All we think about is finishing the interview because we feel that we are not doing well. This shouldn’t be the case at all, just remember to keep calm and be sure to prepare and you will be just fine.

If you’re interested in shaking off some of those nerves, be sure to schedule a mock interview through Career Services.  Just call 541-737-4085 to set one up!

Posted by Rachel Erickson, OSU Senior and Career Services Career Assistant

There are many benefits to gaining a graduate degree.  I am sure almost everyone has seen the statistics about the average difference in income among high school graduates, Bachelor degree graduates, and Master degree graduates.  However, getting a graduate degree might not be best for everyone right away.  If you are considering going to graduate school after completing your undergraduate degree there are some important issues to consider.  One issue is whether employers in your field generally prefer new hires to have had work experience before getting their graduate degree.  Another issue is the time that it takes to complete tests and application materials.    If you are considering graduate school, talk with your academic advisor and consider making an appointment at Career Services to discuss these and some other important topics.

For information on graduate school including why to go to graduate school, the perspective of a professor on undergraduate school vs. graduate school, and accelerated programs go to  Also, if you are interested in what schools offer graduate degrees in your field of choice go to the same website and choose the “Find a Program” tab at the top of the page.

Posted by Tim Chen, OSU Student and Career Services Career Assistant

According to a national study by Grunwald Associates, 96% of Generation Y uses social media tools.  Currently, Generation Y outnumbers the Baby Boomer population.

With that said, more and more businesses are switching over to social networking as means of interacting with the growing youth population.  In an effort to draw attention from the youth while maintaining professionalism, LinkedIn was developed as a “professional” social network.

LinkedIn takes the traditional aspects of a job market and places it online for millions of users to interact.  The profile page looks similar to the “Info” page on a Facebook profile, but more business oriented.  For example, my LinkedIn profile immediately lists off my previous employers, the educational institutions I attended, the number of “connections” (friends) I have, and any websites that I choose to share (personal, company, etc…).  Outside, it provides additional details regarding my information (that I choose to share), and then it displays groups involved and my most recent activities.

To use LinkedIn for job hunting, there are several general tips that you may choose to follow, from the Guy Kawasaki Blog:

1)     Increase your visibility! This can be done by adding more connections and using keywords that best describe you.  Make sure you add connections outside of your current employer (such as high school friends, friends from groups/organizations) to draw more attention in search results.

2)     Improve search engine results. Aside from increasing your visibility, advertise your LinkedIn profile.  Attempt to create your public profile URL with your name in it so it’s easier for employers to exclusively find you.  Also, include your LinkedIn URL in your signatures if you ever post on blogs since it helps advertise yourself within the blog, and it increases the appearance of your name in search results.

3)     Perform “reverse,” company reference checks. Given correct information, LinkedIn allows for users to search for previous title holders of a position within a company.  This provides the user an opportunity to look at the resume of the interviewer and allows the user to see previous people who held the position.  This search comes in handy since it provides a better idea about the company and that specific department and/or position.

4)     Increase job search by skills! Rather than searching by people and/or employers, you can type in a skill and have a list of companies with positions seeking those specific skills.  For example, by searching “Java” under the Job search, many “Java Developer” positions show up.

5)     Research companies with LinkedIn! Rather than visiting the employer’s official website, LinkedIn has asked for companies to create a generic “profile” page for users to briefly review their information and testimonies from their employees.

Of course with all of those tips, there are a couple of things that you should be careful about.  These tips come from Dr. Rachna D. Jain’s “Five Things you should never do on a social network:”

1)     Do not leave negative feedback.  That comment and feedback will generally stick around for a while.

2)     Do not lie, and be honest.  Companies look for integrity in their employers and their potentials.

3)     Do not spam!  Spam is NOT a push marketing strategy.  Most people hate spam and would prefer not to hear about promotional material.

4)     Do not gossip!  It’s immature and makes you look very unprofessional and takes away any classy image you might have.

5)     Do not oversell yourself.  Arrogance is accepted to an extent.  If you say you can do something, companies will expect that you can follow through.

With that said, start making your LinkedIn profile today!  Be sure to join the Oregon State LinkedIn group after you signup.

Sources: BNET, Guy Kawasaki Blog