Would you just love to know exactly what field would best fit you for skills and interest you possess? Well, most likely we won’t be as lucky as the person who received this fortune!

Choosing the right career path can be challenging. Often one will take several twists and turns before finding their straight away path to an appealing career. But you may find it by exploring and engaging!

Here are a few examples of how you could explore a future career:

  • Conduct informational interviews
  • Join a club in your major
  • Study abroad
  • Volunteer
  • Do an internship
  • Job shadow
  • Get involved on campus and/or in community
  • Attend Career Fairs
  • Check out Vault, an online resource providing information about different careers
  • Meet with a career counselor to take a career assessment

I have actually done the majority of the items listed above. They do not all have to be in the field you believe you are going into, I have done a variety of positions from peer mentoring to teaching to business to shadowing in a clinic. Taking advantage of these different opportunities allowed me to find out what I enjoy doing, what I am successful in, and helped me develop skills that I have applied towards the career I am currently pursuing. I reassured my choice of Pre-Therapy track last year by joining the Pre-Therapy & Allied Health Club on campus, speaking with current Physical Therapy students, and conducting an informational interview last Fall.

The informational interview is something many students don’t tend to do. My previous supervisor came up with the idea and helped me find a P.T. to interview; I prepared my questions and followed through with the set meeting. With the support from my supervisor I asked for a chance to complete observational hours in the clinic, the P.T. directed me toward the correct contact and it was approved. Completing the hours helped me get a vision of how the career field was like. Researching definitely helps us find our niche!

I encourage you to begin exploring your future career by talking to employers, professors, family, friends, and departments and gather as much information as possible.  Also, visit our website for helpful links.

Posted by Marisol Cardoza, Career Services Assistant

Need a job, but no working experience?! No problem!

Every experience has its own uniqueness. Your resume is a very critical piece for you to land an interview; therefore it is important to market yourself in a way that will stand out to future employers.

Any experience can potentially persuade your future employers and therefore can be listed as a relevant experience. Students have a traditional view that if it’s not paid, then it’s not called a work-related experience. Rest assured that experience in leadership activities with an organization, volunteering at a hospital, or an internship abroad can all be listed under experience.

Here are some key factors to help you in perfecting that non-paid work experience resume:

1.      Leadership Activities: Leadership skills are very important to your future employers because it shows that you can delegate tasks, work in a team, and can communicate effectively with your group members.

2.      Volunteer Experience:  This shows that you are a committed and devoted person in making a difference in your community. Volunteer Experience is an excellent way to show that you have interpersonal skills and employers like to see your humanitarian side as well!

3.      Internships: Regardless if they are Unpaid or Paid internships, both are good investments in your time. Internships create an opportunity for you to gain analytic skills, management skills and real-life working experience.

4.      Student clubs/Organizations: Don’t underestimate the knowledge of working with student clubs and organizations because you’re working with a diverse group of people with different backgrounds, therefore you’ll learn to be appreciative of multicultural perspectives. By involving in these clubs/organizations, you’ll be able make relationship with friends, campus faculty and staff, hence developing your network of support.

5.      Study Abroad: Studying abroad can also enhance your resume because it expands your horizon and exposes you to different cultures. This demonstrates to future employers that you are willing to learn new things and they’ll give you credit for your adaptability.

Don’t be afraid to list the above experiences in your resume because they will assist you in defining who you are and your ability to market yourself with high self-confidence. Be positive, honest, and professional when writing your resume.

Make sure to be selective, use power verbs and industrial buzz words to sizzle up your resume. YOU are the last piece of the puzzle that will connect you to success.

If you want resume assistance, don’t hesitate to come by Career Services Monday-Thursday between 1pm-4pm for feedback.

Reference: Quintessential Careers

Posted by Phi Vu, Career Services Assistant

By Jen Busick, Career Services Resource Specialist

The job and internship search can be tough at times, especially in a slower economy. The process can feel like a full-time job with so many different areas of focus, including self awareness, what kind of job you want, resumes, cover letters, networking, applications, interviews and more! There are many tools and resources available and one of the most useful resources is LinkedIn, the leading “social networking” site for professionals. LinkedIn is different from Facebook or Twitter in that it is focused on networking yourself as a professional and you can use it to connect with other professionals. It is also easy to use and a great way to begin your job search! Let’s find out more…

Who Uses LinkedIn?

  • Over 60 million professionals
  • Roughly 1 new sign-up per second
  • Over 150 industries
  • Executives from every Fortune 500 firm
  • 2.1 million students
  • 37,000 college and university alumni groups

Why Use LinkedIn?

  • Build a professional online presence – if you fill out your profile 100% and someone tries to Google your name, usually your LinkedIn profile will be at the top of the list. This is a great way to build brand recognition and it’s reassuring to know that the first thing others see is your professional side.
  • Connect in a meaningful way with alumni and other “warm” contacts – there are over 63,000 OSU alums on LinkedIn! They are a great resource in finding a job and/or connecting you with someone else.
  • Research companies and career paths – LinkedIn allows you to research specific companies or find jobs using a keyword search. For example, if you are interested in working in the music industry, you can type the word “music” under keyword and find all the people on LinkedIn that have a job that involves music. You may just find that there are a variety of jobs in this field that you never even heard of before! This is a fantastic tool for those that are exploring career options!
  • Explore opportunities with organizations that don’t recruit on campus – there may be some companies or organizations that you would like to work for but do not recruit at OSU. LinkedIn allows you to find out about companies from all over the world!
  • Learn professional networking etiquette – LinkedIn provides a variety of opportunities to network and gives examples of how to set up a professional profile and how to network using LinkedIn.

How to Get Started?

Hopefully this information has convinced you to set up a LinkedIn profile or if you already have one, to become more active on the site. It is easy to create a profile and get connected to other professionals Check out http://learn.linkedin.com/students/step-1/ for a quick video about getting started and get LinkedIn today!

If you have any questions about using LinkedIn or other ways to use social media and networking to get a job, contact Career Services at 737-4085…we are happy to help!

Resource: http://www.linkedin.com

Posted by Bobbi Meyer, Career Services Graduate Assistant

Volunteering is a powerful act that benefits not only those being served, but those providing the service.  As you mold a career identity and prepare yourself for life after college, volunteering can play a key in role in your development.  This post will help you explore the world of volunteerism through a closer look at the benefits of volunteering, advice on choosing an appropriate opportunity, and suggestions for where to start.

The benefits of volunteering are many.  A sense of achievement and worth are but two valuable personal benefits.  From the lens of Career Services, there are also professional benefits of volunteering.  Participating in a volunteer experience:

  • assists you in learning and developing new skills.  Employers are looking to hire people who are adaptable and bring with them a myriad of transferable skills from past experiences.
  • allows you to explore career options.  Deciding on a job path that is right for you can be complicated.  Volunteering is a great way to try out many types of careers.
  • betters your interpersonal skills. Through volunteering, you’ll better understand people and their needs, you’ll learn how to work with and motivate others, and you may have the opportunity to learn how to deal with a difficult situation.
  • connects you with a network of people in your field. The people you meet while volunteering may become mentors, future references, or the link you need to find a future job.

Once you have made the decision to volunteer, it is important be intentional about the type of opportunity you seek.  You should first consider your goals, motivations, and values; think about how you would like the experience to better prepare you for your future ambitions.  You must also be realistic with yourself and the skills you currently have, seeking out an organization that matches your strengths and interests.  Next, you should decide on the amount of time you are able to give to the experience, including the number of hours each week and the duration of time you are hoping to spend (i.e. one month, one term, one year, etc.).  When thinking about time, also consider what days of the week work best and what times during those days.  Once you are ready to voice your interest to a volunteer coordinator, be honest about the type of experience you are hoping for, but also listen with an open mind.

Oregon State University houses an office to specifically aid students in finding the perfect volunteer opportunity.  The Community Service Center’s website offers links to volunteer opportunities, hosts events to recruit volunteers, and puts on special projects of their own.  There is also a Nonprofit & Volunteer Expo coming up on January 20th where a variety of nonprofits will be present and you can check out their volunteer opportunities. I encourage you to engage in a volunteer experience; you’ll soon find how powerful your work can be.

Posted by Silver Trujillo, Career Services Assistant

If you’re nervous about an upcoming interview a little practice would go a long way in ensuring it will be successful. There are many ways to practice for an interview; it could be as simple as standing in front of the mirror and interviewing yourself or doing a mock interview with another person. However, if you feel that you need someone to ask you questions or don’t have time to make it down to our office to meet with someone then another great option would be InterviewStream. InterviewStream is an online interactive interview process where you can tailor the practice interview to whatever way you see fit.

In order to start InterviewStream you are going to need a computer with a webcam, microphone, and speakers. If you do not have any of these you are more than welcome to use our interview room to conduct your mock interview. After setting it all up you will pick and choose what kind of interview you would like. There are general interview questions that are asked by a prerecorded person and there are also questions that are more specific to different fields to choose from. After picking the questions that you would like, you are ready to start the interview. The prerecorded interviewer will ask you the questions chosen and the webcam will start recording you as you answer them. After answering questions you can review the video of your responses and look for anything that you may need to improve on. In InterviewStream there are also helpful expert tips, tutorials, interview webinars, places to schedule interviews, links to helpful resources and much more.

This process is a perfect way to conduct an interview in a professional manner while at the same time being able to see yourself as you would answer the questions in your real interview. InterviewStream is a fun new interactive tool that will prepare you for an interview and put you above the competition. If you would like to learn more about InterviewStream feel free to contact Career Services for more information at 541-737-4085.