Here at Career Services, not only do we offer professional one-on-one career counseling, resume/cover letter critiques, mock interviews, and career assessments, but we also house a new well-renovated, cozy space that serves as the Career Resource Library. The new Resource Library has been a great addition to the lobby of Career Services and it offers a variety or career-related resources that specifically help with career development, career decision-making, and career exploration.

If you have  an interest in exploring the world via an internship abroad or volunteering in another country, we have information that helps you to explore many different types of career related work that you can do. Peace Corps is one of the programs that is supported by OSU Career Services and we have a Peace Corps Representative who specializes in helping students who have a passion in gaining an experience aboard. Peace Corps information can be found in our Resource Library along with information about Teach for America, the JET Programme, AmeriCorps, and the IE 3 Global Internship program. Come check it out!

We have many books and guides that allow you to do career exploration, occupational researching, and gain information about the job search process. There is a great series of books that is currently on our shelves published by VGM Career Horizon titled Great Jobs. These books are tailored specifically for an intended major, ranging from Art, Business, Engineering, Psychology, and everything in between.  These books focus on how you can:

  • Discover all your career options
  • Target your ideal career
  • Set a path to advance your career
  • Assess your strengths and interests
  • Explore unusual career paths
  • Set strategies for getting the job that you want.

If you are interested in careers that focus on environmental issues, we have Green Careers resources that can be beneficial for your success. Special career focuses such as Non-profit organization work, Social Services, and Entrepreneurship are all great resources that we offer for those that are interested in these career fields.

We have the Job Choices magazine series that allow you to focus on the job market of certain types of career fields. Its features tips on how to succeed in interviews , job search techniques, things that employers are looking for in an employee, resume and cover letters tips, along with the ins and outs of certain career pathways.

If you’re looking for a place where you can sit and relax on a comfy couch and read about your career of interest, our Career Resource Library is the right place for you!  Resources are updated  frequently, therefore you’ll get the latest news in the job market and information about your career of choice. These resources are super useful in terms of helping you gain confidence of obtaining the dream career that you’ve always wanted.

Posted by Phi Vu, Career Services Assistant

Working for the federal government can be a pretty sweet deal, as it is usually stable work and has attractive pay and benefits.  When most people hear “federal jobs” they probably think of the military, or “something in Washington D.C.” but the fact is that there are more opportunities available in a wider range of careers than you might expect, all across the United States and abroad.  Examples include jobs like museum curators and dental assistants, as well as more traditional analyst or administrative positions.  The trick is being able to GET one of these jobs.

The first step in federal job hunting is  This website is a huge repository of information on federal jobs, and you can search or browse postings by agency, location, or occupation.  For those who have not had much experience reading federal job postings, it can be intimidating, but do not despair, you can get through it!  Federal job postings are often much longer and more detailed than postings from the private sector – the federal government is such a huge employer that a rigid hiring structure helps ensure a smooth and fair process for all parties involved, even if seems a bit daunting on the applicant side!

Your job posting will contain all the information you need, but it can be hard to decode at first.  According to a high level 30 year veteran of government human resources management who wanted to remain anonymous, understanding a federal job posting is like diagramming a sentence in elementary school – you need to break it down to its base components and address each one of them in your application materials.  Postings generally have a job summary, duties, required qualifications, how to apply (and how that application is evaluated), as well as other logistical information like salary, location, and when you can apply.  Make sure you read the entire posting.  I cannot stress this enough, MAKE SURE YOU READ THE ENTIRE POSTING.  If you miss even 1 piece of required information in your application, it will be considered incomplete and you will not make the first cut.  Many postings talk about required KSA’s – Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities.  Be sure to fully explain each aspect of your experience and qualifications because the person screening your application on the other side may know nothing about the job you are applying for, and is evaluating applications based purely on a criteria sheet.  Don’t assume that a vague statement like “kept balance sheets” is going to fully communicate the nuanced complexities of developing and maintaining a budget for your organization, or that “ran cash register” will fully explain how you were the first point of contact and customer service for the majority of clientele at your previous position.  Be explicit when describing how your experience addresses the required KSA’s.  Most application materials are run through a computer to count how many keywords are used before a person even looks at them, so make sure you are using industry-related terms and the vocabulary found in the posting.

Federal job postings will likely have some specialized terminology that might be confusing at first too, especially when discussing pay grade or wage scale.  You might see something like “GS-09 required” and wonder what it means.  Your GS-XX is your level of education and experience – If you are just starting out, you can qualify for jobs at the GS-02 level with a high school diploma or as little as 3 months of general work experience. Starting at GS-05, jobs generally require 1 year of specialized experience to qualify. When you have a degree but no specialized experience in a career field, you are eligible for appointment at the GS-05 pay scale.  In general, to qualify for jobs at the GS-07 and higher grades, your background must have included experience closely related to the work to be performed in the job for which you are applying.  Education can often substitute for experience – You can usually qualify for GS-09 positions on the basis of a master’s degree, and for GS-11 positions on the basis of a doctorate.

Applying to federal jobs can take a long time, especially if you’re applying for a sensitive job with a security clearance or need an extensive background check.  The federal government generally tries to fill positions within about 45 days of a posting’s closing date, but it can be much longer than that.  Be prepared to wait for several months to learn whether you made the cut.  Keep a file with copies of all your application materials so that when you finally are contacted to move onto the next step, you can review your materials and feel confident moving forward.  Unless the posting specifically says otherwise, follow up on your application to indicate your continued interest in the position, and learn what their hiring timeline looks like and when you can reasonably expect to hear back from them.

If you’re not quite ready to begin actively searching for federal jobs, you can still do some prep work.  Look for volunteer & internship opportunities that will give you valuable hands-on experience in your field of interest.  Cultivate mentor relationships with your faculty and current employers to help you develop personally & professionally.  Schedule an appointment with a career counselor to discuss your career goals & interests and how to best use your time at OSU to accomplish them. Start building your resume now because it is easier to continually update it as you go than it is to write it from scratch. (Career Services has drop-in resume critiques M-Th from 1-4pm!)  The sooner you start preparing for your federal job search, the easier it will be!


  • Be explicit in your application materials
  • Use job-specific terms/keywords
  • Be patient & follow up
  • Start early!


Posted by Bryon Burleigh, Career Services Graduate Assistant

Here are 10 reasons why you should consider studying abroad….

1. Study abroad is the optimal way to learn a language. The language on a daily basis will surround you.

2. Study abroad provides the opportunity to travel. It allows you to venture and see what the country has to offer.

3. Study abroad allows you get to know another culture first-hand. You can truly understand different cultures, and show appreciation.

4. Study abroad will help you develop skills and give you experiences a classroom setting will never provide.

5. Study abroad affords you the opportunity to make friends around the world. There is no such thing as too much friends!

6. Study abroad helps you to learn about yourself.

7. Study abroad expands your worldview.

8. Study abroad gives you the opportunity to break out of your academic routine.

9. Study abroad enhances employment opportunities. This is always a plus!

10.Study abroad can enhance the value of your degree.

Oregon State University offers lots of opportunities to study abroad. But the thing is where to begin? First of all you should start by looking at the study abroad portion on the website. It offers places you can choose to study in, what requirements you need and how to start planning and saving money. We all know that studying in a different country isn’t cheap, so by looking early for scholarships and grants is a must, but not to worry, your abroad counselor will go over all of that with you on a one-on-one meeting.

Some things to remember, you must keep up your GPA maintain at least a 3.0 and above. Be organized and meet all due dates, start planning a year a head. Make connections with people who are from your desired country choice. Do research of the place you plan on studying at. Learn the language a little bit! It’s going to take some time to get everything planned but with good help and attitude it will happen. Explore the world while you learn, that’s what makes life so exciting!

Check out the following website for more information to get started:

Posted by Hulali Kaapana, Career Services Assistant