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

Now that you have finally attended the Spring Career Fair, it’s time for you to prepare for those interviews.  Engineering interviews are very similar to a standard interview with employers.  However, there are a couple of exceptions.  Here are a few tips that will help prepare you for an Engineering Interview:

*First, come into the interview with some kind of background knowledge of the company and/or organization.

*Second, unless otherwise noted, make an attempt to dress to impress.  Attempting to dress in professional attire will not only draw attention, but it will leave a lasting positive impression you.

*Third, if you’re applying for a position with desired engineering qualifications, expect for the employer to either question your skills or question your depth.

Here is a personal example:  When I applied for a high school contracting internship with Intel, my position required a live identification examination on the parts of a server board.

*Finally, follow the general steps for preparing for a typical job interview.  This includes knowing what to say and what not to say, addressing the difficult “weakness” interview question, and developing a portfolio to share with employers on the skills gained from your engineering degree.

As usual, Career Services does offer Mock Interview sessions.  If you’re interested, please stop by our office or call us at 541-737-4085 to schedule an appointment today.

If you cannot make it in to practice an interview, Beaver Job Net has a special link to an Oregon State University exclusive access to Interview Stream.  It also allows you to experience a “mock interview” and provides an option of receiving feedback from their service.  Interview Stream is special because you can customize your mock interview towards questions specifically related to your major and/or desired career field.

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

The transition from college to a career allows us to expand.  Expand our skill sets, our knowledge, and for many of us, our closet.  The clothes many of us wear to classes do not fit the dress code at many of our future jobs.  When it comes time to interview for positions, or attend Career Fairs, it is important to make a good first impression.  Like it or not, much of the first impression comes from appearance.  Even if the position you are applying for is with an organization that dresses quite casually, it is necessary to dress up for your interview or networking opportunity if you want to make a good impression.  Investing in a conservative, solid colored suit is a wise decision.  Your appearance is more than just what you are wearing however.  Making sure your nails are trimmed and your hair is neatly groomed is also important.  For further information on appropriate interview attire for both men and women go to THIS WEBSITE.   You can also schedule a MOCK Interview with a counselor at Career Services and wear your interview attire to get a professional’s opinion.

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

Let’s face it, finding a job can be a full time job.  If you are anything like me, the process can seem overwhelming.  While the process will never be exactly the same for everyone, it is important to break down the steps you can take so your job search ends successfully.  One of the best things you can do is take a little time out every day to work on one job search task.  This will keep that overwhelming feeling from getting any worse.

Step One: Get to Know Yourself

Consider the experiences you have had that have been enjoyable for you.  Also, consider your preferences in terms of environment, location, and working as a team member or independently.  Group your 4 major strengths into categories you can specifically identify and give examples of.

Career Services offers the MBTI, Strong, and Discover career assessments that might help you identify some of the things you find most enjoyable.

Step Two: Know Where You Want to Work

Consider the classes you have enjoyed, the information you learned, and what industries they apply to.  Look at your past work history, internships, and volunteer experience—what did you enjoy doing most?  Research the possibilities that exist for recent college graduates in those industries.   Do an informational interview with someone in a career you think you would enjoy.  Ask the person specifics about their job, including what they like most and what they do not like.  Research different industries and companies you are interested in.

Step Three: Get Ready for the Search

Start preparing your resumes, personal statements, cover letters, portfolios and your 30 second informational speech.  I have found it most helpful to create one long resume, and then create a one page resume where I can copy and paste relevant information.  This way you can tailor the resume you send for each position.  Compile a list of networks you can use in your job search.  Make a professional voice message on your phone and make sure you have a professional email address.  Also, make sure you have appropriate attire for interviewing.

Step Four: Start Searching

Make a schedule of your search activities.  Search all resources available.  Consider making a list or excel sheet of positions you qualify for, when you sent your resume or application, and when you plan on following up with the employer.  Consider targeting specific employers and occupations you are interested in, even if they don’t have jobs posted online.  Personalized letters get more attention from employers and show your initiative.

Good luck on your job search and do not forget to use Career Services when you need help!

Interested in learning about more about a fabulous professional development opportunity?  Interested in finding a rewarding and challenging experience when you graduate from OSU?  Interested in giving back to students and the community?  Interested in learning all this from the comfort of your own home?  You’re in luck! 

Teach for America is hosting several online events this spring to learn more about different aspects of their program. These are very low-key, and there’s no commitment, but these are great opportunities to become more aware of a way to work towards ending educational inequity in our country. If you’re interested in any of the events below, simply click on the link to RSVP, and you’ll get information to call into a conference line number when the event goes “live.” Please feel free to contact  Matea Bozja ( with any questions.


» Introduction to Teach For America: Learn about our mission and approach to closing the achievement gap and hear a firsthand account of what it’s like to be a corps member. 8 pm EST



» Pre-Med Webinar Featuring Medical School Deans: Hear a med school dean talk about the value of the Teach For America experience and how it will help you in your medical career. 4 pm EST



» Teach For America’s Graduate School Partnerships: You don’t have to choose between Teach For America and grad school! Learn about our 200+ deferral partnerships and hear alumni testimonials. 9 pm EST


Posted by Kelsey Johnson, OSU Senior and Career Services Career Assistant

sunny-beach-palmI know, I know, why are we entering a blog post about Career Services the week before spring break?! I mean, most of us, regardless of our lingering finals, have already checked out, and are dreaming of sun and sandy beaches.  Most of us are NOT thinking about jobs after graduation.  I mean, why would we? Graduation is a whole 12 weeks from now and based on our experience with procrastination, we should easily be able to land a job in 2 to 3 weeks, right?!

Unfortunately, most organizations have either hired already, or will hire, well before June 11th.  So this is just a friendly reminder to all those seniors, super-seniors and super-super-seniors, to start the job/internship search early. Obviously, the assumption here is that many of us know exactly what we want to do and where we want to go; but I understand this isn’t the case for many of us, myself included.  For all you seniors who may need some help with career direction or planning, it’s a good idea to come down to Career Services and schedule yourself a counseling appointment. Not only are these appointments free for students, but they are extremely helpful in reducing anxiety and focusing your career goals.  Just be forewarned that appointments fill up fast…so if you call a couple weeks before graduation, you might be left high and dry. (Of course, Career Services is open in the summer too, though.)

One other thing to start looking into as soon as you return from break is the Career Fair coming up on the 21st of April.  Many employers will be attending and looking to fill positions with qualified OSU candidates.  But again, the Fair is in week 4.  Preparing in advance is key!

Now don’t get all restless, just because I brought up graduation. Definitely have a blast over break and forget thinking about anything serious.  But if you’re like me and need to figure out plans for summer or beyond, make sure that you don’t wait until June 10th to start preparing!

Posted by Anne Lapour, Career Counselor

See?  It works!
See? It works!

If you’ve ever attended a Career Services workshop on networking, job searching, or career fair success, you’ve probably heard us talk about your “elevator pitch”, or your “30-second infomercial”.  And you may have wondered…Is this something I really need to PRACTICE?  I know how to talk about myself!

Sure, of course you know about yourself.  But sometimes it becomes hard to talk about yourself purposefully.  You’ve only got one chance (and about a minute) to make a first impression during the job search, so you want to make sure you’re selecting your most marketable qualities…rather than wasting 10 of those seconds talking about your dog Fido.  (Even if Fido is super-cute.)  So…get to work crafting that pitch!  And click the link below for a great summary article on what you should include:

What is An Elevator Pitch and Why is It Important?

Posted by Anne Lapour, Career Counselor

booksAre you a liberal arts major?  Do you take joy in the beauty of a classic novel, love a good historical drama, or perk up at the thought of your Abnormal Psychology class?  If so, you’ve probably heard the following question at least once (if not 100) times…

So what are you going to do with a major in ______? (Insert major)

Now, if you’re anything like many of liberal arts students who make their way to Career Services, you haven’t quite figured out the answer to that question.  (And that’s entirely okay, by the way.)  There are very legit reasons for this.  Perhaps you’re multitalented and can therefore envision yourself in multiple work settings.  Perhaps you’re simply not sure what the options are for someone with your degree.  Perhaps you’ve been told that all you can do with an English major is teach.  Well, I have good news…

A Liberal Arts major is one of the most flexible, adaptable, well-rounded degrees you can earn.

It’s true.  Liberal Arts majors are masters of communication, analytical reasoning, identifying patterns and themes, brainstorming ideas, and solving interpersonal problems.  These are the skills you gain from completing a group presentation on Shakespearean sonnets.  And they also just happen to be useful in the world of business.

Business expert (and former English major) Susan de la Vergne states:  “[Businesses] need leaders who understand where people ‘are coming from,’ who can communicate vision and direction, who demonstrate adaptability and political awareness.  They want leaders who are willing to slog through difficulty and navigate ethical complexity.”  And she says businesses should look no further than a Humanities Department, or a College of Liberal Arts.

So, you might be thinking “Great, perhaps I am employable…now how do I convince others?”  Here’s the thing:  YOU need to believe it, in order to make EMPLOYERS believe it. That’s right—you need to perceive and tout your liberal arts degree for everything it is (challenging, useful, transferable), instead of doubting it for everything it’s not (engineering). 

Are you ready to branch out?  To look beyond the classroom for ways to use those transferable skills you’ve honed in your European History classes?  Here’s how you can a) convince yourself of all those transferable skills, and then b) articulate those skills to potential employers:

1. Visit Career Services: We’ll help you revise and craft your resumes and cover letters to better communicate the ways you can contribute to today’s world of business (or non-profit organizations).  Make an appointment with a career counselor by calling 541-737-0529.

2. Gain Experience:
If you can build your repertoire of work and/or professional experiences (volunteer opportunities, internships, etc), you’ll begin to see first-hand how you might utilize your liberal arts degree in a work environment.

3.  Check out the resources: The following blogs have excellent information for liberal arts students…
The Liberal Arts Advantage—For Business (For example, see this post on crafting your “elevator pitch” to a potential employer.)
For English Majors

4.  Know Yourself: Spend some time getting to know your unique strengths.  You never know when the professional opportunity you’ve been seeking will arise.  Be ready.

Posted by Kelsey Johnson and Fernando Ramirez, Career Services Career Assistants

networking_professionalsAs many of you might know the Winter Career Fairs are coming up next Tuesday and Wednesday. Once you know what employers are coming to the fairs, how should you prepare to land the perfect job or internship?

Preparation is one of the most important things you can do to stand out to potential employers.  Researching the companies you are most interested in can help you convey your interest in the employer, as well as increase your confidence. Instead of feeling intimidated by hundreds of employers, you can feel confident approaching them. Something one might do to gain information is go to the employers website and browse around.  Questions to consider while online might be: What are the qualifications for applicants? What is something new and exciting about this company? What is their mission statement, and what are their goals? What kinds of projects are they involved in? Are there any new products? Where is their main office?  Utilizing their website is an easy and efficient way to acquire background knowledge of the organization.  This way when you attend the Career Fair, you aren’t asking employers, “So… what do you do?” Employers actually tell us that this is one of the least impressive and unflattering questions they get.

Another way to ease your nerves while approaching employers is to prepare a 30-second self-advertisement in advance. This 30-second advertisement should not only serve as a way to introduce yourself to the employer, but also illustrate why you would be a good fit for the position. Your 30-second ad should contain your name, major, year in school, opportunities you are seeking, relevant experience, highlight of skills and strength, and some knowledge of the company.  By knowing and practicing this information in advance, you can feel comfortable approaching employers and in turn they will appreciate your preparation. So, remember if you’re hoping to catch a recruiter’s attention at the Career Fair or any other occasion, be prepared. Also, don’t forget to have some fun with it!  Believe us, it pays off! For additional information on preparing for the Career Fair go to the link that follows and click on Career Fair Success Strategies.

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

TypingA couple of days ago, a friend of mine approached me about how he needed to write up a resume for a position the night before it was due.  I mentioned to him that the general resume writing process takes time since it requires a lot of self reflection, but we spent the time to sit down and tough it out anyway.

After spending roughly an hour going through a quick draft, I decided that it is possible to create an initial resume in a short timeframe.  I personally highly discourage students go through this process for any job application, but I encourage students use this process as a way to get a generic resume started.  Most students seem to have trouble figuring out what to write in a resume.  It’s definitely easier once a draft has been made.

And with the Career Fair coming up, many students are struggling to figure out how to create a decent looking resume.  I have decided to try and compile a simple must-have list that will give you a jump start in marketing your skills to employers.

The key things a student should include in their quickly written resume:

1)    Identification: the most important information on a resume, the applicant’s contact information.  Students should include their name (in a large font size such as 20), mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address (make sure it’s professional, I encourage students to put their ONID e-mail address on there).  The location of the job does affect the addresses you need.  If the job is on campus or within the vicinity, use the current address.  If the job is back home or out of town, include both the current and permanent address.  Make sure the current and permanent address is bolded so the reader knows which location belongs to which.

2)    Education: unless you have written a resume before, you generally want to place your institution at the top.  Include the name and location of the school, the degree you have received (or intend on receiving), and your expected graduation date.  If your GPA is above a 3.0, list it.  Here is an example of what this may look like:

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Bachelor of Arts in New Media Communications
Minor in Chinese
Expected Graduation: June 2011
GPA: 3.2

Depending on your major, if you have taken classes that teach a specialized skill that can satisfy the requirements for a given position, take this chance to market yourself!  This way, if you submit a resume that matches the qualifications of the position, your chances of getting an interview for the position increases dramatically.


Relevant Coursework: MatLab, SolidWorks, AutoCAD, Java Programming

This section can either appear at the end of your Education experience (but before your GPA), or appear as its own section before experience.

3)    Experience: this section covers the bulk of your resume.  Many students believe that only job employment belongs in this section.  This statement is NOT true.  If a student had previous employment, they should definitely include that because it shows that they understand the roles and responsibilities of a job.  If a student does not have previous employment experience, then they need to start brainstorming on any significant involvement.  This includes volunteer work, course work, special projects, and more.  After coming up with the list, figure out which experience contains enough transferable skills to talk about.  The importance of transferable skills is the ability to tell the reader how those skills from previous experiences can benefit the organization.

Generally, I believe that a decent quick resume should include at least three experiences and three bullet points to describe their role.  Sometimes this step is difficult, especially if you feel that you didn’t play a big role in a previous position.  Your best bet is to brainstorm and figure out how to accurately reflect your role—think hard on the skills you used in that role.  For example, if you worked at a fast food chain, you probably learned how to properly handle food, provide superb customer service, and learned how to handle transactions (assuming you worked at the cash register).

4)    Awards, Activities, and Interests: If you still have a little room after listing your experiences, take this chance to talk about any awards you have received, any activities you’re involved in, and possibly what you like to do during your spare time.  This section allows for the interviewer to get a better understanding of what you do outside of your time.  Ideally, advertising your awards and achievements make you look like a star player.  A list of some clubs, organizations, or activities shows that you’re an involved person.  Interests should only come in if you can’t come up with something.

At the end of this walkthrough, you should now have a decent looking resume.  All of the information should fit within a page and appear in either size 11 or 12 font (depending on how much depth you have put into it).  Make sure that you proofread it again and have someone else look over it so that the information makes sense.  Try and stop by Career Services for a drop-in appointment and have a Career Assistant look it over!  Drop-in appointments take place Monday through Thursday’s from 1-4PM in the basement of Kerr (B008).

I hope you have found this walkthrough helpful in getting a start on your resume!

CareerFairTableTentver4Hey there you job and internship-seekers.  Be sure you’ve marked your calendars for the upcoming Career Fairs–February 16th (all majors) and 17th (engineering) over at CH2M Hill Alumni Center.  Events kick off THIS WEEK with workshops at Career Services.

Schedule of Events (Click to get to our website; then click the large career fair icon on the front page.)

Employers Attending Fairs