Welcome to Career Corner! Career Corner provides career and workplace related topics and information.

Michelle V. Rafter from the SecondAct blog wrote a great article about using Pinterest to get a job. See the 10 tips below….

You might think of Pinterest as another way to kill time online when you should be doing something more important. Millions of early adopters put the 2-year-old social network on the map doing just that — sharing pictures of cute outfits, cool home interiors and exotic travel destinations.

Now that 11.7 million people and companies are using it, though, Pinterest is emerging as an online tool that job seekers can use to market themselves and explore potential careers, industries and employers.

Pinterest lets you save photos or images from news stories, blog posts or other online content in the form of pins that are organized into folders called boards. You can follow other people and re-pin, comment or “Like” their pins. You also can link your Pinterest boards to your accounts on Facebook or Twitter.

“If you’re in a creative or design field, it’s an amazing place to build a portfolio or create a visual resume,” says Annie Favreau, managing editor at InsideJobs.com, a career exploration website.

Here’s how to use Pinterest for a job search:

1. Optimize your Pinterest profile. Adjust account settings to allow your profile to appear in results of searches on Google and other search engines. Load your profile description with keywords that match the job you want. Include a recent photograph and links to your website or LinkedIn profile so potential employers can learn more about you. Here’s one example of a Pinterest resume, from a Harvard Business School student who hopes it’ll lead to a job with the online network.

2. Set up an online resume and portfolio. Gather samples of your work onto one or more boards to use as an online resume. Don’t get cute with labels; call your resume board “My Resume” or something similar so it’s easy to find. Pinterest is especially useful if you work in photography, architecture, interior design or other creative fields, “because it has this strong emphasis on the visuals. It’s one more access point into your work,” Favreau says. But anyone can use the site to create an online portfolio. Just make sure that the resume or portfolio you’re linking back to has an image you can pin. This San Francisco Chronicle story shares how one Bay Area marketing manager uses Pinterest to showcase his current and previous jobs.

3. Dedicate a board to careers you’re curious about. If you’re searching for your next act, use Pinterest to find information on jobs or careers. Use the search box — located in the upper left-hand corner of the site’s front page — to enter related words or phrases. Pin anything that comes up that you want to save for future reference.

4. Create boards for companies or industries you’d like to know better. Pinterest can give you a glimpse into a company’s culture that you can’t get from reading their “About Us” page, Favreau says. “If they’re sharing Instagram pictures of their office, you won’t find that a whole lot of other places,” she says.

5. Follow experts. Keep up with employment trends by following the university career centers, jobs websites, outplacement specialists and career coaches that have set up shop on Pinterest. SecondAct has a board dedicated to all things work-related called Get a Job. I’ve also created a Job Hunting and Careers board with pointers to my stories here and other resources. Favreau also recommends following Career Bliss, BrazenCareerist, and Lea McLeod, a Portland, Ore., career expert who works with midcareer and other professionals.

6. Leave comments. Strike up a conversation with a career expert or someone who works in a field you’re interested in by commenting on one of their pins. As with any other type of online or real-world networking, you never know where it could lead.

7. Wander around. Do some browsing to see what’s out there. “If you’re constantly coming back to the same area, or something keeps popping out at you, if might be worth exploring” as a career option, Favreau says. She also recommends using the site as a mental boost for your job-hunting efforts, and created a Career Inspirations board for that reason.

8. Protect your work. If you’re sharing photography or other original work on your boards, use watermarks to protect individual images just as you would when displaying them on other websites. You want your work to be out there, but it pays to be on your guard, Favreau says.

9. Be professional. If all you do on Pinterest is share pictures of puppies, think twice about sharing your Pinterest profile with potential employers. “But if you are using it for a job search, it is an impression of who you are, so when you’re creating your boards, make sure they line up with your professional appearance,” she says.

10. Watch out for spammers. The bigger Pinterest grows, the more spammers it’s attracting. To prevent unwittingly passing along spam disguised as a normal pin, be sure to click through on images to see where they lead before re-pinning them. Don’t click on pins that look like ads or giveaways, which Pinterest doesn’t offer or condone. Here’s what else you can to do to avoid Pinterest spammers.

A final word about Pinterest: It can be extremely habit-forming. “I set myself to short periods of time, like 15 minutes, because although it can be an amazing tool, it’s also a distraction,” Favreau says. “It’s so easy to [lose track of time] it’s kind of shocking.”

Have you used Pinterest in your job search? If so, please share with us how you used it to market yourself?

SecondAct contributor Michelle V. Rafter writes about business and workplace issues for a variety of national publications. She is based in Portland, Oregon.

Question: What are some job search engines for entry-level people?

When searching for jobs online oftentimes you will mainly find jobs posted that require years of experience. But what about recent graduates? Where do they find jobs? Here is a list of search engines for recent grads or people looking for entry-level work (these can also be found on the OSU Career Services website):

Beaver JobNet – many entry-level jobs and employers are specifically wanting to hire Beavers!

CollegeGrad.com – great site with entry-level job postings and advice on the job search including information about finding employers hiring, application materials, accepting an offer, and more!

College.Recruiter.com – find jobs and internships and find out what companies tend to post on this site.

Experience.com – find jobs and internships and lots of job search advice.

LinkedIn’s Student Job Portal – jobs for students and recent graduates.

Monster College – Monster is a large job search database but they have a special sub category for college students. Learn about jobs and get interview tips from experts, network with other entry-level job seekers, and share job seeker resources, advice, and stories.

Networking – not a website but what you should be spending most of your time doing to find a job.

Any other entry-level job search sites you recommend? Any strategies you suggest to finding an entry-level job?

Jen Busick, Career Advisor & Outreach Coordinator at Oregon State University advises students about internships and the job search, applying to graduate school, resumes/cover letters, and interviewing. She also organizes and updates resources, manages social media for Career Services and coordinates outreach opportunities. She enjoys working with students in coming up with a plan to finding a job and assisting them with figuring out the next steps. She has a lot of international experience, including the Peace Corps, study abroad, and independent travel.

For this week’s post, I will answer two commonly asked questions related to Beaver JobNet, Oregon State University’s job and internship database system. If you are an OSU student or alum and have not used Beaver JobNet, we highly encourage you to check it out since there are many jobs and internships posted by employers seeking Beavers!

Question: I am trying to login to the Beaver JobNet site in preparation for my arrival at OSU in the fall.  I have been using my ONID username and password and each time it takes me to a registration page where I fill in my address and graduation information.  Once I hit submit, it just takes me back to the login page again.  I did this several times and still haven’t been able to access the site.  Is there a step I am missing?  And how do I get past the registration page?

This is happening because you currently do not have an account  in Beaver JobNet. We can get you set up with an account, just email cheryl.l.herring@oregonstate.edu and in the email provide your full name (first, middle, last), student ID# and your ONID email address, and she would be happy to create an account for you.

Question: Can I use my OSU GPA instead of the overall GPA on Beaver JobNet?

Beaver JobNet uses the overall GPA as employers want the more complete picture of the applicant.  If there is additional information you want to provide for the employer to consider, you can contact them outside of Beaver JobNet and present it for their consideration.  If the contact information is not visible on the job posting, it is because they have elected not to be contacted directly, only through the application means they have specified. Also, we encourage you to upload a resume and “opt-in” to having it available for approved employers to view. Your resume is a great place to showcase only the GPA you want highlighted, whether that be just your OSU GPA, your major’s GPA (not including Bac. Core), etc.

If you have any other questions regarding Beaver JobNet or other career related topics, please contact us at career.services@oregonstate.edu or come on by Monday-Thursday between 1-4pm and we can answer any questions and help you out. We are located in the basement of the Kerr Administration Building, B008.

Jen Busick, Career Advisor & Outreach Coordinator at Oregon State University advises students about internships and the job search, applying to graduate school, resumes/cover letters, and interviewing. She also organizes and updates resources, manages social media for Career Services and coordinates outreach opportunities. She enjoys working with students in coming up with a plan to finding a job and assisting them with figuring out the next steps. She has a lot of international experience, including the Peace Corps, study abroad, and independent travel.

Question: I applied to several jobs and have not had any calls. What should I do?

First off, you are not alone. It often takes a few months to find a job which is something many people do not realize. On the other hand, it is important to continuously reflect on the job search process and evaluate what you can be doing better or more effectively. Here are some of the reasons why you may not be getting any calls after you submit your application:

  • Have you been tailoring your resume for each job? First thing I would do is re-evaluate your resume. Has it been critiqued by multiple people such as career center staff, someone who works in the industry you are applying, a friend who is good at editing, etc.? It is always beneficial to have 3 or more people look at your resume. Also, you always, always, always need to tailor your resume to each job you apply for. It is pretty obvious when an employer receives a resume that is used for all job applications and that is not impressive. Keep in mind that most resumes get 15 seconds of the recruiter’s attention, so it needs to be easy to read, clear, concise, and make them want to read more about you! Check out this video for quick tips on resume writing and check out the Career Services website resume section for examples and more tips.
  • Are you following up? It is important that you follow up after submitting a job application, but you should do so only once by email and to make sure to be unobtrusive. Alison Green from Ask a Manager says, You can do that by sending a quick email saying something like this: “I submitted my application for your __ position last week, and I just wanted to make sure my materials were received. I also want to reiterate my interest in the position; I think it might be a great match, and I’d love to talk with you about it when you’re ready to begin scheduling interviews.” That highlights your interest without interrupting the employer or demanding an immediate response.
  • Are you spending most of your time applying online? Many people make the mistake of spending all their time online when it comes to the job search. 10% of your time should be spent online while 90% of your time should be spent on networking! Many jobs aren’t even posted (like 80%) and therefore it is all about getting referred or knowing someone. So, applying online is one strategy but make sure you are also networking…you will probably get a much better response rate!
  • Have you been networking? This is follow up from the question above. We are told to network but how do you do that? First, let all of your friends, family, acquaintances, professors, advisors, etc. know that you are looking for a job and give them some specific details such as the industry, any companies or organizations you want to work for, job titles, etc. It is hard to help someone find a job if you aren’t able to communicate to your network what kind of job you want. Also, try connecting with people who work where you want to work by doing informational interviews. This is a great way to find out information that you won’t find online. You may also want to join a professional association in your industry to meet people with your interests and definitely join LinkedIn. Find out more about networking using social media.
  • Is your online identity professional? Many employers are learning more about you by searching for you online. Make sure whatever they find is clean and professional. If they don’t like what they see, they won’t call you for an interview. So, clean up your profile on Facebook, be careful what you post, set high privacy settings, and get on LinkedIn since it is a more professional social media tool.

If you still aren’t sure why you may not be getting any calls and you are an OSU student or alum, then make a career counseling appointment with  Career Services. We can help you come up with some job search strategies.

Any other suggestions why someone may not be getting any call backs after submitting applications? Anyone have some tips for someone experiencing this frustration? How have you found jobs?

Jen Busick, Career Advisor & Outreach Coordinator at Oregon State University advises students about internships and the job search, applying to graduate school, resumes/cover letters, and interviewing. She also organizes and updates resources, manages social media for Career Services and coordinates outreach opportunities. She enjoys working with students in coming up with a plan to finding a job and assisting them with figuring out the next steps. She has a lot of international experience, including the Peace Corps, study abroad, and independent travel.

Question: What can I do over the summer or while I’m searching for a permanent job so that my resume doesn’t have a gap in it?

Excellent question! There are many things you can be doing over the summer to gain experience, build skills, network, and in turn, make your resume stronger. Here are some ideas:

  • Internship – 9 in 10 employers said they look for students to have one or two internships before graduating, and that those internships should be at least three months each to provide enough experience. If you don’t already have an internship for the summer, create your own! Here’s how! Or get planning for next summer.
  • Part-time or temporary job – you can gain many skills through a part-time or temporary job no matter where you work. Communication, teamwork, adaptability, problem-solving, initiative, hard-working…these are all qualities employers across industries seek in their employees and you can easily demonstrate this on your resume through a part-time job. Also, sometimes that temporary job could turn into full time!
  • Volunteer – there are so many places that could use your help and volunteering is a great way to assist others and also improve your own skills. Thinking about becoming a vet? Volunteer at the humane society. Want to be a writer? Volunteer to start a blog for a nonprofit and write the entries. Interested in teaching? Volunteer at a kids camp or summer school program. The opportunities are endless!!!
  • Go abroad – summer is a fantastic time to travel! Going abroad either through school or on your own can be a great way to learn more about another culture and yourself. You can also build your network internationally and even better if you learn another language (or at least the basics!).
  • Take a class or two – either for your major or just to learn another skill (Photoshop, html code, typing, pretty much there is a class for everything these days!)…and oftentimes you can find them online.
  • Start your own business – due to technology pretty much anyone can start their own business and with little cost. Find out some strategies to get you started.
  • Start your own blog – blogging is a great way to network and be known in your field…or even in an area that isn’t necessarily related to your career. It shows that you have something to offer and you become somewhat of an “expert” on that topic. It also demonstrates your written communication skills and these days many companies have blogs and therefore need people to manage and write for the blog. There are various blogging platforms such as WordPress, Blogger, Weebly, etc. Here is a great article about the top 10 free online blogging platforms.

These are just a few ideas of ways you can gain experience and skills over the summer or while searching for a permanent job and still have some fun! And hopefully you will find that the things you are doing to gain experience and make yourself more marketable on your resume are FUN…this means you are probably going into an industry that fits your interests, strengths, and values and therefore you are more likely to be happy in your career.

What will you be doing this summer to develop your skills and gain experience? Any new ideas from the list above? Any career related questions you want answered during our Q & A Monday post? Comment below!

Jen Busick, Career Advisor & Outreach Coordinator at Oregon State University advises students about internships and the job search, applying to graduate school, resumes/cover letters, and interviewing. She also organizes and updates resources, manages social media for Career Services and coordinates outreach opportunities. She enjoys working with students in coming up with a plan to finding a job and assisting them with figuring out the next steps. She has a lot of international experience, including the Peace Corps, study abroad, and independent travel.

You’re determined to make a positive impact on the world, so you want to work for a nonprofit. Is it a good idea? It really depends on who you talk to. In a recent survey of 3,500 nonprofit employees performed by Professionals for NonProfits, 70 percent of employees stated that their jobs were either disappointing or only somewhat fulfilling. 25 percent said that they were thinking about looking for work outside of the nonprofit sector. According to three out of four survey respondents, internal politics lowered their ability to properly function in their jobs.

I have to admit that the results from this survey surprised me. The nonprofit employees in the survey worked in the New York and Washington metropolitan areas. To get some other perspectives, I contacted some folks working in the nonprofit sector in Oregon.

Anissa Arthenayake, Director of Community Education at the OSU Federal Credit Union, told me, “I had always worked for for-profit businesses, being in the banking world. In working for OSU Federal Credit Union I did not see it as a nonprofit, but as a job I fell in love with. It is for me finding my passion and finding my voice.”

Her favorite part of her job is “Getting to meet lots of different people from various backgrounds and socioeconomic conditions. I get to help them by giving them skills to better their lives.” Regarding the personal rewards of her job, she stated that she loves “seeing people succeed.”

I also asked Anissa about the differences of for-profit and nonprofit workplaces. She said, “I find my workplace environment is now all about the relationships. That is the best part.” I asked her if working for a nonprofit provided any surprises, and she said that being able to see others’ needs more clearly and unveiled was unexpected.

Anissa provided the following advice for college students interested in working for a nonprofit: “To work for a nonprofit, a person has to have the fire inside them to work to make a difference due to the extreme hardships you see. A person needs to separate themselves and not internalize others’ troubles. The work can be very rewarding.”

Kathleen Mason, Public Relations Manager for the Aurora Colony Historical Society/Old Aurora Colony Museum, landed her first nonprofit job as a membership development manager for the Girl Scouts after completing a nonprofit management/fundraising certificate program. Her favorite part her current job is “Working with passionate volunteers who give so much of their time, expertise, and money to support causes and organizations. They make me feel so humble.”

Regarding the differences between the for-profit and nonprofit workplace environments, she stated, “Just as in [for profit] businesses, the larger the nonprofit, the more of a corporate environment you will encounter – including a larger hierarchy. This hierarchy, from the executive on down, seems at times to mirror its own large corporate donors. Smaller nonprofits, in my experience, tend to have a more business casual environment.”

She provided the following advice for college students thinking about working for a nonprofit: “Just do it! The pay will not be as good as in the for-profit sector, but the trade off is that you could gain more responsibilities and experience than you would in another entry-level job or higher job.”

“Do think about internships – just cold call – you can always talk to someone about tailoring an internship that suits your degree focus and their organizational needs. Nonprofits are always looking for employees who can step up to help, even if it’s not in their job description. Also, since nonprofits have become much more professional, degrees in nonprofit management are available, and there is a greater demand for accountants, human resource managers, marketing professionals, grant writers, and of course capable organizational leaders with great people skills.”

Typically, nonprofit jobs involve a lot of hard work and are perhaps more challenging than jobs at for-profits. Due to limited funding, employees at nonprofits often have more job responsibilities than those working for for-profits. Employees at nonprofits often have to do more with less and in shorter periods of time.

Many small nonprofits have a flat organizational structure which allows even interns to provide their ideas and affect change. The loose hierarchical structure allows for closer working relationships among staff members and it also allows for changes to be made quickly. However, some nonprofits are more traditional and hierarchical. The intrinsic benefits of working for a nonprofit can outweigh the higher salaries provided by for-profits. When working for a nonprofit, you are able to engage your head and your heart.

To succeed at a nonprofit, one needs to be self-directed, be prepared to take initiative, and not see it as a typical job. Commitment and passion are important!

Brian Jenkins writes about careers in accounting, among other career fields, for BrainTrack.com.

Looking for a full-time job can be a full-time job. For most people, the process can be quite stressful. While some stress is a standard part of life, excessive stress can negatively impact your physical and emotional health. The key to reducing stress is to manage it. By dedicating time to improve yourself, you can manage your job search stress.

What can you do to manage your job search stress?

Know Yourself

Take a moment to know yourself. Knowing yourself means knowing your purpose, interests, skills, strengths, values and characteristics of your personality. Also, having awareness of your salary expectations, environment and location will help you better understand aspects about your lifestyle preferences. The more you find out about yourself, the more meaning you will have in your search and career decision.

Create a Job Search Plan

The next step is to create a job search plan. A focused job search produces the best results. Prioritizing your planned job search activities can help you manage your stress level.

To start, have your resumes, cover letters, personal statements, portfolios and other supporting materials ready.  I have found it most helpful to create a comprehensive master resume, and then create a one page resume where you can copy and paste relevant information.  This way you can tailor your resume for each position. Customized letters gain more attention from employers and shows initiative.

Consider making a list or excel spreadsheet of positions you qualify for, when you sent your resume or application, and when you plan on following up with the employer.  Target specific employers, occupations, and industries that are of interest to you, even if they don’t have jobs posted online.

Develop your network. Compile a list of networks that you can use in your job search. You can begin with parents, relatives, friends, faculty, social networking groups and alumni.

Have you updated your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts lately? Make sure that you have a professional online presence. It creates brand recognition and allows you to control your image. Also, make sure that you have a professional email address and voicemail message on your phone.  Conveying a positive image is important in this current economy.

Don’t forget your apparel. Have an interviewing suit available. Dressing professionally will make a great first impression. Make sure that you wear attire that is appropriate for your industry.  If you are uncertain about what to wear, check here.

Manage Your Time

Don’t add more stress by overwhelming yourself with nonessential tasks. Manage your time by creating a schedule that is realistic and allows you to prioritize important tasks first. Prioritizing your activities can help you accomplish more and give your more control of your job search.  More importantly, having a schedule helps you to quantify your time and plan for much needed breaks. Be productive.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Having a positive attitude is one of the best things to have when job searching. It may be difficult, but it can be done. One way of maintaining a positive attitude is to incorporate positive language in your conversations. This tone will be reflected in your interactions and relationships with others. Another way stay positive is to associate with positive people. Having a positive network can help you become more resilient when facing stress.


Continue to find ways to clear your mind of distractions. Engage in a fun activity that relaxes you. Whether it is meditating, cooking, jogging, gardening, painting or reading, take a break to relax and enjoy yourself.

If you still find yourself being overwhelmed by stress, consider joining a support group, exercise and seek help.  We have a variety of resources on campus to assist you.  Remember you are not alone.

Best of luck with your job search and practice managing your stress!


You’ve been offered a job that sounds fantastic – it pays a very good salary and the workplace has a great atmosphere. You’re eager to take it, but wait: thoroughly evaluate the benefits package before you accept the job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2010, the average employee benefits package comprised 30 percent of the total compensation package, and the average value of benefits was $8.11 per hour. You can try to calculate the value of the benefits on your own, but some experts believe the best way to put a dollar value on benefits is asking the prospective employer to do it for you.

Example: Job A and Job B

Let’s say Job B pays $2,000 more per year than Job A. You take job B because of this, but maybe you don’t realize that Job A covers 100 percent of the health insurance premium and Job B pays 75 percent of it. With Job B, $200 per month is deducted from your paycheck to cover health premiums and there’s a $500 deductible you’ll pay before the insurance covers the rest of the cost. You’ll pay a total insurance premium of $2,400 per year and you may have to pay a $500 deductible if you need healthcare services during the year. Although Job A pays less in terms of salary, it may be a better financial choice just based on healthcare benefits. And then there are also the retirement account and other benefits to consider.

Health Plans

Many employers are charging employees more for their health insurance than in the past, however employer-provided health insurance is still a bargain. Keep an eye out for potential costs such as:

  • Employee-paid premiums
  • Co-payments
  • Deductibles
  • Maximum annual out-of-pocket expense
  • Coinsurance, which requires you to pay a percentage of the total cost of healthcare
  • Healthcare services the insurer doesn’t cover


With a 401(k) plan your contributions are tax-deferred (except for social security taxes). Most employers match between 50 cents and 1 dollar for every dollar you contribute for up to 3 to 6 percent of your salary. For example, if you make $40,000 per year and you contribute $200 per month and your employer match is 75 percent for up to 6 percent of your salary, your employer is putting in another $150 per month, which works out to be $1,800 per year. Not taking advantage of an available 401(k) plan at work is like simply rejecting free money.

With a 401(k) plan you accept responsibility for the investment risks and potential losses due to fluctuations in the market. Typically, jobs which don’t offer a retirement plan are not worth considering unless the salary is high enough to allow you to easily contribute to your own retirement account.

Defined Benefits Plan

Some experts believe a defined benefits plan is better than a 401(k) plan because the defined benefits plan is not affected by market performance. Instead, the employer has all the investment risks and unless the company files for bankruptcy and can’t fund the benefit plan, your pension is guaranteed. Due to the costs and risks, fewer employers are providing defined benefits plans these days.

If a defined benefits plan is available, find out how long it takes to become vested. After you become vested you have a non-forfeitable right to benefits funded by the employer even if you leave your job and work for another employer.

Some people believe a defined benefits plan is risky because the employer may not be able to fund the pension plan. However, these plans are typically protected by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, an independent agency of the United States government. If the company goes bankrupt, your benefits may be reduced, but you are guaranteed to receive a minimum percentage of your promised benefits.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a pre-tax benefit account used to help offset the costs of healthcare and dependent care for you and your family. Money deducted from your pay and going into an FSA is not subject to payroll taxes. However, there’s a significant disadvantage of an FSA – the funds not used by the end of the year are lost to you.

Benefits in Private Industry

These 2011 statistics will help you compare the types of benefits and employer financial contributions you’ve been offered compared to all workers in private industry:

  • 73 percent of full-time employees had access to retirement benefits, 85 percent to medical, and 75 percent to paid sick leave
  • On average, single coverage employers paid 80 percent of the medical care premiums for full-time employees and 68 percent for family coverage
  • 7 percent of unmarried domestic partners (same sex and opposite sex) had access to retirement survivors benefits
  • 29 percent of same sex unmarried domestic partners and 25 percent of opposite sex unmarried domestic partners had access to healthcare benefits

(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Compensation Survey, March 2011)

Here’s a laundry list of typical employee benefits you should be aware of when job hunting:

  • Medical, vision and dental insurance
  • Health and wellness programs
  • Life insurance
  • Short-term and long-term disability coverage
  • Paid holiday, vacation and sick leave
  • Disability insurance
  • Retirement plans
  • Stock options
  • Severance package
  • Employer-paid day care center
  • Prepaid legal services
  • Education assistance programs and scholarship funds
  • Adoption assistance
  • Maternity leave
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Health club

After you graduate from college, benefits, such as a retirement account and health insurance, may not grab your interest. You may think benefits are the concern of older workers, but there are a lot of older workers who wish they paid more attention to benefits when they began their careers. Besides, asking questions about the benefits package makes you look smart to the person offering the job!

Brian Jenkins writes about many different college and career topics for BrainTrack.com. He has contributed content to BrainTrack’s career planning guide.

Career Services offers many workshops throughout the year. It is very important to take advantage of these workshops and all of the information provided by both Career Services staff and company employers. With two career fairs right around the corner here are just some of the workshops that we have coming up.

Brand Yourself into the Job of Choice

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

This is a new workshop that we are offering this year and will be presented by Rachel Mendell of State Farm Insurance. Have you ever wondered what you can do to set yourself apart from other candidates through the pre-employment process? It’s easy!! By taking the time to create your own personal brand, you can set yourself apart from other candidates at career fairs, on your resume, and during the interview.  Not only will you be able to set yourself apart, but you will also realize through the branding process what opportunities are truly the best fit for you.

Creating a Stand-Out Resume

Monday, February 20, 2012 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

This is a great way to learn about different formats and how to best set up your resume for success. At this workshop you will learn how to tailor your resume to individual employers and find out what appeals to them. One of the main recurring themes seen in resumes is lack of information. Learn how to take a dull resume and fill it out with content so that it will truly reflect your skills and capabilities. Check out the resume section on our website for more information on resumes.

How to Ace Your Job Interview

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

In this workshop you will gain great insight on typical questions that interviewers ask and how to respond to them. You will be given tools like the S.T.A.R technique (Situation, Task, Action, and Result) which will help you give thorough responses. Knowing how to present yourself in an interview situation can be tricky but this is a perfect way to improve your skills. A good way to prepare in the mean time is through the interview section of our website which gives you tips for several situations.

Success at the Career Fair

Monday, February 20, 2012 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

If you are planning to attend the Winter Career Fair this is a great workshop to attend. During the Success at the Career Fair workshop we will go over many details that can be looked over.  This presentation will give you the tools needed to make a great first impression at the Career Fair. We will go over many things, from how a resume should look to how your body language is an interview all in itself. Find out more information about our Career Fairs and how to prepare!

These are just some of the workshops that we are offering leading up to next week career fairs. We also offer many more that aren’t listed! For more information check out our website!

Posted by Silver Trujillo, Career Services Assistant

We interviewed Sara Vizcaino, the Human Resources Manager  from PacificSource about recruiting at OSU. Here is what she had to say:

1. Tell us about your company and why you recruit OSU students.

PacificSource Health Plans is a health plan that provides medical, dental, vision, and pharmacy insurance coverage to groups and individuals. But, we’re not a typical health plan – we’re an independent, not-for-profit health plan with a 78-year history. Our mission is to help people get the healthcare they need. What sets us apart from our competitors is that we focus on providing exceptional service to our members. We also invest in the communities we serve by partnering with local providers to deliver high quality, accessible healthcare, and through charitable giving and personal involvement with non-profit organizations. PacificSource has offices in Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and Montana with close to 600 employees.

PacificSource enjoys our relationship with Oregon State University and we are always impressed with the caliber of students at OSU. Last summer we hired 7 summer interns and 4 of them were from OSU. We were on campus in October for the Career Fairs and the EECS-MIME Senior Dinner. At those events we had the opportunity to talk with a number of students – both about careers after college as well as summer internships. It is always exciting to speak with students about their preparations to get work experience through an internship or about taking that first step in a career after graduation.

2. What is your favorite part of your job?

I am a member of the Human Resources team and feel lucky to get to do the work that I love to do for a company like PacificSource!  I have been here since moving to OR nearly 6 years ago and, in that time, I have been able to learn and grow in my role. There is a lot about my job that I really enjoy, but my favorite part is working with candidates as they apply for jobs with PacificSource, interview, and get hired. In fact, last week a former summer intern was hired and started working as a full-time member of our Actuarial team!  It was great to work with her again and help her transition into her employment as she kicks off her actuarial career!

I also really appreciate getting to do my work AND getting the opportunity to be involved in our community. I’m involved in raising money for Relay for Life and United Way as well as with our Community Garden. Our Community Garden has about 40 employees that plant, grow, and harvest vegetables and we donate about 100 lbs of veggies per week during the growing season to a local food pantry. It is pretty amazing to work for a health insurance company that wants to make a difference in our communities and being able to get involved personally. Over the past 2 years, our Garden has donated approximately 2 tons of produce to families in need! That is something I feel really proud of.

3. How do you find people you want to hire and what makes them stand out from others?

All organizations have a culture – sort of like how we each have our own personality. The culture at PacificSource is built on strong customer service and building positive relationships. We strive to improve the communities we serve and encourage a healthy work-life balance. When we look for candidates, finding individuals that fit our culture is a very important part of the recruiting process. Certainly finding candidates that have the technical experience or abilities is necessary, but it isn’t everything.

We look for candidates through a variety of sources including college career fairs, online job postings, social media avenues, networking events, and even virtual career fairs. PacificSource is growing and will have approximately 40 new positions to fill in 2012!  That means we’ll be busy looking for the right candidates that can do the job and fit in and really excel within the PacificSource culture.

4. What do you recommend students do in college so that they are ready when it comes time to find a job?

It’s hard to find the balance between everything in college – but I don’t need to tell you that!  You have to focus on school and do well in your classes, but that isn’t everything. Part of figuring out what career or industry is right for you is about trying things out. So, part-time work experience or summer internships can really help you learn more about what you enjoy (and don’t enjoy!) doing. Also, going to different campus events or joining different groups can give you information about a career or industry that you had never heard of before, but that might be a great fit for you. So, try things on for size to see what fits you best. Also, research companies that you have interest in. If possible, connect with them through social media to learn more, watch job openings, and set up profiles on their online career centers.

Thanks to Sara for her great insight and for taking the time to do a post for the Career Beavers Blog!