Ever have the thought of, “Ah, I am so busy that I don’t have the time to job search before I graduate, what should I do”? Don’t worry you’re not alone. We are all busy with school and finding the time to job search in between classes isn’t an easy task, but trust me it isn’t impossible either.

No need to worry, there are some ways to get organized and motivated when it comes to finding a job during the process of graduating. Continue reading

Since I do not have much experience with the nonprofit side of careers, when I volunteered to write this blog post I truly had no idea where to begin. But after doing some extensive research (approximately ten minutes conducting Google searches) I discovered that not only are these jobs interesting and attainable, but they can also be incredibly worthwhile.

Joanne Fritz, a freelance writer for About.com wrote a delightful article on the subject entitled How to Find Your Dream Nonprofit Job. She breaks the process down into seven easy steps, which I have helpfully further condensed into the following three:

  1. Choose a cause you are passionate about. You will be much more attractive to companies who share your values, commitment and enthusiasm for a particular movement. Another perk to narrowing this down is a higher likelihood for job satisfaction (once you nail that interview of course). The more committed you are to the cause, the more you will enjoy helping achieve the organization’s goals.
  2. Research nonprofit organizations that support the movement/cause you are interested. A fantastic place to start would be the companies that are attending our upcoming Nonprofit & Volunteering Expo. You will not only be able to talk to these people face-to-face, but these organizations are interested in OSU Beavers. This means you already have an edge over the competition!
  3. Volunteer! While this is always a great resume booster, it is particularly important when trying to impress those nonprofits. The majority of their people power is generated through willing and committed volunteers. One of Fritz’s particularly brilliant pieces of advice was the option of creating your own internship. Though this may sound intimidating, this can easily be accomplished through contacting nonprofit organizations and offering your time/talents.  Even though you will probably not be paid, this will be a HUGE resume-builder and offer incredible insight into your favorite nonprofit.

Now that you’re feeling motivated and ready to tackle that Nonprofit Expo, I’ll conclude with a helpful to-do list that’ll ensure you impress those visiting employers:

  • Polish up that resume! We, the career assistants, love fixing these bad boys up. Bring them to our drop in hours (1-4pm in the Career Services office in the basement of Kerr) so we can help you stand out (in a good way). If you’re more the independent type, remember to include a powerful objective that details what kind of organization you are interested in and why –as this will help you entice nonprofit employers to call you back for an interview.
  • Research the companies you are most interested in. You have no idea how much this will excite the recruiters at the expo. Just think of how depressed you would be if most of the students at your booth only came for the free pens. Trust me, prove you’re serious about their organization and they’ll be putty in your hands.
  • Prepare a 30-second introduction. Yes it sounds silly, but when you’re nervous and unsure of how to approach the employers you’ll be glad you did it anyway. Include (at the very least) your name, major, and what you are looking for in a nonprofit. It should closely align with the objective on your resume.
  • DRESS AND LOOK PROFESSIONAL! As I was in charge of reviewing the results of our last Career Fair survey –I honestly can tell you that over 200 students felt they were underdressed and therefore poorly represented to the recruiters at the last fair. Don’t let this be you! Studies have shown that about 60% of your first impression is going to be made based on your appearance. So nothing else, dress appropriately. What does this entail? For the Nonprofit Expo, business casual (khakis, button-up shirt or blouse, etc.) should be sufficient. Always error on the side of conservatively dressed when it comes to the job search.
  • Follow up with the recruiters you connected with. Remember to ask for the employer’s business card or the best way to contact them. This way you can follow up and send them a thank you note (which goes a long way toward creating that positive, lasting impression you’re going for).

Resource: Fritz, J. How to Find Your Dream Nonprofit Job. http://nonprofit.about.com/od/nonprofitwork/tp/gettingjob.htm

Posted by Leah Anderson, Career Services Assistant

So you have probably learned about LinkedIn or at least know that it exists…but how do you really use it effectively in your job search? Kaitlin Madden from CareerBuilder recently wrote an excellent article about this topic and we thought we would feature it on our blog so all you OSU students and alums can get more use out of LinkedIn. So here it is…

Used right, LinkedIn can be a job seeker’s golden ticket.

Savvy job hunters can use the site to gain all kinds of advantages: information on the types of people a company hires, the name of the hiring manager for a particular job (and if they’re really lucky, an email address) and even the ultimate “in,” a personal connection at a company of interest.

But for every job seeker who expertly navigates the online networking scene, there are plenty of others who fumble their way through it, often over- or underestimating the role the site should play in their searches.

“LinkedIn is a valuable tool, but sometimes when people search for a job they can confuse activity with productivity,” says Tony Beshara, president of Dallas-based placement firm Babich and Associates, and author of “Unbeatable Résumés,” for which he surveyed more than 2,000 people about their LinkedIn use. “No matter what activity you’re doing, whether it’s writing your résumé or browsing profiles on LinkedIn, if that activity isn’t actually getting you an interview, it’s not as productive as something that would get you an interview.” Continue reading

Winter break is about to begin and it is a perfect time to get your job search checklist started. Whether you are a freshman needing a job during the break or a senior about to graduate and looking for the perfect career, a checklist is exactly what you need to get started. With four weeks of winter break this year, there is more than enough time to get your checklist completed. Below are just a few ideas on how you can get everything organized during the break. Continue reading

All over campus we hear the phrase “Dress for Success.” It is an excellent goal and obviously a good idea, but perhaps a little vague?  We all know we should dress professionally and that our clothes help paint the first impression picture that will forever be printed in an interviewer and future employer’s mind, but many students are unsure exactly what looks appropriate, what should be left off, and what will make us stand out.

The most important things to remember about dressing for an interview apply to both men and women: Continue reading

Many people wonder if or when they should follow up with employers or is it okay to follow up with employers to see whether or not you got an interview or the position you tried out for. It is always a nervous task to accomplish, because you don’t want to come off as annoying, so here are some few tips to go about following up with employers:

Following up with employers is a good thing to do; it shows the employers that you are concerned about that position or your standing. Continue reading

It’s less than a week away; are you ready? Whether you’re attending the fair to scope out potential future employers or to truly start the job hunt process, we hope you’re well on your way to getting prepared. Your resume should already be in tip-top shape. Your 30 to 60 second infomercial should be polished and practiced. You should have your goals clear in your mind, the employers you want to talk to mapped out, and your professional attire chosen.

But what should you do after the fair? Sit by the phone, pining for a call? Check your email every 20 minutes to see if they’ve contacted you? Visit the headquarters of the company in person to speak to the president directly, asking why they haven’t called or emailed you since the fair, angry and screaming?

Okay, maybe you can tell that these aren’t quite the right moves for following up with employers. They don’t give a very favorable impression. But following up after an event like a Career Fair in a professional way can be a manageable task if you do a little bit of planning.

First of all, while you are at the fair or very soon after, take notes on the back of employers’ business cards that you undoubtedly collected about the individual you spoke with, the conversation you had, and your initial impressions. (You can also do this in a notebook, but make sure you attach the correct business card to the correct page in your notes so that you don’t lose the contact information!) Next, use this information to write up professional and targeted thank you letters to the employers you have any interest in speaking with further. Use a detail from your conversation with the employer in your note to jog their memory. Something like, “Thank you for speaking with me at the Career Fair at Oregon State University. Our conversation about how a company mission statement can set a tone in a workplace really got me thinking,” will help an employer place you. And get those letters out quickly! Many people don’t send thank you letters, and it can make a huge difference between an employer remembering you and not being able to recall you out of the sea of students and alumni they spoke with. You can also call the employer 2 weeks after sending those letters to confirm that they received your note and to express your continued interest in interviewing with the company.

Finally, patience is a virtue when it comes to the fair. You made connections and increased your network by attending, but those connections may not pay off right away. You never know when that network will help you in the future. If you make a meaningful connection at the Career Fair, by taking notes and following up afterward, those relationships can eventually give you opportunities and open doors. Good luck!!

Posted by Jessica Baron, Career Services Graduate Assistant

We are huge advocates of informational interviewing in Career Services so we thought we would re-post a popular article written a couple of years ago. Maybe it will get you interested in doing an informational interview in the future:

Have you ever found yourself wondering, I know there are jobs out there that may be perfect that I’ve never heard of.  How do I find them? Most people ask this at one time or another.  There are many ways to research occupations, but one of the most effective is:  Informational Interviewing.

What is “informational interviewing”, you ask?  An informational interview is an interview that you initiate with someone in a field that interests you.  You ask the questions, because the purpose is to obtain information.  This is one of the best sources for gathering information about what’s happening in an occupation or an industry, because you’re talking to people actually working in the field.  You get to interact with someone and have a dialogue—something you can’t do with a computer screen. Informational Interviews allow you to:

  • explore careers and clarify your career goal
  • discover employment opportunities that are not advertised
  • expand your professional network
  • build confidence for your job interviews
  • access the most up-to-date career information
  • identify your professional strengths and weaknesses

Informational interviews can teach you about those mysterious job descriptions you’ve never heard of, and give you insider information about your field of interest.  And best of all, they can teach you what kinds of experiences you’ll need to give yourself a leg-up in the job market during these tough economic times!

To conduct an informational interview, follow these steps:  1) Identify the occupation or industry you wish to learn about, 2) Identify People to Interview 3) Prepare for the interview, 4) Arrange the Interview, 5) Follow Up.

More questions?  Come to the Career Center and meet with one of our career counselors.

Posted by Anne Lapour, Career Counselor

Many people have been asking us about setting up a profile on LinkedIn. We posted information about LinkedIn last November and we thought we would re-post it in order to answer that very familiar question: What is LinkedIn and how do I set up an account?

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 Jen Busick, Career Advisor & Outreach Coordinator

So, you’re graduating! You only have weeks, 19 days to be exact, until you are done with school. How exciting! Have you thought about where you are headed after OSU? No? It’s never too late to get started with the job search process.

First, you have to know yourself and what you have to offer as a professional. Take time to reflect on past experiences such as jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities that have allowed you to gain skills that are transferrable to the workplace. We have put together a WORKBOOK to help you get started on this important step in the job search process.

Once you have an idea of what you bring to the table, start putting it down on paper. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at our website, including the link to our CAREER GUIDE, there are great tips and formats that will get your creative wheels churning. After you have completed a resume draft, come down to Career Services to have one of our Career Assistants review it and give you feedback. We offer drop-in hours every week from 1-4pm Monday through Thursday.

Finally, once you have your resume complete, its time to start applying for jobs! Here are a few things to remember:

  • You should always tailor your resume to specific jobs. Employers can tell when generic resumes are submitted and they often get discarded immediately.
  • References: Always ask before submitting. Be sure to ask anyone you would like to list as a reference that they feel comfortable giving you a positive recommendation and keep them informed about what jobs you are applying for by providing them with the specific job description and a copy of your resume.
  • It’s all about who you know. 70 % of jobs are gained through networking! Talk to professors, mentors, and your parents or their friends to see if they know of any jobs that are available.

If you need more assistance with the job search process, you can also make an appointment with a career counselor/advisor at 541-737-4085. We can help you brainstorm some ideas, provide resources, and get you connected with others.

Congratulations to the Oregon State University Class of 2011! GOOD LUCK and GO BEAVS!!

Posted by Linsey Baker, Career Services Assistant