Posted by Linsey Stripling, Career Services Assistant


If utilized, informational interviewing is one of the most valuable sources of occupational information. An Informational Interview is an informal conversation with someone working in your area of interest who will give you information and advice based on the questions you ask.


  • Get first hand, relevant information about the realities of working within a particular field, industry or position.
  • Find out about career paths that you might not have know existed
  • Get tips about how to prepare for and enter a given career
  • Improve your communication skills and confidence when it comes to speaking with professionals
  • Initiate a professional relationship and expand your network of contacts in your career field of interest
  • Learn how professionals have balanced work and their other life priorities

Six Steps for Informational Interviewing

1) Research Career Fields

  • Do initial research on the career field or specific employer you are interested in

2) Identify people to interview

  • Pursue your own contacts then branch out to organizations within your interest area

3) Prepare for the interview

  • Develop as short (15-30 second) overview of yourself, including your reasons for contacting this person, as a way to introduce yourself and define the context of the meeting

4) Initiate contact

  • Contact the person by phone, mention how you got their name and what it is exactly that you are looking for from them

5) Conduct the informational interview

  • Be prepared, dress appropriately, arrive on time and be ready to direct the interview

6) Follow up

  • Send a thank you not within 1-2 days to express your appreciations for the time and information they provided you.

Posted by Fernando Ramirez

Beaver JobNet is an online job database that allows OSU students to search for jobs and internships, upload a resume for employers to see, search for employers recruiting on campus, and learn about on-campus events such as Career Fairs.

The easiest way to access Beaver JobNet is via the Career Services website. On the right-hand side you will see the Beaver JobNet login section. Click “Student Login” and login using your ONID username and password. If it’s your first time logging in, you will be asked to complete a short profile. Once you’ve completed that, you’ll have full access to Beaver JobNet.

The homepage on Beaver JobNet has a list of shortcuts on the right-hand side to make navigating through the site easier and faster. You’ll also see tabs across the top of the page. To search for jobs and internships, click the “Search Jobs and Internships” tab. This will bring up the job postings page. Here, you can view all the jobs posted on Beaver JobNet or apply filters to see only the ones you are interested in. Once you find a job you are interested in, click on it to bring up more information about the position. On the right you will see instructions on how to apply for the job as well as important dates, such the date posted and the deadline for applying.

One other thing you should know is how to upload your resume onto Beaver JobNet. On the top, click on the “Your Documents” tab. You will see a message that says “No records found.” Below it, click on “Add New.” Now fill out the required information. You’ll need to give the document a label (for example, “Resume”), and select the document type. Then click “Choose File,” select your resume, and click “submit”. Your resume should now appear on the Resumes page. Once you’ve uploaded a resume, you may want to add it to the resume book for other employers to see. If an employer finds your resume in the resume book and is interested, they may contact you about internship or job opportunities. To add your resume to the resume book, click on the “Your Documents” tab to bring up the Resumes page. Below the word “resumes,” click on the tab that says “Opt-In Resume Book.” You will see your resume under the list of documents. Click on the “Select Resume Books” button. On the new page, give your document a label, then click “select” next to “Target Opt-In Resume Book.” Select the resume book where you’d like to place your resume (you can select more than one) and click “Submit.”

These are only the basics of Beaver JobNet. Look through the tabs across the top of the page to explore other features of Beaver JobNet, and use the Shortcuts on the homepage to access important pages more quickly. Hopefully this information will be enough to get you started. Happy job hunting!

Posted by Hulali Kaapana, Career Services Career Assistant

The Career fair is right around the corner, happening on October 12, 2010.  Being prepared, organized and making sure to use time management wisely are key factors to success at the Career Fair. There are 3 areas of a Career fair; 1) Preparation 2) The actual fair 3) After the fair; follow-up.

1)     Preparation

  • Make sure you understand how the Career Fair is beneficial to you
  • Do research! Be educated about the companies you are interested in
  • Bring your resume. [Don’t forget drop in hours; Monday-Thursday 1-4pm]
  • Prepare a 1-minute introduction about yourself for employers
  • Questions, questions, questions. Don’t be afraid to ask!

2)     Day of the Career Fair

  • Dress the part, look PROFESSIONAL!
  • Eye contact, clear speaking and firm handshakes are good things to keep in mind
  • Be Confident in yourself and your resume
  • Try to refrain from large group greetings, be independent
  • Ask for a business card
  • Smile =)

3)     After the Career Fair

  • Send a “thank you” card

All these steps go hand in hand in preparing for a Career fair.  By preparing the steps shared above you will feel more comfortable and less nervous when the time comes to talk to the employers.  Don’t forget to have fun while talking to employers.  More detailed information can be found at Career Services website.

Posted by Anne Lapour, Career Counselor

So, you landed a summer internship (or a summer job).  Good for you!  Gaining these outside experiences is going to benefit you in your eventual job search.  Many internships morph into job offers–in fact, “entry level jobs” often begin as internships.  So, how do you enhance your chances of that full-time offer at the end of your internship?  You need to view this internship experience as an extended job interview.  This is your opportunity to show what you can do for the team.  The following are a couple of articles with some great suggestions for how to make the most of your internship:

Make the Most of Your Internship

Making the Most of Your Internship(s)

And don’t forget…you’re checking them out too.  Take note of the company culture, the people you work with, and any other factors that might be important as you clarify your career goals.  Internships are one of the most enlightening and productive steps you can take on your career journey–make the most of it!

Posted by:  Holly Pierce, OSU Alum and former Career Services Career Assistant

The following post was contributed by OSU alum, Holly Pierce, who took us very seriously when we told her the key to finding a job was networking.  Holly’s story is a great lesson for anyone looking for a job right now!

As a brand new college grad, I am excited to say… I am not only employed, but more proudly, working for my top-choice company, at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide in Portland, Oregon.

Today marks six weeks in my new position. So far, I have met 200+ people between the Portland and Seattle WE offices. However, just over a month ago that was not so true. To be exact, I knew no one.

All I knew for certain was that I wanted to work in the communications industry and more specifically, I wanted to work for Waggener Edstrom. So, instead of applying for job after job via: the World Wide Web, I decided to try something a little different. I worked my network. I called every professional I knew in Portland with hopes that somebody, somewhere, knew someone that would direct me towards a career with Waggener Edstrom.

To my complete surprise, the number of people willing to help me with my quest was astonishing. As it turned out, I found over a dozen people, in all different industries across the Northwest, who knew someone that worked here at WE. Thank goodness. I quickly began the next stage of my aspirant plan.

I will admit— I had some initial concern that I’d potentially present an overbearing image to the WE-HR department, so I choose one person in particular to help initiate my request. Needless to say it worked like a charm.

Within eight hours I had my first telephone interview which advanced me to the next round. Several days later, I had a second phone interview which almost immediately was followed by an on-site interview with my current manager. After traveling to the WE office and meeting the members of the OR-Ops team, I was certain this was the place I wanted to be more than anything. I left my final interview feeling excited, energized and full of hope. Less than two days later I was offered a position, which I whole-heartedly accepted. Within two weeks I graduated from college, moved to Portland and started my very first day with the agency.

However, as a very recent victim of unemployment, I can sympathize quite well. So, my advice to those still left in the all-too-familiar ‘looking for a job’ club; whether you’re new college grad, or not…

Here it is….



During my time in college, I learned many valuable skills about career development but the most important thing I learned–the one that tops everything else—is the value of networking.

Believe me as I try to explain…times are certainly changing. Resumes, cover letters and portfolios, nowadays, can only get you so far in life. Blogging, Skype, I-chat, and the hundreds of social media sites are defining the new trend in our culture. In other words… networking.

Put yourself out there. Create an image and sell it to your ‘clients’. This new age idea presents us all with the challenge to think differently. It forces us, in every industry, to ask ourselves… ‘What can I do to make myself a more marketable candidate?’ Whether you connect on LinkedIn, start a blog, or record a YouTube video—the point is, it’s time to try something new.

I have been at Waggener Edstrom for 30 days for a total of 250 hours. I have learned the names of 200+ people across two floors of roughly 70,000 square feet. I have learned the details of our 16 worldwide offices, our innovative client portfolio and the crazy PR lingo that is actively used by Waggener employees each day.

So, the strategy? It’s no secret…

Get out there. Create a network. Find some possibility. Believe in opportunity. Work hard. Build relationships. Be interesting by being interested. Have patience and remember to stay positive—things will turn out right.

As for me… I still have a lot to learn. But so far, the transition from college to career has been pretty encouraging. I will continue to work hard, build my network and learn as much as I can from the world around me because I know I have a long career road ahead.

Posted by Tim Chen, Career Services Career Assistant

With the school year coming to a close, it’s now a good time to look back and see what you have learned in the year.  Depending on your class, you might have gained a wide variety of experience.  These might include technical skills from application specific courses, communication skills from public speaking, management from working in club organizations, or leadership from group projects you were involved in.

After you have brainstormed and figured out what you’ve learned and the skills you’ve gained, take the time to apply it towards your resume.  Depending on how much information you generated, this could create an addition to your activities section, your education section, or stand out as its own section in the resume.  If you feel that you have a strong resume and cannot place the skills in your resume, then write them down somewhere (while your ideas are fresh in your mind) so that you can reference them.  This comes in handy when you want to talk about skills and experiences outside of your resume for documents such as Cover Letters or answering questions in interviews.

Overall, reflecting on your experiences and skills gained within the year allows you to not only remember all of the things you might have done the previous year, but also to figure out how you might handle your pursuit in the future.

Posted by:  Silvestre Trujillo, OSU Junior and Career Services Career Assistant

Writing a resume for a specific company is always tough. There is always the stress of trying to figure out what to put on your resume that will make you stand out. The thought of an employer going through your resume and not liking what is on there can be very nerve-racking. Companies in today’s businesses hire people to personally look through resumes and pick out the candidates that stand out. However, more and more businesses are moving to a key word screening process where technology is used to find the person for a particular job.

Keyword screening is a process that many people are not familiar with. When a resume is submitted, you don’t usually think of the screening that occurs through keywords, but it needs to be kept in the back of your mind. This is how it works:  a company has software that takes online resume submissions and (through fancy programming), it looks for specific words. These words can vary depending on the company or the position description of the job they’re trying to fill. This form of screening candidates is usually done by bigger companies but is being used by many smaller companies as well. When writing a resume or tailoring it to a specific company it is important to always keep in mind that the use of technology could be the way in which you are selected.

A way in which to write your resume so that you have a higher chance of being selected over other candidates is to look at the position description for the job you are applying to. A typical job description will look like:

Communication Skills: Strong verbal communication skills that will be applied to customer interaction, client relation and colleague interaction.

Computer Skills: Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office 2007, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop, iMovie, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, DivX, PowerDVD DX

After seeing the position description it is important to take the key skills addressed and add them to your resume—IF you do, in fact, have knowledge of those skills stated.  For example, you could simply add a computer skills section to your resume, and then include every skill you have related to computers and technology.  This would definitely help if some of those programs you state are in the keyword database.

When writing your resume for any job, always remember that screening by technology could be used. Make sure to go through the position description and try to use keywords to describe the type of work you did in a past job. The hiring process is always changing and it is important to keep up to date in order to have a an edge on the competition.

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

According to a national study by Grunwald Associates, 96% of Generation Y uses social media tools.  Currently, Generation Y outnumbers the Baby Boomer population.

With that said, more and more businesses are switching over to social networking as means of interacting with the growing youth population.  In an effort to draw attention from the youth while maintaining professionalism, LinkedIn was developed as a “professional” social network.

LinkedIn takes the traditional aspects of a job market and places it online for millions of users to interact.  The profile page looks similar to the “Info” page on a Facebook profile, but more business oriented.  For example, my LinkedIn profile immediately lists off my previous employers, the educational institutions I attended, the number of “connections” (friends) I have, and any websites that I choose to share (personal, company, etc…).  Outside, it provides additional details regarding my information (that I choose to share), and then it displays groups involved and my most recent activities.

To use LinkedIn for job hunting, there are several general tips that you may choose to follow, from the Guy Kawasaki Blog:

1)     Increase your visibility! This can be done by adding more connections and using keywords that best describe you.  Make sure you add connections outside of your current employer (such as high school friends, friends from groups/organizations) to draw more attention in search results.

2)     Improve search engine results. Aside from increasing your visibility, advertise your LinkedIn profile.  Attempt to create your public profile URL with your name in it so it’s easier for employers to exclusively find you.  Also, include your LinkedIn URL in your signatures if you ever post on blogs since it helps advertise yourself within the blog, and it increases the appearance of your name in search results.

3)     Perform “reverse,” company reference checks. Given correct information, LinkedIn allows for users to search for previous title holders of a position within a company.  This provides the user an opportunity to look at the resume of the interviewer and allows the user to see previous people who held the position.  This search comes in handy since it provides a better idea about the company and that specific department and/or position.

4)     Increase job search by skills! Rather than searching by people and/or employers, you can type in a skill and have a list of companies with positions seeking those specific skills.  For example, by searching “Java” under the Job search, many “Java Developer” positions show up.

5)     Research companies with LinkedIn! Rather than visiting the employer’s official website, LinkedIn has asked for companies to create a generic “profile” page for users to briefly review their information and testimonies from their employees.

Of course with all of those tips, there are a couple of things that you should be careful about.  These tips come from Dr. Rachna D. Jain’s “Five Things you should never do on a social network:”

1)     Do not leave negative feedback.  That comment and feedback will generally stick around for a while.

2)     Do not lie, and be honest.  Companies look for integrity in their employers and their potentials.

3)     Do not spam!  Spam is NOT a push marketing strategy.  Most people hate spam and would prefer not to hear about promotional material.

4)     Do not gossip!  It’s immature and makes you look very unprofessional and takes away any classy image you might have.

5)     Do not oversell yourself.  Arrogance is accepted to an extent.  If you say you can do something, companies will expect that you can follow through.

With that said, start making your LinkedIn profile today!  Be sure to join the Oregon State LinkedIn group after you signup.

Sources: BNET, Guy Kawasaki Blog

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!

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!