Blog photo (LinkedIn)LinkedIn has become known to be one of the best social networking websites for people in professional occupations. Some of the main purposes of LinkedIn are to make connections with other people in the professional world. Once this takes place and people upload their resumes to showcase their work within their communities, it can then be used to look for jobs. Employers can also list jobs and search for potential candidates based on what people put on their personal profiles. It is highly recommended to have a LinkedIn profile. It is important to stay on top of your profile; you want to make sure it is up to date so you look like the “ideal candidate” for your possible future employers. Here is a list of 5 ways/ tips to get noticed on LinkedIn, using that profile you worked so hard to create and keep polished.

1.)   Spruce up your career summary with relevant keywords. Recruiters and employers often look for skills and expertise a candidate obtains so highlight your qualifications by including certain keywords in your career summary.

2.)   Participate in discussions. LinkedIn is full of different groups you can join, so find ones related to your industry and occupation and respond to comments and questions using the discussion and message boards with intelligent/articulate answers, these may attract recruiters which may lead to a possible interview or job offer down the road.

3.)   Build up your connections. Connect with as many people as possible, from entry level employees to vice-presidents. Recruiters look at the number of connections you have, as well as who you are connected to, to evaluate your networking skills.

4.)   Post recommendations on your profile. If you solved a problem or contributed to an important project at work and a co-worker of yours writes a recommendation about you, make sure it gets posted to your profile as well, not just theirs.

5.)   Regularly update your status. Everyone you are “linked” to or who is in your network sees your updates when you post them, so make yourself more visible. It’s not a bad idea to post the fact that you are looking for work because all it takes is getting noticed by one person, the possibilities are endless!

Take these tips and suggestions into consideration when you start or continue to use LinkedIn. They could be extremely helpful to you getting more connections and hopefully getting that dream job you’ve been searching, waiting, and working so hard for. Good Luck!


 Posted by Carly Larson, Career Services Assistant

networkingWhen it comes to networking, some of us are exceptionally great at it and some of us tend to struggle with this skill. Yes, networking is a skill that we all must work on and build.  Especially when it comes to finding a job; having such a huge but diverse networking group is very essential. The more people you know, the better it is for you.

Social networking is the most common way to establish, maintain and promote your skills, achievements and goals to new and old networking groups. Here are 5 ways to network and why you should network.

1. Online Profiles and Other Online Networking Sites:
Online profiles are a good way to network; believe it or not Twitter is becoming the “go to” place to advertise to employers about your skills and achievements. Also, by having online profiles you’re able to maintain relationships with your old networks while building new ones. Online is a great place to have a resume portfolio that potential employers can look at. LinkedIn is also a great place to network yourself; it’s a place for employers to see your skills. Here you can start to establish relationships and connections with potential companies that you are interested in working for.

2. Communicate Changes in Career:
Changes in your career choice is inevitable, track them down and let people know of the positive changes that you’re making in your career or positive changes that have happened in your career. Twitter is another great way of getting the word out about your changes. Shoot a #tweet, believe it or not employers do check out tweets.

3. Go and Discover Career Paths that You Wouldn’t Normally Go For:
Having a dream job is not bad, it’s good to have a dream job that you work for, but sometimes going into a profession that you would have never thought of before may be a good thing, too. Exploring will lead to more options, the more options you have the better skilled you may become and the more you can put on your resume. Having the same job can become boring; exploring will help you to find something that you may actually like to do.

4. Through Your Friends and Families, Make More and Newer Contacts:
Family and friends can be really helpful when making connections. If you’re going for a position and they know that person it could be very beneficial for you. Your network can become so much bigger if you take the time to contact and connect with the people your family and friends know. Again, don’t use or contact people only when you need them; this is where having a weekly or monthly check up with someone is useful. That way you maintain the relationship and when help is needed, you can ask your networks for assistance. If you have an uncle who works for a hotel industry that you are interested in, ask him if he can set you up with some of the people he knows to just have lunch and talk about things you are interested in. Ask them how they got to where they are at, talk about your goals with them and what you need to know about the industry. Then after the meeting, keep in contact with them and thus your networking circle just grew and now you have a relationship with that person in your desired industry.

5. Let the Job find you:
Sometimes, well most times, we get so stressed on finding that perfect job that pays a lot, has great benefits and is something that we desire to do every day. Yes, preparing and finding the right job isn’t wrong, but sometimes just letting the job find you is all you need. The internet is an advanced piece of technology that has changed the world forever; the internet always supplies you with ongoing things in the world. Set up accounts for jobs or companies that you prefer; if they have an opening let them tell you about it. Or with your built network you could possibly gain a job from that network circle you built. Everything ties in, social networking, networking, and resume building; they all play a vital role with each other. Letting the job find you may not be easy, but it will happen if you network correctly and effectively.

Networking is very crucial, the more time you invest in making those “right” connections the more beneficial it is for your future. It is never too late to start building your social network. Remember, whatever you put on the internet is for all to see, so keep it professional, fun and don’t forget to sell your skills!

These are just some ways to network yourself, there are many other suggestions out there. Find the ways that best compliment you!

Posted by Hulali Kaapana, Career Services Assistant


dream jobIs there a specific company within your area of interest you have always dreamed about working for? Are you ready to start taking the necessary steps to get your foot in the door?

Than follow these tips of advice and you will be heading in the right direction to land that dream job!

Confidence is key! Whenever you are looking for a job and even more so when it is a job that you are very interested in it can be scary, but don’t take yourself out of the mix before it’s even started. Believing in yourself and your abilities and actually take the steps to apply. Of course it can be intimidating applying to a large company or an organization you have dreamed about, but take the chance!

Networking: Most jobs that are available are not posted anywhere; individuals refer those they know to contact the individual in charge of the open position. That is why it is incredibly important to build professional relationships and connections with those within your field and at the company you hope to work at.

This is the first step and one of the most important! Start setting up Informational Interviews and connect with those already in the field.

A Good Fit: Make sure that you research the company you are hoping to gain a job at; you may think that the job is perfect for you but the environment also has to be a good fit. If you get an interview ask the current employees what they like the most about working there and what their favorite part of the job is, this will give you insight into the environment and nature of the company.

Meet the Necessary Qualifications: In order to be suited for the job you have to have necessary experience and qualification or at least be able to speak to how your skills can transfer to the job responsibilities. Do your research on the background of current employees at the company; if their experience matches yours, you are likely to be more qualified for the job. Looking at the minimum qualifications will tell you right away whether you will be given an opportunity or if you need to gain more experience or different credentials.

Check out these References for additional tips:

Posted by Ciara Lynn, Career Services Intern

When the month of February begins, many are eager to know if the groundhog will see his shadow or not. According to legend, if the groundhog sees his shadow, winter will continue for six more weeks.

Since 1996, however, the beginning of February has also marked a new holiday and initiative called National Groundhog Job Shadow Day. Groundhog Job Shadow Day is a joint effort of America’s Promise – Alliance for Youth, Junior Achievement, and the U.S. Department of Labor in which students of participating schools are paired with a mentor from participating organizations, who they will “shadow” throughout the day, to experience how the skills they learn in the classroom can be applied in the real world. National Groundhog Job Shadow Day, celebrated the first week of February, is currently most commonly practiced in middle and high school settings, but grows as a national initiative each year.

Job shadowing can be important…

  • in your own personal career development. By overseeing someone in a particular profession, you can get a sense of what working in a position like theirs would entail and if it’s an area you could see yourself pursuing a career in. Some job shadows may even result in future internships or jobs.
  • on your resume. All job shadows may be unique in some way. Some may include hands-on experience, while others might include observing research in a lab. Either way, job shadowing can show experience on your resume, in addition to skills like communication, time-management, and professionalism.

So, while there is a chance that the groundhog may not see his shadow this year, know that more than 100,000 businesses will have shadows: those of more than one million students participating in National Groundhog Job Shadow Day, which you can become a part of by considering a job shadowing experience. For more information about job shadowing, check out the Career Services website.


Posted by Erica Evans, Career Services Assistant

“Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.”  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.


As a Career Advisor, I often work with students who are dismayed by the resume writing process. They don’t have experience directly relevant to their field of interest, and it seems like they need experience to get that experience. Before I learned about career development and targeting resumes to specific opportunities, I thought this way too. How do I get a job if I need a job to get a job?

But there are tons of ways to gain experience in your field or to develop transferable skills that you would use in almost any field. It’s all a matter of how to frame your experience to show potential employers that you have the skills you need to do the work. You can do internships, seasonal temporary jobs, on-campus jobs, and join student organizations. You can do undergraduate research or start your own small company. The avenue I’d like to advocate for today, in light of the upcoming holiday celebrating the incredible inspiration of Martin Luther King, Jr., is to volunteer.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” With this statement, he was calling on all of us to step forward and serve. If you get involved in community service, you will help others. You will forge lasting and rewarding relationships. And others will teach you incredible lessons about their lives and what needs to change in this world to make it better.

Think about the skills you already have that you could offer. Are you great at designing websites? Organizing people? Planning events? Fundraising? Working with children? Do you have particular expertise that a nonprofit or human services organization would find useful? Offer that expertise up to an organization and commit some of your time to their work. Or, on the other hand, do you want to learn more about a specific area within human services or what environmental nonprofits do? Offer your volunteer hours to an organization in that field and commit to doing whatever the organization needs. I would be willing to bet that you will probably get more out of the experience than you ever thought possible. It will surprise you how much you will learn, about yourself and what you are capable of accomplishing, as well as the field you volunteer in. And you will be helping others and the world in the process.

The added bonus is that you can easily record this information on your resume, highlighting any transferrable skills or knowledge that relates to the positions you apply for. These volunteer experiences show employers a lot about you. They show a lot about your character and the values you hold. They show a ton about your work ethic and ability to multitask, juggling school and volunteering responsibilities. They also can show, dependent on the organization you work with and the work you do, relevant skills for your field of interest. In addition, you will build a network of people who can be a support to you in your job search and may offer referrals or connect you to colleagues. Finally, your volunteer experiences will teach you amazing things about how to work and communicate effectively with others who may be different from you, which is a skill you need in any workplace. You can write about those people skills on your resume.

I hope you will take a moment this coming 3 day weekend to reflect on the ways in which you serve and could serve others, in honor of an amazing man who called on us all to do so. And I hope once you reflect on that, you decide to volunteer. A couple of events are coming up around campus that can help you make this happen. First, participate in the MLK Day of Service, sponsored by the Center for Civic Engagement. In addition, February 6th, Career Services and the Center for Civic Engagement are teaming up to sponsor the Nonprofit and Volunteering Fair. Also, Career Services has a page dedicated to finding volunteer opportunities, as does the Center for Civic Engagement.

You can make a difference in the lives of others by offering your time and your skills, and you will learn and grow and develop in the process. Try it!

Posted by Jessica Baron, Graduate Assistant Career Advisor in Career Services

Emotions on FacesHave you ever worked with someone who had mood swings that affected the whole office? Or maybe you had a colleague who often got angry in meetings, sparking tension and disagreements? Have you worked with someone who always knew the right thing to say to make you feel better? Have you been supervised by someone whose positive attitude infected the entire workplace culture?

These are examples of how emotional intelligence can impact the workplace, whether your workplace is an office, a restaurant, a store, or a factory. Very few people work alone. Most people work on teams or in other kinds of groups. So, employers are looking for people who can navigate those teams well and improve the team by being a member of it. For all these reasons, emotional intelligence is a huge plus for a potential candidate.

So, what exactly is emotional intelligence? The technical definition is that it measures the level of ability an individual has in regulating his or her own emotions and moods as well as understanding and considering the emotions of others. People with high levels of emotional intelligence are adept at adapting to stressful situations and having difficult conversations. They can regulate themselves emotionally and help others to regulate themselves by offering care or respect or positivity. Emotionally intelligent people are good at sensing what other people are feeling and knowing how to react to those feelings in order to reduce tension and conflict.

You can see why this would be a good quality to have with your friends and family, but why does it matter at work? Well, there are certain skills associated with high emotional intelligence that correlate to success at work, including social skills, self-awareness, self-control, and motivation. High emotional intelligence also coincides with the ability to manage stress. Work can be stressful, and employers want to know that their employees can handle that stress in productive ways. They also want to know that their employees are self-aware enough to know how other perceive them, including clients and customers.

How can you cultivate emotional intelligence? Treat your co-workers with respect and build relationships with them. Go to work with a positive attitude whenever possible, and if you’re having a bad day, let people know that you’re struggling. If you feel yourself getting angry or frustrated at work, take a moment to examine why before reacting. You will be surprised how often just thinking through a problem or conflict that is upsetting before you react will eliminate the power of the feeling associated with it. Try not to blame others for workplace mistakes but offer solutions to problems. Finally, in your interactions with your co-workers, be in tune with them, ask them how things are going, and actually care about the answer. There is nothing as frustrating as working with someone who only pretends to care. If you build caring relationships at work, you will build your emotional intelligence, and be able to exhibit this at work and in future interviews. With some luck, taking the time to care about those you work with will lead to other opportunities, through referrals and recommendations. There are many different kinds of intelligence, and emotional intelligence is a useful one to work on increasing.

Posted by Jessica Baron, Graduate Assistant Career Advisor at OSU

As a customer you remember the exceptional and horrible customer service you receive and share both experiences with everyone. These are reasons why customer service is a huge part of any job, even if you don’t come in contact with customers on a daily basis. Since this week is Customer Service Week, I decided to help you out with my top 9 customer service tips:

  1. Go the Extra Mile: While the Customer may not always be right, with the ability to blog about poor service, bad food, or just about anything these days, it is important to make sure customers are completely satisfied. This means going the extra mile, and doing everything you can to say yes. If someone asks where something is in the store, walk them to it and try to answer any further questions they may have. However, don’t make a promise you can’t keep, but let them know you will do everything you can to help them.
  2. Greet and Welcome Customers: By greeting and welcoming customers to your establishment you establish good rapport. If you ask customers if you can help them with anything to begin with, you will save yourself the hassle of trying to help an impatient, angry customer later, and get rid of the awkwardness of them trying to get your attention. However, make sure you give them space, suffocating customers with enthusiastic help when all they wish is to figure it out themselves typically has negative effects.
  3. Know Your Customers: If you work at a place that gets lots of repeat customers, try to learn their names, or at least show that you recognize them. If someone always comes in and orders a nonfat soy latté every morning, ask them if they want their usual rather than them feel unrecognized and having to tell you every time.
  4. Know How to Handle Customer Complaints: Learn your company’s policies about complaints and unhappy customers, often times they dictate how you handle situations or tell you who you should direct them to instead. Sometimes you cannot solve all complaints; however, giving these customers your attention may be all they really need. Remember to always remain calm during these situations, getting angry and worked up will only cause a bigger scene and draw other customers’ attention.
  5. Listen to Your Customers: Make sure you listen and understand what your customers need, be part of the conversation appropriately and ask questions if you do not understand. There is nothing more frustrating as a customer than having to repeat yourself after realizing you were not being listened to. Also, if you cannot answer a question they have, make sure to find someone else who can or figure out the answer yourself.
  6. Know How to Apologize: It can be hard, especially with rude customers, but apologizing could help you keep a customer. Again, customers may not always be right, but recognizing a problem will satisfy them.
  7. Treat Employees and Coworkers Well: Make sure to treat those you work with well, and as you wish to be treated by your boss. Employees are likely to treat customers the way they are being treated as well, so happy employees and coworkers mean happy customers.
  8. Sometimes our customers become our future employers or a potential connection. I know someone who has direct experience with this…when she was in college she worked at Starbucks and since there were many repeat customers, the customers got to know her and her work ethic. One customer gave my friend her business card and said that my friend would be excellent in banking and would give her a referral if she were interested. Just demonstrates that everyone is a potential employer!
  9. We are All Customers: At some point in time we are all customers, thus when giving customer service to others think about how you would want to be treated in the same situation. Picture yourself on the other side of a malfunctioning product and how frustrated you would be, then picture how much happier you would be if someone went the extra mile for you.

Posted by Sami Kerzel, Career Services Assistant

In honor of April as Workplace Conflict Awareness Month, I think it is important to discuss ways to avoid workplace conflict in the first place.

Of course, sometimes conflict is inevitable. Stuff happens. But there are ways to minimize the likelihood of conflicts. If workers take responsibility to act professionally, conflicts are much less likely.

So, what does it mean to be a professional? How do you act like a professional if you’ve never had a professional experience? Or how do you determine what it means to be a professional in a new career field or industry? Here are 8 tips to consider as you move into the workforce, whether you are soon graduating and looking for full-time work, taking on a part-time or full-time job while you finish school, or starting an internship. Professionalism is central in order to make a positive impression on your co-workers and supervisors. Then, those people will become a helpful part of your network as your progress in your career.

Professional Tip 1: Be enthusiastic and passionate about the work.

No one wants to work with someone who doesn’t care about what they do. One way to show respect for your co-workers is through the interest and excitement you bring to the work that goes on in the industry.

Professional Tip 2: Keep learning and wanting to learn from others and on your own.

You will be seen as a professional if you exhibit the qualities of a lifelong learner, if you keeping developing yourself, and if you truly want to learn from all those around you. A little initiative goes a long way toward professionalism.

Professional Tip 3: Be humble.

Although you needed to exhibit your confidence to get the job and maintain that confidence to become a vital and engaged part of the team, stay in touch with your humility. Understand everyone starts somewhere, and we all have a long way to go.

Professional Tip 4: Be an agent for change.

Fresh ideas and creative solutions to problems are welcome in the professional world. Don’t complain when something isn’t working, offer a potential way to fix it. Your co-workers will thank you!

Professional Tip 5: Help others.

Does the office fridge need cleaning? Does the printer cartridge need to be changed? Then do it! Small acts of kindness show a sense of responsibility for the workplace as a shared venture. Everyone wants to feel like all members are pulling their weight.

Professional Tip 6: Be flexible.

Change happens; it’s inevitable. So roll with it! Your co-workers and supervisors will appreciate your adaptability to new conditions.

Professional Tip 7: Show up on time and work really hard!

People will be impressed with your professionalism if you take your work seriously, focus only on work related activities in the workplace (no personal distractions), and arrive early and stay late. This doesn’t mean become a workaholic; it’s important to maintain balance with your work and your home life, but devote the time needed to do your job really well. If that means coming in a half hour early to prepare for a meeting or working one evening to get a project done on a deadline, do it.

Professional Tip 8: Be honest.

Finally, when you are having any kind of workplace difficulty with a co-worker or a supervisor, the most professional way to deal with the situation is to respectfully tell them. If you need to, go through the proper channels – talking to a mentor or supervisor when you’re unsure how to handle the situation. Professional people are honest and transparent while being respectful.

As you move into professional positions and work to grow as a professional, these tips will help you avoid workplace conflict and, when conflict arises, handle it constructively. Although these tips sound simple, they are difficult to do every day, and workers who are consistently professional stand out. If we all want a little more peace in the working world this month, it would be a good idea to remind ourselves how to be a professional.

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!