College is the time to develop the skills you need, and Career Services is here to help! Follow these simple markers along the trail to come out knowing more about yourself, knowing more about the world of work, able to market yourself to others with the right tools and skills, and beginning to connect to that network of folks who can help you continue on your career trail after college!
The Career Trail will get you started toward a fully developed career plan, but you may need some extra help along the way. Career Services is here to throw you a rope when the trail gets steep. Check out all we do!
Before you even begin your hike along the trail, take a look in the mirror and know you can do it. Create a full picture for the rest of your hike by learning about yourself through career checklists that can show you careers and majors for people like you. You’re unique. And your career plan should be too.
Step #1: Who are you and what are your interests?
Complete the full personality and interest assessments in the Sigi 3 program. Each assessment takes less than 15 minutes.
Once you finish them, the program will list career and job titles that typically interest people with your profile. Select a few careers that catch your eye and click on the links to see descriptions of those careers. Copy down anything that interests or surprises you.
Step #2: What do you value and what are you good at?
Finish the other two inventories located in Sigi 3, one about values and the other about skills. Click on several of the careers in the report, read those descriptions, and take note of anything interesting to you that may be surprising or you want to learn more about. Submit both of these to your instructor as they requested or save it for self-reflection and to share with advisors, family members, or a career counselor.
Before you set out on the trail, you need to know what you’re in for. Will it be muddy, steep, or dry and flat? Will there be switchbacks, forests, streams, or rolling hills? If you know these things ahead of time, you can be prepared and have a great hike. The same with your career. That’s why you need to research careers before you leave college, know what the expectations and requirements are for jobs in your field, and get prepared to hike right into what you want to do.
Step #1: What major(s) should you choose?
Visit the sites What Can I Do With This Degree.
Step #2: What is your ideal job?
After researching the career(s) that interest you in Sigi 3, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, or in O*Net, take a look at some job descriptions for jobs available right now in an online job search engine.
Once you’ve figured out a career and a trail that works for you, you need to start creating your brand and practicing your skills in order to communicate who you are, what you want, and how you plan to make it happen. Start off with strong documents, and your opportunities will be plentiful along your way.
Step #1 - Learn About Resumes
Watch our short resume PowerPoint presentation online.
And these two quick videos:
Step #2 - Create Your Own
Using the examples we have, create a new or revise an existing resume. Submit this to your instructor as they requested or save it for self-reflection and to share with advisors, family members, or a career counselor.
Step #1 - Learn About Interviewing
When you meet others on the trail, you need to be able to communicate who you are and what you’re looking for in a career. Learn about some interviewing strategies, including this video on the STAR method.
Step #2 - Practice Your Interviewing Skills
Great interviewing is an art that requires preparation and practice. One way to practice is through InterviewStream. Instructions on logging in.
On the career trail, connecting to other hikers will get you to the best locations, with amazing waterfalls or incredible views. Even with all the research and preparation, you need to be able to connect with people that can help you secure the perfect opportunities for you. There are tons of ways to do this, including letting your instructors, colleagues, friends and family know what your goals are. Here are a couple of other ways to connect and build a network of hikers all thinking about ways to help you.
Step #1 - Explore LinkedIn
Take a look at these 6 short videos on LinkedIn, especially the first and second in the series.
Step #2 - Jump In and Try It
Create a LinkedIn profile and join the LinkedIn Oregon State University Network and the Beaver Careers Group. There are lots of groups to join, but start with these two. Make sure you fill out everything in the profile completely so your information will show up earlier in searches. Use the strategies of a great resume; typos and misinformation on LinkedIn can create a negative impression on a potential employer. Be ready to talk about your experience creating your profile to others in your class, to your advisor, or to a career counselor. Submit your public url to your instructor as they requested if completing the assignment for a class.
Step #1 - Learn How to Connect In Person
Check out our page on informational interviewing.
Step #2 - Go Out There and Meet Someone
Complete one informational interview (academic, industry, non-profit, or government) based on your interests. If you need assistance finding a person to interview, contact Career Services, talk to a professor or advisor, or explore your LinkedIn or Facebook contacts. It's always best if you can get a hold of someone local and talk to them face to face, but you could also set up an informational interview over the phone. Be sure to prepare questions to ask and respect your interviewee’s time. Complete a one-page reflection paper answering the following questions:
Submit this to your instructor as they requested or save it for self-reflection and to share with advisors, family members, or a career counselor.
Check out the information on this site about our OSU job search and career development tool, Beaver Careers.
Use the skills you’ve learned on the trail to get things happening.
The hike wouldn’t be complete without a blog or a website documenting your travels.
You have the tools. Now act! The more you do, the more you will know about what you want to do, and the more opportunities you will have to go and do it! Get on the trail, the Career Trail!