Job searching can take time — many employers hire on an annual cycle and some applications take months. So start early and have patience with the process. And with yourself. Now is the time to meet the employer who will hire you some day.
There are three main ways to find a job:
First things first, ensure that your materials, like résumés and cover letters and LinkedIn are sending the “hire me” message you want employers to receive. This is the foundation for job searching. You can apply to 50 employers and not get a call back if you broadcast the wrong signals. Learn about Career Readiness Skills Employers Want.
And remember to be careful! There are job scams out there and fraudulent listings. Do thorough research about companies before applying.
Handshake is a job board designed specifically for students, from first year through Ph.D. and post-graduation. There are 250,000+ employers, including all the Fortune 500 companies, on Handshake. The jobs you can see on Handshake are from employers who have specifically selected that they want to work with Oregon State University. So, compared to other job boards, Handshake is better targeted to your needs. Explore, find and apply for jobs straight from the platform.
Additionally, you can favorite companies and jobs to get alerts when application deadlines are approaching or when new jobs post. And you can opt in to making your profile (online résumé) visible to employers. This opens you up to the possibility of an employer messaging you based on your major and skillset and encouraging you to apply to a specific job.
In addition to exploring and applying for great jobs, Handshake is also where you can register for career events and make appointments with your college-specific career advisor.
It may also be helpful in your job search to approach employers directly and build relationships with companies of interest versus relying on job boards to identify prospects for you.
Attending Oregon State career fairs is a great way to connect with hundreds of employers from a diverse array of industries. These are offered university-wide each term during the school year and some are specialty fairs that cater to specific majors. Also watch for workshops and online webinars and panels leading up to these events where you can connect with employers. If you are located out of state, contact your nearest university and see if they allow members of the public to attend their fairs. But before you go to a career fair, take some time to prepare. Steps to Career Fair Success
To research a full list of employers in your state according to your major/area of expertise, try Buzzfile’s Employer by Major tool. Buzzfile is an indexing service that sorts employers by size, location and industry. Tools like Buzzfile can help you make a list of your top companies and then begin networking with them.
Other places to find lists of employers include the employer search in Handshake, your local chamber of commerce website, industry association websites with member lists, and state-based employer lists such as the Oregon Department of Employment’s employer database. You can review anonymous employee comments and reviews about select companies on Glassdoor.
It’s important for U.S. employers to see experiences outside the classroom to demonstrate your qualifications. Working on campus is a great option, as well as volunteering in labs or at local organizations. If you're interested in working off campus, consult with an advisor in the Office of International Services about Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) working permits. You can also look at GoinGlobal for an H1-B visa application database for U.S. companies.
Are you interested in searching for jobs outside of Oregon? You might find that many of the opportunities listed in Handshake or by your advisor are local to the Northwest. But you can still search a complete nationwide directory of employers in Handshake and look at job boards directly on their websites. If you're a distance student, check out nearby universities who might welcome non-students to attend their career fairs and network with employers.
In addition to Handshake, you might want to check other job boards that might be specific to your industry or interests.
Luckily in the job search process you can conduct an informational interview or job shadow to “try before you buy.” Doing one of these is a great way to network with potential employers and learn more about possible fields. These are typically done as a general learning exercise not related to a specific job or internship opening. If you do want to learn more about a specific opportunity, don’t hesitate to call or email the recruiter or hiring person to ask good, specific questions before applying.
The Career Development Center strives to check every employer and position that is posted to Handshake to make sure they are genuine. However, sometimes fraudulent postings do make it through. Additionally, scammers may contact students directly through email, phone or on other reputable sites like LinkedIn. Some may reference the university, the Career Development Center or other departments and programs at OSU to make their posting seem more legitimate.
If you have received a suspicious email, please review the information below. You can always contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-737-4085; we’re here to help. Additionally, Oregon State University has resources on phishing and spam to assist you in protecting your identity.
Some job scams are easy to spot, while others appear legitimate. So, how do you know who to trust? You can start with these basic guidelines to avoid a potential scam.
In general, look for job postings on official websites such as Handshake, company website “Careers” pages, USAJobs.gov, etc. and those that have been shared with you from Oregon State advisors and professors. Avoid listings on Facebook, Craigslist, etc. that you can’t trace back to the company’s official job site.
Think it’s a scam or unsure? Report it!
Information adapted from the National Association of Colleges and Employers and Rutgers University – New Brunswick, Office of Career Exploration and Success