Career Services addresses 2009 graduates

February 17, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- On a daily basis we are bombarded with news about the struggling economy, numerous company lay-offs and hiring freezes and predictions that it will take some time to recover from these unprecedented economic times. So what does that mean to students preparing to graduate and pursuing full-time employment? Job searching will likely be more challenging and will require new graduates to maximize their education, experiences, and resources.

What can current students do?

• Define goals for employment. What are you looking for and what do you bring in relation to your education, skills, experiences, and personal attributes. Answer the question "Why should we hire you?"
• Identify and research the type of positions and/or organizations you are interested in. Broaden your options as much as you can. Since there are fewer jobs available for each type of position, you should consider pursuing additional types of positions.
• Update your job search tools, including your resume and cover letter. Make sure you personalize these documents to each position. A company wants to hire someone who has taken the time to learn about them and who is enthusiastic about working for them.
• Practice Interviewing so that you can relay to the interviewer that you are a "good fit" based on your education, skills, and experiences. Be prepared to give specific examples of how you can meet their needs.
• Network, network and network. Let everyone you know that you are looking for employment. Traditionally, the majority of jobs are secured through some form of networking. During tough economic times and a tight job market, the number of jobs that are advertised decrease, thus networking becomes even more important. 
• Use multiple strategies in your search. Don’t just rely on or one career fair to meet all your job search needs. The most successful job seeker is one that utilizes multiple approaches, especially in a tough job market.
• Be active, positive and persistent.

How can Career Services help?

We are in constant contact with employers and are intent on helping you identify the opportunities that do exist. In fact, Penn State Career Services is here to assist you with all aspects of your job search. Take advantage of all of the services and programs:

•  Stop by Drop In Counseling to see a career counselor for a 15 minute consultation. Get your resume and cover letter reviewed so that you get past the first cut in the application process. Want more assistance? Schedule a 50-minute Career Counseling appointment to work with a career counselor to establish your career goals and develop a detailed job search plan involving strategies such as networking, targeted searches, and more. Drop-In Counseling is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.
• Use our Nittany Lion Recruiting system to participate in On Campus Interviewing and to view job postings. Even though fewer companies are coming this spring, opportunities still do exist. Go to to register for NLR.
• Participate in our workshops and seminars to gain more in-depth knowledge of all of the aspects of the job search process. Go to the Career Fairs and Workshop section of our Web site at, for a detailed look at the calendar of events. Join Penn State Career Services Facebook group to get up-to-date information about upcoming programs and events.
 • Schedule a Mock Interview to ensure that you are prepared when you interview for positions. Learn what to expect in an interview and how to answer behaviorally-based questions using the STAR technique. Know what employers want and how you can effectively communicate that you have the necessary qualifications and experiences. Get feedback after the video-taped interview to identify what you are doing well and what you can improve. Stop by the Career Center to schedule your Mock Interview.
• Network with alumni by using LionLink, the Alumni Association sponsored networking system.  Networking remains one of the top strategies for gaining company and industry-specific information. Talk to alumni in the field to gain perspective on what’s happening and for advice on how to proceed in this tough economic time. Go to to login to the system.
• Stay positive and don’t give up! Job search in these economic times will be challenging. Organizations are still looking to recruit and hire Penn State graduates and Career Services is here to help. Stop by the Bank of America Career Services Center today.


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009