A map to (career research) treasures!

by Jamie Grant


To write the best resume, cover letter, or to ace an interview, it is imperative that you spend time considering the interests and focus of your intended audience – the employer – and to prepare accordingly.

Aside from knowing someone in the field, how can you best learn about the industries that you are targeting in your job or internship search?  Hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars worth of materials from two of the best resources for career research – the Vault Career Library and Wetfeet Guides – are accessible to you, dear Penn students and alumni, for FREE, behind the Online Subscriptions, Pennkey-and-Password section of the Career Services online library.

Vault “Career Insider” includes many features and tools to help you in your research, including 39 comprehensive Industry Guides, with individual guides on topics like: Environmental Careers, Sales and Trading, Social Work, Hedge Funds, Television Writing Careers, and the Energy Industry, to name just a few.  In addition, there are specific guides for particular organizations and industries, like the 2011 Guides to the Best Consulting Firms by practice area (Economic, Energy, Financial, HR, Operations, Pharma & Health Care, or Business Advisory), the Top 50 Consumer Products organizations review, and reviews of popular internship sites and professions with “Day In The Life” features.  And, the Vault resources aren’t just limited to the U.S. – with particular guides for European and Asian markets, Vault can be an invaluable tool to help you learn and understand the nuances of your targeted industries.

Wetfeet Guides’ Industry Profiles, under the “Careers and Industries” part of the site, provides 29 easy-to-read, quick overviews of industries from Accounting, Advertising, and Aerospace/Defense to Education, Health Care, Pharma & Biotech, Real Estate, Telecommunications, and Venture Capital.   With five minutes of reading, you can get an ideal, insider’s view to an industry.

The best part of the Penn subscription benefit is that you can download the guides, reviews, and more as PDFs, right onto your laptop or iPad to read at your leisure.  And while I can only provide a cursory overview of the amazing depths of these two resources, you have the opportunity to access these sites and see for yourself through our Career Library.  Pretty soon, you too could be “talking the talk” of the professional club you hope to join, and your job search materials will be even better!

Author: Jamie Grant

Jamie Grant is Associate Director of Career Services for the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

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