Winter Break is Here!

Career Services will be closed from 2pm on Friday, December 23rd until 9am on Tuesday, January 3rd.  We wish all of our students, postdocs and alumni the best of the season and a very happy new year.

Remember that you can find lots of information on the Career Services website and on this blog to help you make the most of your winter break, including information about our new mobile version of PennLink.  We’ll see you in 2012!

Going Mobile!

by J. Michael DeAngelis, Information Specialist

You asked for it, you got it!  PennLink, the Career Services job board and OCR manager, is now available in a mobile version!  Whether you’re on an Anroid, an iPhone, a Windows 7 phone, a tablet computer, ebook reader or any other portable device, you can now access and use PennLink easily!

The mobile version of the site activates automatically when you visit, instantly detecting your mobile device.  There’s no special app to install and one particular kind of phone or tablet is not favored over the other.  Though the screenshots below are from an iPhone and an iPad, your mobile PennLink experience should be the same across devices.

Because the main Career Services website isn’t totally mobile friendly yet (But trust me, I’m working on it for 2012!), I’ve created a shortcut to our mobile portal for you here and on our homepage, so you don’t have to navigate through a lot of layers.   I highly recommend bookmarking this page on your device or adding it to your homescreen so you can quickly return whenever you want.

From our mobile portal, follow the link to the PennLink log-in page.  Just like on our desktop version, you have the choice between logging in using your PennKey (most current students) or using your e-mail address (mostly alumni).  Be sure to select the proper entryway, just as you do on the regular site:

Important tip!
Our good friend at Simplicity, who created and maintain the PennLink software, have thoughtfully included a way for you to add a shortcut straight to the PennLink log in screen from your home screen and you may get a pop-up bubble asking you to do so.  DON’T DO IT!  As great an idea as this may sound, that particular shortcut is not currently compatible with our PennKey system.  Technicians are working on this bug and we’ll let you know when it’s resolved.  In the meantime, bookmark our mobile portal as suggested above.

Sorry, folks

Once you are logged in, nearly all of PennLink is at your fingertips!

Want to see the schedule of upcoming Career Fairs and who’s attending? Check.  Want to find out which Employer Information Sessions are coming up soon? Check.  Want to add those information sessions to your mobile calendar? Check.

Of course, what a lot of you want to do is be able to search and apply for jobs.  We’ve got you covered.  The PennLink mobile site has a complete listing of OCR and non-OCR job postings!  You can search for jobs just like you can on the desktop site (all your jobs and employers previously marked as favorites will be intact too) and submit your application directly from the mobile site using the resumes and cover letters you already have uploaded to your “Documents” tab.

Note: PennLink Mobile does not currently support uploading new files to your Documents tab, so make sure that you have already uploaded your most up to date documents!

The PennLink Mobile site is just the first phase of an ongoing effort by Career Services to completely revamp our online resources and make them accessible in the way you want them to be.  If you have suggestions about the PennLink Mobile site, please let us know in the comments below.  We’ve only been live for about four days, so if you find any bugs or note that something is not as intuitive as it should be, tell us!  We hope that come the spring semester, the mobile version of PennLink will be a popular and easy resource for students on the go.

Lessons you can learn from Rudolph (and friends) about your Career Path

By Anne Reedstrom & Claire Klieger

‘Tis the season for many holiday specials, including one of our favorites, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, which has a surprising number of career parallels–okay, maybe only if you’re someone who works in Career Services which, after a time, causes you to see career parallels in everything.

  1. “What’s the matter with misfits?” Don’t let others define who you are or what to do. Like Hermey’s desire to be a dentist (if you share that desire, go talk to Anne & friends) despite his  family history of toy making, you should give yourself permission to look at a wide variety of options. Even though it may feel like most students at Penn go into banking, consulting, and other “business” careers, in reality there are lots of students who choose a seemingly less traveled path (and they don’t even have to run away from home to make it happen).
  2. Don’t hide on the island of misfit toys. These self-banished  toys felt like no one would want them because they were different but, ultimately, they realized their value. In other words, there is a home (or job) for everyone, whether you are a pink spotted elephant, an ostrich riding cowboy or a visual studies major. It’s okay if you don’t yet know where you fit best. And, instead of relying on the King of the Misfits, you can use career services (and our exploration page) to help you discover options that will be right for you.
  3. Embrace your red shiny nose.Some of you may feel similar pressure from parents or peers to adopt a particular career path, just as Rudolph’s father wants him to wear a false nose to better conform to traditional reindeer norms. What he discovers, however, is that accepting what makes you special allows you to identify your own strengths and the path which will let you best capitalize on them.

    courtesy of Rankin/Bass
  4. Remember that “Bumbles bounce!” While you might not be able to survive a fall off a cliff like this famous abominable snowman, you can recover more easily than you might think from setbacks such as a bad academic semester, switching career tracks, or a challenging job search.  You may aspire to different goals than professional Christmas tree topper, but you all have many skills which, regardless of where or how you have learned them, are transferable to many different working environments.

From our island of misfits to yours, enjoy your holidays, watch many cheesy holiday specials (Anne recommends Year Without a Santa Claus), and come back to campus refreshed and ready for 2012.


Five Job & Internship Search Tips For Winter Break – REVISITED

by Kelly Cleary

This is an update to a blog I posted a couple of years ago. While some of the links have changed, the career exploration and job/internship process really haven’t, and neither has the fact that this is a great time to rest and recharge, reflect on what’s important to you, think about what you hope to accomplish in the upcoming year, and enjoy good times with family and friends. — And I just realized that the sentiment (and resources) mentioned in this post are pretty similar to Kathleen’s from earlier today, so you get double the winter break advice!

Once the semester stress is behind you and you’ve had some time to rest up and celebrate, I imagine many seniors will start to focus on your post-grad plans, and based on the number of juniors and sophomores who’ve been coming to Career Services in the past few weeks, we know underclassmen are thinking about summer internships. Below are a few tips and resources to help you get started in the internship or job search process.


1. EXPLORE YOUR OPTIONS: Spend some time exploring career possibilities by looking at some of the websites below. This can be an overwhelming project but it’s an important first step.

2. RESEARCH EMPLOYERS & FIND OPPORTUNITIES: Once you’ve narrowed down your preferences for types of work, industries of interest, and where you hope to live, it’s time to start developing your wish list of prospective employers and build your list of favorite internship and job search websites. Most seniors won’t actually be applying to jobs until later in the spring, but underclassmen will soon be applying to internship with January and February deadlines.

  • Vault & Wetfeet Guides – Yes, these two companies make great books to help students land i-banking and consulting jobs, but they also publish career and company guides for other industries like entertainment, fashion, retail, green, government, healthcare, pharma, marketing, PR, and many others. You can download the career guide books for free from our Online Subscriptions page (Pennkey required).
  • PennLink – This is where employers who specifically want to hire Penn students post jobs. Under the “Advanced Search” tab, you can set up a Search Agent to schedule weekly emails of new jobs that match your interests so you don’ t have to log into PennLink every day.
  • iNetiNet Internship Network, is an internship consortium created and shared by 11 universities throughout the country. It includes internships in a variety of industries and geographic locations.
  • Career Resources by Field – From Anthropology and Arts to Sciences and Sports, you’ll find job search websites and transcripts from alumni speakers.
  • Online Subscriptions (Pennkey required)– this page includes log in and password information for over 25 job search websites including Art Search, Ecojobs, JournalistJobs, Policy Jobs and many others.
  • GoinGlobal (Pennkey required)From GoinGlobal you can access international country and U.S. city guides that include lists of job search websites and links to local chambers of commerce which all have extensive employer directories for their regions.

3. TALK TO PEOPLE WHO DO WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO: Yes, I’m talking about networking. Outside of trying out a job through volunteering, interning or actually getting the job, talking with people who do or have done the job is one of the best ways to figure out if a career is right for you and to gather advice for landing a job in a particular field or within a specific company.

  • PACNet – Penn’s alumni career networking database is an easy way to connect with Penn alumni who have volunteered to be career mentors. They are a great resource for information and advice.
  • The Penn Internship Network (PIN)– The Penn Internship Network is a listing of Penn students who have volunteered to speak with others about their summer internships.
  • LinkedIn– Linked In, which is basically a professional version of Facebook is one of my favorite job search tools. If you don’t already have an account with an up to date profile, you should. Here are a couple of tips for making the most of LinkedIn for  your job search:
    • PEOPLE Search – If you don’t find what you’re looking for in PACNet, you can search for alums (or even people with whom you don’t have a common affiliation) who work in the fields and/or organizations that interest you. You can view their profiles to see sample career paths and you can send direct messages to ask for advice. While this is more like cold calling, if it’s done respectfully and professionally, it can be worthwhile.
    • GROUPS – There are thousands of groups (i.e. alumni, specific industries, etc.) in LinkedIn where people share job postings and other career-related information, and they also serve as a forum for asking questions and gathering answers from more experienced professionals. Joining the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Group is a great first step.
    • Want to learn more about LinkedIn? Check the LinkedIn Guide for Recent Graduates. Tutorial from
  • Visit our Networking & Mentoring page for more tips on networking including an article on Informational Interviews.


  • Check our Online Resume & Cover Letter Guide for tips, samples, and instructions for requesting a critique from Career Services.
  • Even if you aren’t applying to internships or jobs just yet, it’s helpful to write a resume and cover letter draft based on a specific position opening so you can be sure the application is tailored to the specific position and company.


  • You’ll likely be busy this spring so sleep in, eat well, and enjoy good times with your loved ones.

I hope you all have a safe and fun break. We look forward to seeing you in 2012!

Winter Break “To Do” List

by Kathleen Rause

Today I pulled myself out of the pile of rubble around me that consisted of library books, empty coffee cups, journal articles and draft after draft of term papers to the realization that winter break is almost here! I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am now busy making a list and checking it twice of all the things I want to do with my time off from work and school. Some of the highlights include sleep, eat, watch television, and sleep (I’m sure I could think of more interesting activities if I tried, but at this moment those sound pretty good to me!). But even though it is called “break” for a reason, I do have to add one important piece of business to my list: career planning.

So I have made a more serious list of career planning activities, and I thought I would share it with you. Other graduate students or undergraduates—either preparing for the job market or an internship search—may want to consider adding some of these to their own lists for winter break.
1. Dust off the resume.  I need to create an updated version and share it with trusted friends, family and mentors for their feedback. Remember, if you show a resume to four different people you will get four different opinions – but it is great to get those different perspectives. Of course I will be asking for critiques from my colleagues at the Career Services office! You can do the same by emailing your resume in or making an appointment.
2. Research places for employment.  For me this means researching potential higher education institutions I may want to work for next year. I will also look at open positions to get an idea of what is out there and what qualifications they are looking for. Whether your aim is a job or internship, it is important to know about the places you wish to work and the positions available – so do your research!
3. Set up informational interviews. Informational interviewing has been one of the most helpful tools I have used in my career. Consider arranging informational interviews over break or for when you are back in school to explore career fields, companies, industries and network with professionals. Check out this section of our website for more information.
4. Polish my “online profile”.  This includes double-checking my Facebook profile to make sure it passes the grandmother test (if you don’t want your grandmother to see it, it probably shouldn’t be on your profile!), updating my LinkedIn profile and looking at Twitter as a professional networking tool.
5. Look for networking opportunities. I am going to identify other events that may be good opportunities to network in my field (higher education). One event is the NASPA annual conference. For any profession there is usually a student and/or professional group that has networking events, so look in to the ones that would pertain to your own career goals.
Whatever you end up doing on your winter break, safe travels and happy holidays to all!