CS Radio: Episode 61 – “Survey Says…”

We’ve got a guest host in the house! While Mylène is off on a well deserved vacation, N. Thomas Leach sits in with J. Michael DeAngelis to discuss career plans surveys. For seniors, it can seem like one more piece of busy work to complete during an already busy time, but the information collected is invaluable to Career Services and to your peers. Natty and Michael discuss how the information is collected, why it’s important and the many ways that current students can access and interact with the survey data when planning their own careers. Enjoy!

Show Notes
What Do Penn Students Do? (Survey Reports page)
Interact with the CS Chatbot on the Career Services homepage

How to Start Writing your Resume or CV

One of the primary components of your job search tool kit is your resume or CV.  But where to start if you have never written a resume or CV before or have not updated these documents in many years?  The internet has thousands of samples to choose from, but where to start?

Career Services’ website has multiple samples of job search documents to help you get started on your written materials.  The samples we have on our website are from real Penn students and alumni who have agreed to share their resume or CV with other Penn students.  Spend time looking at the samples on our website that match your educational background.  A resume for an undergraduate from one academic discipline will not look the same as a CV from a PhD student.  We offer not only samples to help you get started, but also general advice about the types of information you want to include.

You want your resume or CV to speak about you as an individual, so use the samples as a guide and not a template.  Look at multiple documents to help generate ideas about what types of information you might include on your resume or CV given both your educational background and your career focus.

Penn has lots of resources to help you with your writing – check out a list of resources on campus to assist you, including resources specifically designed for international students. 

Once you’ve written a rough draft of your resume or CV, bring it to Career Services for a critique.  You can either make an appointment or come to walk-ins.  See our schedule for the appointment and walk-in hours that apply to you.  And once you have used your resume or CV to secure an internship or job, send it to us and we will add it to our samples!

Organizing Your Job Search

Tiffany Franklin, Associate Director

Photo Credit: University of Pennsylvania

You’re walking along Locust Walk, your phone rings and you think it’s your best friend and answer it without thinking, but then you realize it’s a recruiter calling to schedule an interview. With all the noise, you don’t hear the company name and you’re scrambling to get to a quiet place. You find yourself saying yes to an interview, but you applied to numerous companies, so which one could it be? You try to think back to how long ago you applied. Later that afternoon, the recruiter emails you details for the phone screen, but it’s for a company you barely remember applying to and the job description link is no longer live. You try to remember the details for your upcoming interview.

If this scenario has happened to you or someone you know, you are not alone. A few years ago, I lived in Nashville and was driving down to Atlanta to see a friend. While going down Monteagle Mountain, I answered the phone (on speaker) thinking it was my mom and it was a recruiter for a job I had applied to two months before. She wanted to talk right then, so I did my best to answer questions, but it was not easy going around a mountain with a spotty signal. After a few more interview rounds, I received an offer for that job, but the thought of that conversation still stresses me out.

There are a few strategies you can incorporate into your internship/job search process to avoid this stress.

1)Your Phone – Only answer your phone when you are in a quiet place and can talk. If you receive a call from an unknown number when you’re in class or out in a crowd, let it go to voicemail, check your messages within the hour, and call back any recruiters as soon as possible that day when you can talk without interruption.

2)Excel Sheet – Create an Excel sheet or Google spreadsheet to track all your applications. Include columns for company name, job title, location, Job # (if available), date you applied, notes, and have a link to the job description and company website. Add a column for interview requests and follow-up, so you can check off that you sent thank you notes.

3)Use Data Analytics to optimize your search – If you are applying to various types of jobs and have different iterations of your resumes, indicate version A resume and version B resume and beyond. Then, you can add that column to your spreadsheet and after every 10-20 applications, see which version is generating better results. Review the versions of the resume (come see Career Services) and consider why one version is resonating with recruiters. How will that affect your strategy as you go forward?

4)Digital Job descriptions – When applying, copy and paste job descriptions to which you apply into a Word document organized by company name and in alphabetical order. That way, if the job disappears from the job site, you still have all the info and can easily find it.

5)Make the info accessible – Email yourself both the Excel and Word docs so you can easily retrieve both from your phone.

When searching for a job or internship, there are many details to track, especially when you have applied to multiple places. Given that everyone has so many things to balance in their lives between school, activities, and other responsibilities, you want to keep your search as efficient and effective as possible. Remember that Career Services is here to help you at every stage of your search whether you are still exploring careers, looking for resume and interview help, or need advice on negotiating offers.

What do Penn students do?

Every year, our office releases a wide array of surveys to help showcase what Penn students do either during the summer or after graduation. Both school-specific and Penn-wide, these surveys can be invaluable resources for students at Penn, no matter their year or career interest for a bunch of different reasons. Here are just a few things that our surveys can help with:


Freshmen / Sophomores:

Identifying a major – See what other Penn students have done after graduation with a particular major of interest in our First Destination reports. We often try to dispel the myth that your major needs to be fully related to your career goals so looking at the survey helps us reinforce that economics majors can be in the entertainment industry or music majors can work in investment banking.



Exploring summer opportunities – Use your peers’ experiences as a way to identify specific companies or internship programs that students have attended in previous years. You can also see when students received their offers to get a better sense of when the best time to look in a particular industry might be.



Brainstorming job titles or companies for your full-time search – Start your job search by finding exact positions that Penn students were hired in last year.

Researching for salary negotiation – Consider the salary ranges of past Penn students by industry and job function to help negotiate your starting salary.


With real world examples, our surveys are a wealth of information that can be a great practical tool in your future planning.

CS Radio – Episode 60: “30-60-90”

Thank you for being a loyal listener through 60 great episodes! This week, Mylène and Michael discuss an idea brought to them by an alum user of our office – how to make the most of your first 30, 60 and 90 days on a new job! Plus, some announcements about Penn Career Services tech offerings that frequent users will want to hear. Something for everyone in this week’s celebratory episode.


Show Notes>
The 30/60/90 Plan (from Glassdoor)
A pat on the back!
Penn Career Services Digital Career Resources