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.
FIVE JOB & INTERNSHIP SEARCH TIPS FOR WINTER BREAK – REVISITED
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.
- First Jobs and Graduate Schools for Penn Grads from the College and from Wharton- these are long lists of what Penn students have done with their major in past years.
- Career Plans Surveys for the Class of 2011 and earlier years for All Schools
- What Can I Do with this Major?—These PDF’s provide a helpful overview of career paths related to specific majors including suggestions for types of employers and advice on preparing for those jobs.
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.
- iNet – iNet 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 LinkedIn.com.
- Visit our Networking & Mentoring page for more tips on networking including an article on Informational Interviews.
4. UPDATE YOUR RESUME AND COVER LETTER DRAFTS:
- 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.
5. RELAX AND ENJOY YOUR TIME AWAY FROM SCHOOL!
- 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!