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We're here even when you're far.

Career Services wants to help you make your career dreams a reality, regardless if you're on campus or learning remotely. Our team is working hard to meet with you virtually, build digital content, and help you navigate the world of work during this unique time.

Meet with a career counselor

Career questions? We're here.

Career counseling services are available virtually to Penn State students. Meet with one of our career team members to talk through any career-related questions while you're off-campus. We can coach you through a question in 30 minutes or dive in deeper during a 60-minute appointment.

Schedule a mock interview

Hone those interview skills

Career Services offers a mock interview program that can help you practice for an interview on the phone or using Zoom. Use the time at home to become an expert interviewee in the digital world.

Want to practice interviewing on your own time? Choose your questions, record your interview, and review the footage to help develop your skills and polish your answers.

 

Navigate the Career Services website

Resources when you need them

Use our digital library of career information and resources whenever you need answers. From everything to choosing a major, growing a network, to negotiating or grad school, we've got the information you need.

Search and apply with Nittany Lion Careers

Discover Nittany Lion Careers

The ultimate job search tool for Penn State students is here for you. Organizations continue to add job and internship opportunities. What are you waiting for?

Attend a virtual career fair

Opportunity goes digital

Attend a virtual career fair to connect with organizations from across the country. Update your resume with a virtual career counseling appointment, check your internet connection, and find a quiet space before each fair.

Stream a career program or webinar

Participate from anywhere.

Career programming from us to you. Participate in upcoming events from your device and expand your career know-how. Learn from Career Services staff, ask recruiters questions, or prep for upcoming career fairs.

Schedule a workshop for your student org

Learn together while apart

Let our career team coach your group through your career questions virtually. Our career counselors can present on a wide variety of topics with only 72 hours of notice needed. Bring your group together and learn something new!

Learn how to navigate a virtual world of work

Become a career expert in all things virtual. Take the lead in your own career journey and build out your career competency related to virtual fairs, video interviews, and more.

Get common questions answered
  • How is the job market being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic?
    We don't have all the answers. The full impact of the coronavirus on the economy and the job market may not be known for months. A National Association of College and Employers survey indicated at the end of March that 71% of employers were planning on continuing their hiring plan, down 20% from two weeks prior.

    Hiring plans often vary by industry; tech companies have an easier time working remotely than a human service organization that is face-to-face with clients. Be open to a variety of industries, experiences, and organizations if you're still searching and consider remote work if an existing offer suggests it. 

  • I'm concerned about the status of my offer. What should I do?
    Reach out to the employer directly to ask about the status of the offer, if working remotely is anticipated or an option, or if there is a modified timeline. Be respectful and direct but understand that things may be changing rapidly.  

  • What if my offer is rescinded?
    Organizations may not be able to avoid canceling an internship or rescinding an offer.

    • Ask for a timeline
      Start by asking if there is a timeframe of when the position may be available in the future. Depending on the timeline you can decide if it's worthwhile to wait it out or move on.

    • See if remote work is an option
      Ask if working virtually is something the organization would consider.

    • Create a plan
      If you need to start over you need a plan of attack. Update your resume and Linkedin profile and create a plan with daily action items that focus on networking. Reach out to professionals for informational interviews, use LionLink to ask alumni about their career path, or connect on Linkedin with professionals working at the organization you're interested in. Investing time in building relationships can lead to offers, prospects, or great connections.

    • Work with a career counselor
      Have someone to help you along the way. Schedule a career coaching or career counseling appointment in Nittany Lion Careers.

  • What can I be doing now to stay career-relevant?
    Use this time to grow your career knowledge and stay current with what is happening in the world of work. Take time to learn and develop your professional savvy.

    • Reflect on what you offer
      Now is the perfect time to reflect on your skills and experiences and think about how you can apply them to a position. Every student, in every job search, should take time to identify their strengths. 

    • Develop your network
      Connect to professionals, learn from their experiences, and get support and encouragement.

    • Keep your skills sharp
      Consider taking a course online to learn something new or expand on existing knowledge. Linkedin Learning, Coursera, and Google Skillshop are all great places to start.

    • Follow the industry
      Stay up-to-date with what is happening in your industry of interest. Research professional associations you can follow, subscribe to industry publications or read related articles.

  • How do I continue searching for opportunities?
    You can do this. Use the resources available to start searching strategically and growing your network of professionals. Our career counselors are here to help along the way so schedule a virtual career counseling appointment to get started.

    • Network!
      It's the best way to find opportunities, especially with over 700,000 Penn State alumni globally. Building personal relationships is the best way to learn about job openings, trends in the job market, or an inside track on a prospect.

    • Look for a career mentor
      Ask questions and learn from those who have been there. Check if your college has an alumni mentor program or use LionLink to find a Penn Stater you can connect with. Update your Linkedin profile and search for professionals with a similar career to the one you're interested in and reach out.

    • Attend virtual events
      Career fairs, workshops, and networking events are making the move to the digital world. Check back often to find newly added career events.

    • Apply online
      Keep applying and see what happens. Search for jobs or internships in Nittany Lion Careers and apply to those that interest you.

    • Consider virtual and gig experiences
      Be flexible and open to different opportunities. Gig experiences are short term but allow you to use your skills, add to your resume, and can potentially lead to more permanent opportunity.

    • Be prepared to sell yourself
      As the job market becomes more competitive it's incredibly important to be ready to sell yourself as the best candidate. Schedule a mock interview to practice from home. Meet with a career counselor virtually to talk through your skill set and hone your elevator pitch.

  • How is a video interview different than a face-to-face interview?
    Face-to-face interviews allow the employer to more easily assess your non-verbal communication. This is harder to do in a virtual setting so honing your answers and following interview guidelines and even more key.

    • Dress professionally
      Treat this just like a face-to-face interview. While they may be comfortable, pajamas don't give off a professional vibe.

    • Use a neutral background
      Keep the interviewer focused on you and not what is happening behind you.

    • Have a reliable connection
      Test the connection early and think through the location you choose for the interview. Google Voice can help if your cell phone service is spotty at home.

    • Show up early
      You might not be dealing with traffic but showing up early always shows initiative. That extra time gives you a chance to work out any technical issues you may encounter.

    • Maintain eye contact
      Limiting nearby distractions, smiling, and nodding give the employer virtual non-verbal cues. Consider putting a photo to focus on above the camera.

    • Have notes prepared
      Keep a list of questions you want to ask or information you need from the interviewer. Need a pro tip? Use post-it notes around your screen to easily reference your notes without breaking eye contact or getting distracted.

Learn best practices for virtual career fairs

Before the Fair

  • Register in advance
    Create your profile in advance to link your resume and LinkedIn profile to your account. Save time the day of the fair and jump right in line.

  • Update your resume and LinkedIn profile
    Make sure all information is up-to-date and accurate. Schedule a career coaching appointment with a career counselor to have your materials and profile reviewed.

  • Save your resume
    Make sure to have your updated resume saved somewhere you can access it quickly. Consider having a Word document and PDF available.

  • Do a test run
    Test your internet connection and get a feel for what the event looks like, if possible.

  • Research, research, research
    This step is VITAL. Review the list of registered employers and take the time to visit their website. Note their mission, products and services, and advertised positions. Check the organization out on LinkedIn and see if they employ any Penn State graduates. Make notes of information to share with your targeted list of employers.

    • EXAMPLE:
      XYZ Organization is advertising a technical writing position that documents the stages of pharmaceutical development – share my summer job experience writing grant applications with Penn State’s Prevention Research Center.

  • Write down what you want to say
    The majority of the fair is chat-based. Type out the information you want to share with employers in another document so you can easily copy and paste. Customize the answer for that specific employer before sending it.

  • Dress for success
    Not only will you act more confidently when you dress the part but you'll be prepared if an employer asks to video chat.

  • Set a professional scene
    Make sure you have a strong internet connection, limited distractions, and a neutral background.

During the Fair

  • Take the leap and enter a booth
    There may be waiting times or a virtual queue. Be patient since this is a new experience for many and understand wait times can drastically change.

  • Keep it professional
    Avoid using text abbreviations, IRL. 

  • Share your career interests and provide examples
    Talk about how you've built knowledge or had experiences that connect with the organization.

    • EXAMPLE:
      My involvement in THON, a fundraiser benefitting children and families affected by pediatric cancer, gave me a platform to create fundraising events. With my committee, we successfully raised over $3,000. This inspired me to seek a position where I can be involved in health-related fundraising.

  • Offer to share your resume and cover letter

  • Ask questions
    Have some questions prepared before you enter the virtual booth.

    • EXAMPLE:
      What are some of your main hiring needs currently?

    • EXAMPLE:
      What are some examples of projects that your recent hires are working on?

    • EXAMPLE:
      What are some of the organization’s strengths and what are areas you are trying to improve?

  • Take notes
    Jot down notes during the conversation so you can reference them later. Make sure to write down contact information and action steps the recruiter provides, like formally applying on their organization website.

After the Fair

  • Listen to employer recommendations
    Take the time to do what the recruiter tells you to do. Apply online, send a resume, or share supplemental materials.

  • Send a thank you
    Follow-up with a recruiter and send a quick thank you message. Indicate your interest in moving forward and continuing the process.

  • Network and connect
    Connect with recruiters or professionals in an organization of interest on LinkedIn. Follow the organization on LinkedIn and be active by posting comments or questions related to your goals. Connect with Penn State alumni to ask about their career journey using LionLink.

  • Get career support for the next steps
    Attending a virtual fair is one of many steps you take to achieve your career goals. Connect with a career counselor to ask questions, talk through concerns, or create an action plan.

Practice virtual interviewing
  • How is a video interview different than a face-to-face interview?
    Face-to-face interviews allow the employer to more easily assess your non-verbal communication. This is harder to do in a virtual setting so honing your answers and following interview guidelines and even more key.

    • Dress professionally
      Treat this just like a face-to-face interview. While they may be comfortable, pajamas don't give off a professional vibe.

    • Use a neutral background
      Keep the interviewer focused on you and not what is happening behind you.

    • Have a reliable connection
      Test the connection early and think through the location you choose for the interview. Google Voice can help if your cell phone service is spotty at home.

    • Show up early
      You might not be dealing with traffic but showing up early always shows initiative. That extra time gives you a chance to work out any technical issues you may encounter.

    • Maintain eye contact
      Limiting nearby distractions, smiling, and nodding give the employer virtual non-verbal cues. Consider putting a photo to focus on above the camera.

    • Have notes prepared
      Keep a list of questions you want to ask or information you need from the interviewer. Need a pro tip? Use post-it notes around your screen to easily reference your notes without breaking eye contact or getting distracted.

  • What questions should I prepare to answer?
    Employers looking for remote interns may ask questions more focused on your remote work experience, like a school project, or how you manage your time. Provide examples of how you practice time management or have worked independently. Here are some questions you can potentially expect:

    • Tell me about a time when you moved a group project forward, at work or school, where you were in a different physical place than your other team members?

      • Chances are high that you have worked remotely on an important project. Recruiters will likely dig for details on how you enjoyed it, what challenges you faced, and how you coped.

    • Have you ever taken an online course or training session? If so, describe your process for managing your own time, respecting deadlines, requesting assistance, and solving problems.

    • Are you an active member of an online community, or do you have experience managing logistics remotely for in-person events/gatherings?

    • Have you completed freelance work for remote clients, and would you be willing to provide references upon request?

    • Have you thought about where you would work remotely if offered this internship?

      • Recruiters should not expect a precise answer to this, as even senior staff should experiment with workspaces, but it's useful to understand if you have considered this element (GitLab.com, 2020)

Understand how to succeed in a virtual experience
  • Test technology & build a workspace
    Setting up a virtual workspace that enables you to conduct your work efficiently and professionally. Make sure your tech is working and that your internet connection can handle the work, especially if a VPN is required.

  • Clarify and establish learning goals & expectations 
    Discuss with your site supervisor the scope of the position and the work it will entail, including a defined work plan, the timeline in which the work needs to be accomplished, and any special long-term projects. 

    Make sure you and your site supervisor are clear on the overall internship goals. A good question to ask your site supervisor is, “When the internship is over, what will make you look back and say, ‘we hired the right intern’?”

    Ensure that you are provided a clear framework for how to operate remotely, including how to check in with supervisors and account for your work hours.

    For credit-based internships, your goals will need to be aligned with your academic requirements.

  • Get to know your new coworkers
    Most internship programs include an onboarding process where they help you feel connected to and supported by the organization through staff introductions via real-time meetings hosted on a video platform.

    If this isn’t part of the internship orientation process, take the initiative to get to know some of the key coworkers with whom you’ll be interacting most frequently.

    Let your site supervisor know that you’d like to reach out to some of the coworkers you’ll be working with, including other virtual interns, and ask for their assistance in identifying a list of coworkers to contact.

  • Communicate often & seek feedback
    Incorporate timely check-ins with your supervisor. Some supervisors naturally offer timely feedback, while others are more hands-off.

    No matter what style of communication your supervisor adopts, make sure to request timely feedback on the quality of your work. Embrace the feedback when you receive it, and express how much you value it.

    Understand the communication tools that your internship offers. Email can be handy for quick check-ins or status reports, but when you want to have a deeper conversation with your supervisor, consider using videoconferencing or the phone.

  • Incorporate structure into your virtual experience
    Working remotely often lends itself to a less structured work environment. You will have more autonomy regarding how you structure the workday and how you manage your time. Seek a defined timeline from your supervisor so you know that you're on track. This will also be very important for those internships that are credit-based and require documented hours.

    Explore online project management tools that can serve as resources for assigning and managing tasks. Incorporating this kind of structure will help you better manage and account for your time.

  • Network and become more widely involved 
    Spread your wings and get to know the entire organization. There’s a tendency to become isolated and narrowly focused when working remotely.

    Talk to your supervisor about your interest in remotely participating in organizational meetings, interviewing or remotely shadowing executives, engaging in collaborative projects, and conducting project presentations. Getting out more and virtually meeting with a wide variety of professionals will enhance your organizational and industry knowledge as well as build up your network of contacts.

  • Seek context around your work
    Seek the details and important context for each week’s assignments in advance. Similar to a syllabus, this additional information will give you a roadmap for completing your daily tasks and projects. Ask your supervisor during a weekly meeting for details, why the work is important, and how it contributes to the organization as a whole.

  • Initiate additional project work
    Offer to take on additional projects that are not included in your job description so long as you are managing your main responsibilities well. Show your work ethic and dedication while having the opportunity to work with others and build teamwork skills.

  • Build a sense of community 
    Find ways to connect with and “get together” with other interns and/or newer employees. Plan fun remote activities and share your experiences with other interns. When invited to larger office gatherings make sure to attend and get to know as many coworkers as you can.

  • Go above and beyond
    This is your time to shine. Increasingly, employers are hiring their entry-level employees from their pool of interns. Going above and beyond what’s expected of you can increase your chances of receiving a full-time offer. Respond to early-morning emails, be prompt and thorough in reviewing documents, and be one of the first to enter virtual meetings.

Build your network
  • LionLink
    Penn State has the largest alumni network in the world. Use it to your advantage! Connect with alumni to ask professional questions, learn about their career path, or just build a solid professional network.
     
  • Linkedin
    Update your digital profile and search for articles and experts in the industry you're interested in, connect with Penn Staters or others, and become more aware of the current professional climate.
     
Expand your career knowledge
  • GoinGlobal
    Become an international professional! Learn how different countries format their resumes and cover letters, how to appyl to positions globally, and how to adjust and embrace cultures. 
     
  • What Can I Do With This Major?
    Learn where your major can take you! See career paths based on what you're studying and learn tips and strategies on how to get to where you want to go. 
Watch a workshop
  • Career Services Orientation
    Curious about who we are and how we serve Penn State students, alumni, and recruiting employers? Say no more! Learn about our office and what we do.

  • Acing the Virtual Interview
    It's a whole new world out there but you've got this. Learn how a virtual interview is different from a traditional setting and how to become a pro at navigating a remote interaction.

  • Acing the Interview
    Let's talk strategy. Learn what employers are looking for during an interview and how you can develop those skills to stand out from the crowd.

  • Virtual Job & Internship Search 101
    Fast forward to the 16-minute mark to get started
    Need to change direction and look for remote opportunities? We've got the tips, tricks, and resources you need to create a strategy and get started.

  • Creating a Resume
    Learn the rules of the resume! Find out how to format and structure a basic resume so you can start applying to opportunities. 

  • Excelling in a Virtual Internship
    Working from home just got easier. Learn the ins and outs of navigating an online experience, best practices to help you succeed, and how to maximize the opportunity even when you're off-site.

  • Navigating a Virtual Career Fair
    Online career fairs are a unique environment. Learn how to prepare before logging on, how to maximize your time in the platform, and how to follow-up afterward.

  • Alumni Career Services: Transitioning from Student to Alumni
    Getting ready to graduate? Learn about all of the career support provided to you at a Penn State alumni and how our teams support you for life.

  • Job Offers and Negotiating Strategies
    YOU DID IT. You have an offer but now what? Learn what to expect with an offer, how to negotiate things like salary, and how to wrap up your job search.
Take a course to develop virtual career skills
  • COMM297: Freelancing in the Gig Economy

    This course will prepare you to find and complete communications jobs on Upwork, a platform that connects millions of freelancers with employers in a variety of areas. Determine which positions are a good fit for your skillset, create and apply to jobs on Upwork, understand the freelancer and client relationship, and reflect on how you can make the gig economy work for you.

Find remote opportunities

Expand your search to find full-time and internship experiences designed for remote work. Make sure to review the career knowledge above to learn how to. be the best virtual candidate you can be.

Build connections
  • Network!
    It's the best way to find opportunities, especially with over 700,000 Penn State alumni globally. Building personal relationships is the best way to learn about job openings, trends in the job market, or an inside track on a prospect.

  • Look for a career mentor
    Ask questions and learn from those who have been there. Check if your college has an alumni mentor program or use LionLink to find a Penn Stater you can connect with. Update your Linkedin profile and search for professionals with a similar career to the one you're interested in and reach out.

  • Attend virtual events
    Career fairs, workshops, and networking events are making the move to the digital world. Check back often to find newly added career events.

  • Apply online
    Keep applying and see what happens. Search for jobs or internships in Nittany Lion Careers and apply to those that interest you.

  • Consider virtual and gig experiences
    Be flexible and open to different opportunities. Gig experiences are short term but allow you to use your skills, add to your resume, and can potentially lead to more permanent opportunity.

  • Be prepared to sell yourself
    As the job market becomes more competitive it's incredibly important to be ready to sell yourself as the best candidate. Schedule a mock interview to practice from home. Meet with a career counselor virtually to talk through your skill set and hone your elevator pitch.

Log-in to Nittany Lion Careers
  • The career network of Penn State
    Nittany Lion Careers is the career-management system for all of Penn State. Log-on using your access account to search for opportunities.

    • Companies are posting job and internship openings every day. Check back often to apply.

    • Look for gig experiences which are short-term opportunities to get experience.

    • Schedule a career counseling appointment to create a search strategy with a professional.

Search specialized job boards
Don't social distance on Instagram
Get up-to-date programming, resources, and learn what Career Services is doing virtually. Follow us on Instagram to get the most current information.
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Virtual services for faculty

Quality programming for your digital learning space. Our team is working continuously to provide faculty with options to continue growing career knowledge across our virtual campus.

Schedule an online workshop
  • Request a virtual workshop
    Let our staff come to your virtual classroom. Our team can create a custom workshop on a wide variety of career-related topics. 
Add in career assignments

Our career assignments are designed to be easily added to your curriculum. We provide everything you need to add career-related programming to your schedule.  

  • MyPlan Assignment
    Students take a series of self-assessments and produce a report of careers that may be of interest to them. 
     
  • InterviewStream Assignment
    Have your students complete a virtual mock interview using InterviewStream, analyze the recording, and complete some self-assessment activities.

Interested in adding an assignment?
Email Matt Ishler at mwi100@psu.edu for more information.

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