Explore your options
- Self-assess – discover and be able to articulate your values, interests, skills and abilities
- Research fields, careers, and organizations online
- Learn about jobs and organizations from the experts through networking, informational interviews, & job shadowing
- Glassdoor – provides resources and information on jobs and companies
Try it out by gaining relevant experience & building transferable skills through:
- Undergraduate Research
- Off-campus Study/Study Abroad
- Civic Engagement
- Community-based Work-study
- Leadership in Residence Life
- Innovation & Entrepreneurship
- Student Organizations/SGA
- Student Work or Part-time Jobs
*International Students, click here for more information about your special circumstances related to work!
Prepare your application & self-marketing materials
- Create an outstanding Resumé (getting started, tips, samples, etc.)
- Write a Cover letter (getting started, tips, samples, etc.)
- Obtain references and/or letters of recommendation
- Create and/or update your professional online presence/LinkedIn profile
- This Lynda.com tutorial can provide more detailed information on writing a professional email.
Connect with prospective employers and alumni to learn about opportunities
Piper Center opportunities to connect:
Apply & prepare for an interview
Once you’ve mailed, emailed, or posted your application materials online for jobs and internships that have been advertised, follow-up with a phone call 7–10 days following the application deadline. If a deadline is not posted, follow-up 7–10 days after you mail your application materials.
A resume and cover letter may also be sent to inquire about opportunities that have not yet been posted. Should you choose to send a “letter of inquiry”, follow up with a phone call 7–10 days after mailing your materials to ask the potential employer/supervisor about the status of your application and potential openings.
Graduate school applicants: If you are sending application materials for graduate school programs, be sure to follow-up prior to the application deadline to make sure your file is complete!
Making the Call
“Good afternoon. My name is Jorja Ryan and I am a senior at St. Olaf College. I applied for the position of ____________, and am calling to inquire about setting up an interview.”
“Good morning, this is Renee Roberts calling, I sent my resume and cover letter last Monday applying for the ____________ position. I indicated in my application material that I’d call you today to answer any questions you may have for me and to inquire about setting up an interview.”
“Hello. My name is Bjorn Johnson and I am a junior philosophy and math major at St. Olaf College. I mailed my resume last week inquiring about the ___________ internship position. I am calling to see how you are coming along in the selection process.”
“My name is Meredith Drake, I sent my application materials last week for the graduate program in ______________. I’m calling to make sure you’ve received my information and that my file is complete.”
Employers often ask that you provide references as part of the application process. Below are a few quick steps you can follow to create your reference sheet:
- Always print your references on a separate sheet that will follow your resume.
- Three references are standard, listing an additional two is helpful.
- Start your reference sheet by duplicating the heading from your resume – name, address, phone, and email.
- Type the word “REFERENCES” centered under your heading.
- Either centered or aligned with the left hand margin, type the name, title, address, phone number, and email address for each reference. Be sure to ask each person’s permission and inquire about what contact information they would like to have listed (work vs. home).
- Use professional references (i.e. faculty, supervisors, academic advisors, etc.) rather then personal references (i.e. a friend’s parent, uncle, mom).
- Sample Reference Sheet