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Printable Handouts

Printable Handouts

For all of our in-office handouts not in the Job Search Guide, you can download them below and print them off at your convenience.

Do you find yourself confused about where to begin the professional development process?  Do you wonder what steps you should take to prepare for internships, co-ops, research experiences, etc., and eventually, full-time jobs?  Follow our recommended 4 Year Plan to help simplify yearly goals and navigate professional growth throughout your academic career.

Crimson Career Ready is an initiative of the OU community to ensure students are ready for the workforce. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) guidelines, employers look for eight (8) core competencies when hiring collegiate candidates. The OU Career Center has simplified these Core Competencies and provided examples on how/where to obtain them to ensure you are Crimson Career Ready for any position.

It is important to start gathering information about graduate schools early in order to complete applications on time. Most people should start the process a full year and a half before enrollment to allow time for thorough planning and preparation of materials. When beginning the process of applying to graduate school, it is a good idea to think about your motives. There are several things graduate schools look for in strong candidates. By identifying why you are interested in a graduate program, you may make yourself a better candidate.

If you have never had an internship, or any job more professional than student assistant, you might not be aware of what most employers will expect. You may be seen as an adequate employee, or you can set yourself apart as the “go to” person. Here are some tips to becoming a savvy new employee and making powerful career moves.

job & internship fairs and Resume building

Career fairs are a great way to meet recruiters, look for internships and jobs, and research organizations. The face-to-face interactions at these events are an important part of the job search process. You may also increase your chances of interviewing with an organization – some organizations will only interview students they meet at the career fair. Since you have a very short time to make a good impression, make sure you are prepared.

Skills, abilities, and qualifications are necessary for any resume to help the employer understand the value you can bring to their organization. They can be included in your “relevant experience section,” describing your responsibilities at a specific job or internship, or they can be used in a separate “skills section” as abilities and knowledge you’ve acquired through experience and coursework. If you are having trouble pinpointing ways to describe your talents, here is a list that can help!

In your campaign to secure employment, there are numerous situations that will require written correspondence. All letters you write will give the prospective employer an impression of you. Quite often a letter is the first contact between you and a prospective employer. Therefore, it is imperative to plan the content, use an appropriate format, and proofread carefully.

If you're wondering what skills you have that would interest a poetential employer, you are not alone. Many college seniors feel that four (or more) years of college haven't sufficiently prepared them to begin work after graduation. And like these students, you may have carefully reviewed your work history (along with your campus and civic involvement) and you may still have a difficult time seeing how the skills you learned in college will transfer to the workplace.


As we move towards the digital age, most employers use a phone interview to screen candidates, and then sometimes will conduct a virtual interview via Zoom or other online program. Preparing for phone or virtual interviews are somewhat the same, but we have a list of tips and advice to help guide you through these types of interviews.

A Case Study is an interview that introduces you to a problem or dilemma facing a particular company. You are asked to analyze a situation, identify key issues, and discuss how you would address the problems involved. Case Studies are designed to evaluate the skills needed in a specific industry: quantitative skills, analytical skills, problem-solving ability, communication skills, creativity, flexibility, reaction to pressure, listening skills, professional demeanor, and power of persuasion.

If the first impression an interviewer has of a job candidate’s attitude, personality, or appearance is negative, that person runs the risk of being eliminated from any further consideration for the position.

Before you begin interviewing, think about these questions and possible responses and discuss them with a career advisor. Conduct mock interviews and be sure you are able to communicate clear, unrehearsed answers.

Behavioral interviewing is designed to minimize personal impressions that might cloud the hiring decision. By focusing on the applicant’s actions and behaviors, rather than subjective impressions that can sometimes be misleading, interviewers can make more accurate hiring decisions.

While your skills and experiences could be a perfect match for a position you are seeking, an interviewer could discount your candidacy if you are unprepared, or struggle with the behavioral interview format.

job search

Finding your dream job takes many steps and involves just as many decisions. This checklist is designed to help you along the way and guide you to the appropriate sources. Be sure to discuss your progress with your career advisor.

A successful job campaign in any field today, including education, requires hard work and planning. Above all else, a positive and persistent attitude is necessary.

Looking for a job is seldom easy for any student. For you, the international student, the job search process can be especially confusing. You may lack an understanding of U.S. employment regulations, or perhaps you are unaware of the impact your career choice has on your job search. You may also be unsure about your role as the job-seeker and the resources used by American employers to find candidates. The following is an overview of the issues most relevant to international students in developing a job search strategy.

As Arts and Sciences graduates enter the job market, their career path may not be as linear as that of their technically trained counterparts. For the most part, engineering or computer science majors know exactly where to target their efforts. However, Arts and Sciences majors have a wider array of options to consider, which has both advantages and disadvantages. Often times they have a longer and more arduous job search process; which in the end--if done properly--can always result in meaningful work that matches their skills and interests.

Businesses, industries and government agencies typically look for certain qualities in their employees. The following list will give you an idea of what employers are looking for, as well as help you identify personal qualities that you can use in marketing your skills and qualifications during your job search process.

A cardinal rule in targeting organizations during your search for the right position is to do your homework first. Know as much as you can about the organization, its position in the industry and the individuals in the organizations you plan to contact. It is also important that in each company, you identify and contact the individual or individuals who would make the decision to hire you. In some cases the contact may not be the person who would be your supervisor but, instead, his supervisor or possibly someone higher in the organization in a different function.

International experiences greatly affect individuals at the personal, academic and professional levels. The exposure to adverse situations and new environments that study abroad provides, not only enables students to be more flexible and adapt to new surroundings, but it helps to develop knowledge, skills and abilities that are desirable in any professional setting. Thus, it is essential that you leverage your study abroad experience in your job search via your cover letter, resume and most certainly in your interviews.

employer correspondence

For most of us, sending and receiving email is simple and fun. We use it to communicate with friends and family and to converse with our contemporaries in an informal manner. But while we may be unguarded in our tone when we email friends, a professional tone should be maintained when communicating with prospective employers.

Email is a powerful tool in the hands of a knowledgeable job-seeker. Use it wisely and you will shine. Use it improperly, however, and you’ll brand yourself as immature and unprofessional.

If you possess the technical skills in high demand today, recruiters say that you are likely to receive more than one job offer. Yes, even though many companies are still restructuring their management ranks (i.e., “downsizing”), they will continue to recruit college graduates because they need fresh talent to help their companies grow.

An area of the job search that seems to receive little attention is the art of negotiating. Once you have been offered a job, you have the opportunity to discuss with the employer the terms of your employment. Negotiations are uncomfortable, sometimes risky and often unsatisfying because we are trained from an early age to value win/lose situations. We tend to approach negotiations with a winner-take-all attitude that is counterproductive to the spirit with which the concept of negotiations is imbued.