I received a question from a Penn alumna this morning and was asked, “When you look for positions to post, do you ask yourself who the job is geared to?”

That question has been asked before, and the simple answer is: “We don’t look for jobs to post.”

The jobs we post in announcements or online are sent to us by employers who would like to get the word out about their openings – whether the openings require experience or are entry level, whether they are full- or part-time, seasonal, or posted as an internship. We are glad to share these positions with our student body and alumni.

The second part of that question – who is the job geared to – is also a good one. Because Career Services is tasked with helping current traditional students, College for Working Adult students, Masters level students, and alumni with job searches, we post nearly everything that comes our way. For example, internships help students get experience in their career paths when they have little real world experience. Some jobs, such as part-time retail or cashiers or servers, are sought by students who need to earn extra money to help defray the cost of college or pay for living expenses. Still other postings are for those, like our alumni, with two or three or more years of work experience – adults who bring more than their degree to the table and can transfer skills, knowledge and abilities to advanced or new positions.

We invite employers to share their job openings with us for our Penn students and alumni. We would also encourage alumni who know of openings in their organizations to suggest to their human resources departments and recruiters that Penn will post openings at no cost.

But the hidden question behind the inquiry remains. “Why can’t I find a job?”

Career Services is willing to help find the answer, BUT we can’t do it without the job seeker’s full cooperation. For example, do you know the answers to these basic questions that one should be able to answer when looking for jobs?

  1. What is my dream job? What is it I really want to do? What is my passion?
  2. What are my strengths? Can I honestly assess them? Am I eligible for the jobs to which I am applying?
  3. Do I know where the jobs are? Am I using a multi-faceted approach in searching out jobs, starting with networking (to find the 60 to 80% of jobs that are hidden), and including direct contact with employers, online job sites, employer websites, alumni and association groups, classified ads, and social media (especially the professional network LinkedIn)?
  4. Do I have the very best tools in place, including a professional resume and cover letter? Do I need practice with job interviews? Do I send a follow-up thank you after the interview?
  5. Where do I want to locate geographically? Do I intend to stay in my current location, or am I willing to locate to another city or state?

The answers to these questions cannot come from Career Services – we can’t read minds and we don’t know you and your strengths and experience as you do. The answers must come from you, the job seeker, but we are glad to help if you ask. Just contact careerservices@wmpenn.edu to ask questions or to set up an appointment.