- Send thank you emails to those employers of highest interest.
- Even though you provided your resume, you should still apply online or via email for more visibility and prove your genuine interest. Start by looking on the Penn State job board, Nittany Lion Careers. You may need to apply another way, so be in the know by checking the Employer Directory for “How to apply”.
- Look for emails from employers and respond promptly, even if you are not interested. Show them the courtesy of a reply or it will reflect poorly on you for future opportunities (see below for more advice).
- Follow up after 2 weeks or so to express your continued interest and inquire about the status of the position. Don’t assume that, because they haven’t contacted you, they’re not interested in you. Take the initiative to follow up with an email or phone call!
- Prepare for interviews and know how to respond to an offer.
Sample Thank You Note
Dear Ms. Compton,
It was a pleasure to meet you at the Career Fair at Penn State Brandywine and learn more about ABC Company and the wonderful Marketing Internship you offer. I’m extremely interested in being considered for this position and hope to have the opportunity for an interview.
As you may recall, I have experience through the Marketing Club on campus with utilizing various social media platforms to advertise campus events, as well as proficiency in the use of Publisher and Photoshop for developing creative and effective marketing materials. My resume is attached for your convenience.
I look forward to hearing from you and would consider it a privilege to work for an organization such as ABC Company, known for your excellence in serving client needs using the latest marketing platforms and technology.
Elijah Super Student
Applying for Positions after a Fair
Now that you’ve shared your resume at the fair, you might be wondering if it’s necessary to apply online or send your resume via email. Some employers may have instructed you. If you have not been instructed, go ahead and follow up by formally applying. This will give your resume more visibility. There are various ways to apply: Penn State’s Nittany Lion Careers (try this first), the employer application site or emailing the employer directly if their contact information was provided (at the fair or in the Directory).
Responding to Invitations for an Interview
If you’re interested, congratulations! Be sure to prepare as noted below, dress professionally and show up early! Follow up with thank you notes to all.
If you are not interested, respond and politely let them know that you “have decided to pursue another path” or you are “not able to pursue this opportunity at this time” and/or “would be very interested in being considered in the future.” Thank them for reaching out but do not simply ignore their email or phone call as it reflects poorly on you and on Penn State.
Preparing for the Interview
All students and alumni have free access to a great resource to help you prepare via www.psubw.interviewstream.com (Brandywine students). Click on Register to set up your free account. Click on the play button under “Resources” for video tips from experts. You can also practice your interview answers using your webcam. Under “Conduct an Interview,” setup a Custom Interview by selecting 10 questions related to your career goals. Your webcam records your answers so you can watch how you present yourself to recruiters. Take advantage of this wonderful tool! You can also schedule to meet with Christine Allen for a practice interview session.
Be sure to do further research on employers before the interview. Know their mission, goals and business. Start with their website then advance to Linkedin.com, glassdoor.com and Library databases Hoovers and Uniworld.
Juggling Job Offers
When offered a position, express your gratitude and enthusiasm, ask questions that will help inform your decision and don’t feel pressured to say Yes on the spot. Never accept an offer while waiting for a better offer to come through. It’s not appropriate to accept an offer and then tell them later that you’ve changed your mind.
Once you accept an offer, the employer notifies other applicants that the position was filled, so you put them in a precarious position when you withdraw, or renege on, your acceptance. If you are waiting on other offers, it’s best to ask the employer for additional time to make your decision. Honesty is the best policy.
You might respond to an offer by saying, “Thank you so much for the offer. I’m very excited about it. Before I accept, can you answer a few questions?” This is the time to ask questions to gain clarity about the hours, pay, perks, expectations, needed time off, etc. If you are waiting for other offers, you might say, “Before I accept, is it possible for you to allow me an additional week (or two) to make my decision?” Employers should grant you a bit of time, but not usually more than 2 weeks.
You could share that you are considering other offers if you’re comfortable saying so but without mentioning other organization names. Ask for a deadline to reply to the offer. Hopefully, they can grant you a few days or a week or two, but likely no more than that.
At this point, you could contact the other employers where you have applied to inquire about their timeline for making offers, or even letting them know that they are your first preference. This way you can more easily manage your acceptance with less stress.
If you accepted an offer and then face extreme circumstances that force you to renege, you should notify your employer immediately to withdraw your acceptance and explain why.
For more, see accepting offers ethically.
Notify Career Services once Hired
Yes, please do! Brandywine students hired for a job (p/t or f/t), complete: www.bit.ly/ifoundajob
If you were offered an internship and accept it, Brandywine students complete www.bit.ly/psubw-internacceptform (whether or not you will be earning credit).
We look forward to hearing about your success!
For assistance, Brandywine students can call 610-892-1390 or come to 104 Main to schedule an appointment with Career Coach Christine Allen.