Frequently Asked Questions for Seniors
As you move towards the end of your time at Pitzer, we recognize that you will begin trying to figure out life after graduation. To help you begin, we answered some of the most frequently asked questions.
You no doubt know that this year is shaping up to be a difficult market for job searching. There will be job opportunities, however, in order to secure a position, we recommend the following:
Begin Early – If you have not already begun to think about life after Pitzer, start now. Remain as flexible as possible with geographical locations, salaries, types of organizations and positions.
Sign up on ClaremontConnect to take part in the 7 College On-Campus Recruiting next semester. Employers from various industries are still planning to visit the campuses to interview graduating seniors. Attend upcoming Career & Job fairs and Employer Information sessions at The Claremont Colleges.
Network – You may already have Facebook and LInkedIn accounts but in this employment market, active networking is critical. Network by reaching out to Pitzer Alumni for job search assistance and advice. Many have agreed to meet with you in person or talk on the telephone. Talk to the Office of Career Services to get more information on this program.
Get your tools ready
Resume – Have this ready in advance in the event that a job opportunity presents itself with an early application deadline. Even if you are unsure about the type of jobs you will seek, you should update or create your resume now. Every Pitzer student has appropriate experience to list on the resume.
Cover letter – remember that this is the way in which you can ‘speak’ to an employer, show your enthusiasm and present your relevent skills. To help figure out the skills you have, feel free to meet with a career services staff person. According to NACE, the top skills required by employers are those that you have gained as a Pitzer student (communication, teamwork, interpersonal, analytical, flexibility, honesty, initiative, strong work ethic, computer skills and organizational skills.)
Interviewing – Hone your skills by conducting a video-taped practice interview with a Career Services counselor. Using a real interview is not the best way to prepare – you will receive constructive criticism from us and be able to evaluate your own performance in order to become comfortable and confident with your interviewing skills. Make sure you have appropriate interview attire. Even if you are seeking a ‘non-business’ job, you must dress professionally.
Know the employer and industry in which you are seeking employment. Be able to answer one of the FIRST questions an interview will ask: WHY are you seeking a job in this industry/company?
You don’t have to go through this alone. We understand the frustration, fear and anxiety you may have; we are here to help guide and assist you during this process. Make an appointment, stop by during our walk-in hours. We know you’re busy but you won’t regret coming in to see us!
What can I do with a Pitzer degree? Who wants to hire a liberal arts major?
As you may know, no single career field relates to your major. Depending upon your interests and experience, your options are endless. Some of the jobs and careers that Pitzer alumni have chosen over the years show that your liberal arts degree can take you in almost any direction. Make an appointment for an individual meeting with a Career Services counselor who can get you started with the career exploration process.
Can I talk with Pitzer Alumni who are out in the "real world?"
We are currently working with the office of Alumni Relations to make these contacts possible. For now please contact the Office of Career Services via email or phone at 621-8519 and we will help you get these contacts!
I’m just starting to think about the job search and I don’t know what I want to do.
Regardless of your career interests, we recommend using many strategies in your job search including both online resources and networking. Did you know, for example, that there are hundreds of industry targeted websites and that only 15-20% of all job openings are publicized? Come in and speak with a counselor who can help you start the process and learn how to explore different career fields.
I’ve heard about employers interviewing on campus. What is this program?
Representatives from various industries (including business, education, nonprofit, social services, and more) will interview graduating seniors through the Claremont College On-Campus Recruiting Program. To participate in this program you must attend an orientation session. Once signed up, you may keep up to date with the latest employers scheduled to visit. For additional information, please contact Teresa Flores.
I’ve always received my jobs without a formal interview. What should I expect from a first time full-time job interview?
Tell me about yourself.” “What is unique about you?” “What do you expect your first year on the job to be like?” These are just some of the questions that can be asked of you in an interview. The best way to prepare is to become familiar with the interviewing process and to practice. The best way to prepare is to practice. Begin by reviewing our Interviewing Guide.
Next, schedule an appointment to conduct a mock interview with a counselor. We recommend that you refrain from using a real job interview for practice since you probably will not receive feedback about your performance.
I need help with writing a resume. Is there someone who can help me?
Don’t rely on a Microsoft template. If you need assistance with writing or revising your resume, pick up a resume writing guide from our office or check out our Resume Guide. Once you have a draft, come in to the Office of Career Services and have it critiqued by a counselor. Since science-related experiences are listed in a unique way, students should review the Science Resume Handout.
I’m thinking about graduate or professional school but not sure how to start.
Approximately 25% of Pitzer graduates accept admission to graduate school for the fall semester following graduation. If you are still thinking about (or have decided to explore) graduate school, start with our resource library to review general program, application, and financial aid information. You may also obtain standardized test applications from our office. View our Graduate School Information..
Can I still do an internship after I graduate?
Depending upon your interests, certain organizations will hire graduates but usually within the first 6 months of graduation. View our Internship Information.