Know the Opportunities Available for College Students
Organizations provide opportunities to help you explore career paths, build your professional skills, gain discipline-specific experience and launch your career upon graduation. The experiences below can be included in your college résumé.
Volunteerism – Giving your time to an organization is a helpful way to demonstrate your work qualities. If you volunteer in your academic discipline of interest, you can also gain experience to determine if the work environment is best for you. The Center for Engagement, Service and the Public Good provides volunteer opportunities.
Externships & Job Shadowing - These experiences provide an opportunity to observe a workplace, sit in on meetings and have career conversations with employees; visit Career Exploration and Planning to learn about Career Conversations.
Student Jobs on Campus – On-campus student jobs are a great way to gain skills and experience in a professional setting. No experience is required to apply to many student positions on campus. Visit Find a Job on Campus.
Internships – An internship is an off-campus activity that provides real-world exposure to professional development in a business, non-profit or government setting; visit Internships.
Fellowships - Fellowships are typically merit-based scholarships for advanced research of an academic subject; Visit the National & International Scholarships and Fellowships Program.
Part-time Jobs – Employers offer part-time work off campus to help students build professional skills and explore potential career paths. Opportunities are listed on Cal State LA Handshake. Get Started: Handshake.
Student Employment in Government - Federal and State governments provide student employment and internship pathways for entry into professional careers. Visit USAJobs: Student & Recent Graduates and CalCareers: Student Employment.
Full-time Jobs, Post-Graduation – Employers are eager to hire Cal State LA students and recent graduates, and they provide opportunities that usually do not require prior experience. Opportunities are listed on Cal State LA Handshake. Get Started: Handshake.
Freelance or Contract Work – Some professionals choose to be self-employed individuals who do specific work for clients without committing to full-time employment. Freelancers may be independent contractors, part-time freelancers, diversified workers, temporary workers or business owners/entrepreneurs. Freelance jobs are offered for practically any career field imaginable. Visit Get Started as a Freelancer and The Freelance Marketing Road Map: Ten Steps to Changing Your Career.
Find Opportunities that Align with Your Goals
Little success comes to those who send the same application to hundreds of employment postings. Yet, if you focus your efforts on a specific type of work, you can increase your success. Use these resources to get started:
Jobs that Align with Your Strengths and Interests
- Job Searching 101 Presentation: Find the Right Opportunity
- Visit Career Exploration and Planning for Career Exploration strategies
- Ten Ways to Research Company Culture
Strategies for Working in Government
Avoid Job Scams
The employment search process can be challenging and tiring. When you are feeling tired or down about your search you may be more vulnerable to job scams. We are available to help you review an opportunity before you click on the links or hit the apply button. Use this resource to improve your awareness of scam opportunities: Job Scams Consumer Advice by the Federal Trade Commission
Meet Professionals for Support
People who are working in organizations or positions that interest you are often willing to support students and recent graduates. They provide valuable advice about how to prepare and succeed in the employment search.
We understand that connecting with new people who are older or have been in their career longer can be intimidating. We can help you grow your career community with ease. Use these resources to get started:
Networking is a Waste of Time or Is it? (includes a sample meeting agenda and questions to ask)
Using LinkedIn to Find Professionals
People to Network With During a Job Search
Career Communities to Join
Handshake – Handshake is a online career community for college students. You can explore career options, find jobs/internships and connect with employers hiring Cal State LA students; Get Started: Handshake
Alumni Mentoring Program – The Cal State LA Alumni Association provides one-time and traditional mentoring for students and recent graduates; visit Alumni Mentoring Program.
LinkedIn Career Center Group – Group memberships on LinkedIn provide a place for professionals with similar interests to share their insights and experiences, ask for guidance and build professional connections; join the Career Center LinkedIn group.
Connect with Employers
We work to make connecting with employers easy and impactful. Here are some of the ways that you can find and connect with employers.
Handshake – Handshake is a online career community for college students. You can explore career options, find jobs/internships and connect with employers hiring Cal State LA students; Get Started: Handshake.
Employers by Major – Employers by Major lists employers in California who have hired college graduates within the major; visit Employers by Major.
Business Finder by Industry – The U.S. Department of Labor helps you find businesses you may want to work for based on your industry of interest; visit Business Finder.
Employer Events – We develop meaningful and collaborative partnerships with employers to provide experiential learning opportunities and employment pathways for students and recent graduates. Below are the types of events we coordinate. Upcoming events, fairs and interviews are listed on Handshake; Get Started: Handshake.
- Information Sessions – Attend these employer presentations for career exploration and decision-making. Learn about the organization's mission, values and work culture, which career pathways are available and how to successfully apply.
- On-Campus Interview Program – Apply to positions and be invited to interview for the opportunity. Interviews are typically on campus.
- Career Fairs – Attend our campus-wide career fairs offered twice a year, typically in September and March.
Job Search on Handshake
Job Search Tracker
The Career Center provides an online job search tracking software called Huntr. This tool helps you organize your job search by tracking every detail about your job opportunities regardless of where you found them. Track contacts, notes, dates, tasks, documents, job descriptions, salaries, locations, company data and more. Add jobs across the internet using the Chrome browser and the Huntr Chrome Extension. For help getting started watch this video on Introducing Huntr Job Search Tracker and review the Huntr Job Seeker Guide.
Experiential learning coordinators are available by individual appointment. We can answer your questions about searching for opportunities and help you connect with employers hiring Cal State LA students.