Employment Search

Whether you would like to apply for a job or internship, knowing the search strategies for college students will bring you better results. The resources below can improve your employment search.

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

If you volunteer in your academic discipline of interest, you can gain skills and experience that demonstrate how you fit in your future career. Learn about volunteer opportunities offered by the Center for Engagement, Service and the Public Good

Externships & Job Shadowing

In these experiences, you schedule time with working professionals to observe a workplace, sit in on meetings and have career conversations with employees. To get help with creating a job shadowing opportunity schedule a Jobs & Internships Appointment with the Career Center

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. Learn about students jobs on campus from the Career Center website 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. Learn about Internships

Fellowships

Fellowships are typically merit-based scholarships for advanced research of an academic subject. Learn about fellowship opportunities provided by 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. View the opportunities 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. Learn about student jobs offered by 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. View the opportunities listed on Cal State LA Handshake; Get Started: Handshake

Freelance or Independent Contract Work

Freelancers do specific work for companies without being an employee of the company. Freelancers may be independent contractors, part-time freelancers, diversified workers or temporary workers. Freelance jobs are offered for practically any career field imaginable.

Explore the Steps to Creating your Freelance Career

Identify the best freelance job search platform for your goals by reading about Fiverr vs Upwork and Fiverr vs Freelance

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs are business owners rather than employees. Visit the IRS for the basics of setting up a business and watch the short introductory course on entrepreneurship.

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.

Career Pathways by Major

If you are unsure about what jobs relate to your major, the resources below can help you obtain information about the career possibilities.

  • What Can I Do with My Major?
    This website is a great starting point for viewing related fields, job titles, work places and professional organizations related to an academic major.

  • Career Interviews by Major and Industry
    Search by a major to view interviews from working professionals who majored in that discipline. You can also search by an industry that interests you. An industry describes the activity of the company and includes people with different occupations who work for the same type of business.

  • Search Open Jobs by Major: Cal State LA Handshake
    When you sign up for this free college student job site, you can search for current job openings by a major. You can also search job openings by industry, which is the type of business activity a company or organization performs.

Career Pathways in Government

Career Pathways in Freelance

You can explore employers by a wide variety of interests. Use these resources to help your research.

Companies

Government

LinkedIn is an employment and business focused social media platform. Students and professionals connect, share and learn from each other on LinkedIn. You can also find internships and job openings.

How to Set Up Your LinkedIn Profile

How to Use LinkedIn to Network and Job Search

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. Building a relationship with professionals working in areas that interest you is called networking. We can help you grow your career network with ease. Use these resources to get started.

What is Networking?

Who should I network with?

Introducing Yourself

When you network with professionals you will most likely be asked, "What do you do?" This typical introductory question is asking for your professional introduction or your elevator pitch. Use the resources to create your professional introduction and continue the conversation. 

To get started creating your professional introduction, use the resources to brainstorm your professional brand. A professional brand is how employers see you in your major and career. It reflects who you are as a professional. You demonstrate your professional identity in your classroom assignments and campus activities. These experiences are included in your professional introduction, college résumé, job applications and job interviews.

  • Professional Brand Template
    Use this handout to start creating your professional introduction.

  • Scoring Rubric 
    Use this guide to see how you can continue to advance your brand.

  • Career Conversations
    Use these questions to develop a career mentoring relationship and learn how to be successful in your career development.

Emailing Professionals

If you meet someone in person or would like to invite a virtual contact to an in-person meeting, sometimes an email is appropriate. Use these tips to convey your professionalism, when you reach out to professionals by email.

What is Virtual Networking?

Virtual Networking Communities to Join

  • Cal State LA 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

  • 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

  • Alumni Mentoring Program — The Cal State LA Alumni Association provides one-time and traditional mentoring for students and recent graduates; Join the Alumni Mentoring Program

We work to make connecting with employers easy and impactful. Here are some of the ways that employers recruit college students.

Outreach Tables

Visit an employer outreach table outside of the Career Center to learn about part-time and internship openings.

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. Sign up for employer events using Cal State LA Handshake; Get Started: Handshake

On-Campus Interview Program

Apply to positions and be invited to interview for the opportunity. Interviews are typically on campus. Sign up for employer events using Cal State LA Handshake; Get Started: Handshake

Career Fairs

Attend our campus-wide career fairs offered twice a year, typically in September and March. Sign up for employer events using Cal State LA Handshake; Get Started: Handshake

How to Make the Most of Career Fairs

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. Learn more at Job Scams Consumer Advice by the Federal Trade Commission

Depending upon your immigration status or circumstances, you may need a specific visa to work in the United States. Use these resources to determine the best visa pathway for you.

  • Working in the United States
    Learn about the types of work visas available, including employment-based visas (EB visas), temporary work visas filed by a prospective employer on your behalf (e.g., H visas for specialty occupations and STEM professionals), entrepreneur employment, and working as a student or exchange visitor.
  • H1-B Employer Data Hub
    The H-1B program allows employers to temporarily provide a work visa for occupations that require theoretical or practical application of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor's degree or higher in a specific specialty. Employers must have an approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) for the specialty occupation. Search this data hub to find which employers have submitted petitions to employ H1-B workers.
  • F-1 Student Visa and Employment
    Learn about the employment options available during and after your studies. These include on-campus employment, Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT). For more information, you can also visit Training Opportunities in the United States.
  • J-1 Exchange Visitors and Employment
    Learn about the employment options available, including part-time on-campus employment.
  • Other Permission to Work (Employment Authorization Document)
    Learn about how to request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if you are authorized to work because: your immigration status or circumstances (e.g., asylee, refugee), you have a pending application for permanent residence, asylum or withholding of removal; or you have a status that allows you to be in the country but does not allow you to work without first seeking permission (e.g., F-1 visa).

Job and Internship Postings

We connect you with jobs, internships and employers using Handshake. Handshake is a free job site for college students. You can find current openings shared by employers who are interested in hiring Cal State LA students.

Get Started: Cal State LA Handshake

Application Tracker

We provide a free application tracking tool called Huntr. This tool helps you organize your employment search.

Log In: Job Application Tracker

Add jobs to Huntr using the Chrome browser and the Huntr Chrome Extension. For help getting started, watch the video Introducing Huntr Job Search Tracker and review the Huntr Job Seeker Guide.

Additional Support

Career advisors, students and campus mascot Eddie smile while at a booth outside the Career Center

Experiential learning coordinators are available by individual appointment. We can answer your questions about searching for jobs and help you connect with opportunities.

Schedule an appointment for career advising

We offer workshops throughout the year to help you find employment opportunities and network with professionals.

Sign up for workshops on the Career Center calendar.

Part of choosing a job includes knowing about the opportunities available for your major. Employers host events where you can meet company representative and learn more about what’s possible.

Sign up for employer events using Cal State LA Handshake