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 advance your employment search.
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 — If you volunteer in your academic discipline of interest, you can gain skills and experience that demonstrate how you fit in your future career. The Center for Engagement, Service and the Public Good provides volunteer opportunities.
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. Schedule a Jobs & Internships appointment with us to get help with creating a job shadowing opportunity.
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. Our Find a Job on Campus website explains how to get started.
Internships — An internship is an off-campus activity that provides real-world exposure to professional development in a business, non-profit or government setting. Our Internships website explains how to get started.
Fellowships — Fellowships are typically merit-based scholarships for advanced research of an academic subject. The National & International Scholarships and Fellowships Program provides fellowship opportunities.
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 to learn more.
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 to learn more. To find companies seeking freelance work, visit Freelancer.com.
Find Career Pathways 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.
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.
Candid Career Videos — 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.
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.
Job Titles by Government & Freelance
Federal Occupations by Major — Search this list of academic majors and the matching federal job titles.
California State Occupations by Industry — Search this list of jobs in the State of California by industry of interest/job family. An industry/job family is a group of jobs based on the work performed, skills and education required.
Freelance/Contractor Career Fields — Some professionals choose to be self-employed individuals. Self-employed individuals do specific work for clients without being employed by a company.
Find Employers that Align with Your Goals
You can explore employers by a wide variety of interests. Use these resources to help your research.
Industries and Companies
Employers by Major — Search this list of employers in California who have hired college graduates with the major.
Vault Guide to Jobs — Research these guides to learn about key careers and industries by job activities of interest.
Business Finder by Industry — Search this list of industries by location to find employers near you who perform a business activity of interest.
Corporate Scorecard — Search this index to find companies that match your career values.
Strategies for Working in Government
Strategies for Freelance Work
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.
Meet Professionals in Your Major or Career
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?
Networking is a Waste of Time or Is it? (includes a sample meeting agenda and questions to ask)
People to Network With During a Job Search
What is Virtual Networking?
How to Set Up Your LinkedIn Profile
How to Use LinkedIn to Network
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; visit Alumni Mentoring Program.
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.
Connect with Employers who are Hiring
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.
Career Workshops — Join our workshops and events with employers eager to share advise and provide career mentorship. Sign up for workshops on the Career Center calendar.
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.
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.
How to Make the Most of Career Fairs
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.
We provide a free online application tracking tool called Huntr. This tool helps you organize your employment search. Add jobs 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.
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.