|Identify your Qualities||Explore your Options||Prepare your Application Materials||Search for Internships and Jobs|
You are more likely to be satisfied in work when there is a good fit between your personal characteristics and the work tasks offered by the job. Knowing yourself and your career possibilities are important steps in career planning. The first step is to be sure of who you are and what you want from life, to build a career that's right for you. You should be aware of your interests, personality, skills, strengths and values, and have a process for evaluating and making decisions.
- Focus 2 provides self-guided assessment and other tools to help you gather information about your interests, values, skills and personality and match those to careers that closely align with who you are. If you use Focus 2 to choose a major, please visit our guide for major and career exploration.
How to Register for Focus 2 (free courtesy of the Career Center)
- Use the following link, only. Focus 2
- Click "Register" underneath the login boxes
- Fill out all the information (do NOT use your campus credentials)
- "Access Code": EAGLESLA
- Click "Continue" when done
- CareerScope is an online tool for eligible Veterans benefit recipients, offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It provides interest and aptitude assessments, recommendations for careers and courses or training programs to pursue those careers. CareerScope is frequently used by Veterans to determine the best career path for transition to civilian life. (Disclaimer: Do NOT use your campus credentials to register or logon.)
You can also talk one-on-one with a career advisor to explore and put it all together. We administer informal and formal self-assessments as needed to assist in that process. Email or call 323-343-3237 to schedule an appointment.
Explore your career options to get a clearer understanding of the characteristics, requirements and duties that apply to specific jobs, as well as the labor market demand, salaries, and required preparation, to help you narrow down those best suited to you, or suggest new ones you hadn’t thought of.
Search Career Titles and Industries
- Focus 2 Explore the Possibilities provides a self-guided exploration tool that matches your interests, values, skills and personality to careers that closely align with who you are. Watch our Focus2 Explore the Possibilities video to search career titles. If you use Focus 2 to choose a major, please visit our guide for major and career exploration.
What can I do with this major? matches common academic majors to careers and provides information on typical career areas and types of employers that hire people with each major, as well as strategies to make you a more marketable candidate. (Free courtesy of the Career Center; no login required.)
Employers by Major maps common academic majors to companies and industries in California that employ graduates of those majors. (Registration required)
Hear from Industry Professionals
Candid Career offers videos of real people speaking from the heart about their career experiences. You can explore by industries, career titles, college majors, companies and more. (Free courtesy of the Career Center; no login required.) Introduction to Candid Career Profiles (Video)
Employers regularly present about opportunities and what it is like to work at their organization. Career advisors also provide workshops and online career development guides on how to network with alumni and professionals in your desired career path to learn about their role and how they got there. Employer events and workshops are listed are Handshake (requires student registration).
Internships - The best way to learn about a job and industry is to do an internship. It also looks great on your résumé and makes you much more employable. Some internships are available as early as the summer of your first year. Application deadlines for summer internships are typically between December and March so be sure to plan your search in advance. Internships are posted on Handshake (Requires student registration.)
Student Employment - Cal State LA employs more than 1,800 students under the Student Employment Program and offers positions within various career fields. Working in an on-campus student assistant position that aligns with your career interests can help you learn about the job and gain relevant experience. Student assistant positions are posted on Handshake (Requires student registration.)
Volunteer in Your Field - Employers value volunteer experiences particularly if they are related to your career goals. The Center for Engagement, Service and the Public Good provides a list of partnered organizations.
- Student Organizations - You can use and enhance the skills you've learned in class by participating in student organizations. You will learn how to work with a team and engage with diverse groups of people, gain leadership skills, develop your qualities and essential career readiness skills, get networking opportunities and learn more about yourself. The Center for Student Involvement provides a list of active student organizations.
When you know yourself and your career options your job search is more effective. The job search involves building essential employability skills including résumé and cover letter writing, interviewing skills, communicating your personal brand, developing a portfolio and strategies for searching for internship and job openings. Your application materials are personal marketing materials that highlight how your strengths and skills best fit the job role and needs of the organization. It is important to have effective skills for developing these materials and that you invest the time to customize your materials to each position.
- Recommended Videos - CareerSpots provide real-world career advice from global experts on starting the job search, résumés and communication, networking, your personal brand and elevator speech, internships, interview dress, interviewing before-during-after, salary and negotiation and social media in the job search. (No login required.)
- OptimalResume helps you build your résumé based on a variety formatting styles. You can also browse sample résumés based on industry and level of work experience.
How to Register for OptimalResume (free courtesy of the Career Center)
- On the top right-hand side of the page, click "New User"
- In the Student Users box, type in your @calstatela.edu email address
(Alumni will click on the Alumni button and use a personal email address)
- Click "Continue"
- Fill out all required information (do NOT use your campus credentials)
- Click "Create Profile"
- Perfect Interview helps you practice interviewing in real-time and received advice on how to best respond. You can create interviews based on your work experiences and the type of position you are looking for. How to use Perfect Interview (Video)
How to Register for Perfect Interview (free courtesy of the Career Center)
- Click "Create Account"
- Fill out all information (do NOT use your campus credentials).
- Check the box that notes that you agree to the terms and conditions of the site
- Click "Create My Account"
- InterviewStream helps you practice interviewing in real-time and share your practice interview with faculty, advisors and others to provide feedback. How to use Interview Stream (Video)
How to Register for InterviewStream (free courtesy of the Career Center)
- On the top right-hand side of the page, click "Create Account"
- Verify that it says "Sign Up for California State University Los Angeles" a few lines above the info boxes
- Fill out all of the required information (do NOT use your campus credentials).
- Click "Register"
Portfolium is Cal State LA's ePortfolio and career readiness network. It gives you the ability to build an organized, visual record of your academic and professional story using the work you are completing both in and out of the classroom. You can upload real work samples including photos, videos, presentations and papers to showcase your coursework, projects, extracurricular activities, volunteer activities, internships and work experiences. You can also connect and collaborate with fellow classmates and club members on projects and activities. Once you've designed your Portfolium profile, you can link it to your résumé and LinkedIn profile to enhance your social/professional presence. (Disclaimer: Do NOT use your campus credentials to register or logon.)
Career and Job Resources LibGuide provides a list of additional resources, such as databases and websites, that will aid you in your job industry research. It also provides information on résumé and cover letter perfecting, as well as information on interview etiquette and preparation.
Career advisors publish online career development guides and samples to assist you through thre process of writing résumés and cover letters, interviewing, thank-you letters, internship and job search strategies, networking, communicating your personal brand, setting up a LinkedIn profile and salary negotiation. Career advisors also provide workshops each term to help you learn the skills to develop effective application materials and answer your questions. Workshops are listed are Handshake (requires student registration).
Job Searching While Social Distancing - It is understandable to feel uneasy about your career development during this time of social distancing. We have prepared resources to help you feel confident about navigating the virtual job search. Visit our Job Searching While Social Distancing guide.
Accessing the Hidden Job Market – The hidden job market includes positions that are filled before they are posted or made public. You can access these positions by building relationships with companies and potential employers before a position is posted. The primary strategy for accessing the hidden job market is networking. Develop effective networking strategies by attending Career Workshops on Networking, listed on Handshake (requires student registration), and using our Career Guides on Networking (under career development guides).
Employer Events - Meet employers to start building relationships, gather information or to apply for positions. Events include Career Fairs and Employer Information Sessions. Check the full calendar of events on Handshake. (Requires student registration.)
Internship and Job Postings - All Cal State L.A. students have free access to Handshake online service to locate internships, on-campus student assistant jobs, part-time jobs and early career positions posted by employers seeking Cal State L.A. students and alumni. (Requires student registration.)
- Campus Interview Program - Interview on campus for entry-level positions with select employers under the On-Campus Interview Program (OCI) listed on Handshake (Requires student registration; for fully matriculated and currently enrolled Cal State LA seniors and graduate students, and Cal State LA alumni.)
- LinkedIn is a social media network with hundreds of millions of professionals. This tool can help you establish your online professional profile and control the top search results of your name, build and maintain your professional network, find and reconnect with colleagues and classmates, learn about other companies and get industry insights, find other professionals in the same industry using groups, tap into the knowledge of your network, and discover new career opportunities. (Disclaimer: Do NOT use your campus credentials to register or logon.)
- Are you using the links provided by the Cal State LA Career Center webpage? Make sure you are using the correct link. Many of the links provided are especially created for Cal State LA students, so you should utilize these links directly when going to these sites.
- Is there a check box (e.g. terms and conditions) that needs to be checked? Some sites require you read and agree to the site's policies before creating an account.
- Did you use a valid email address? Some sites will send you a confirmation email that you must open before you may log on to the site. If you did not use a valid email, you may not be able to use the site. If you have not edited your email options to receive emails from the websites, they could be marked as spam, so it would be wise to check your spam folders for confirmation emails.