Job and Internship Search

Search Strategies

Listed below are strategies that have been proven to aid job seekers in their quest. Keep in mind that these techniques only work as well as the effort you put into them. Stay focused, stay positive, and most important, be sure to check in with an AACE Advisor if you have any questions!

"It's not what you know, it's who you know."  more correctly, "It's who knows what you know." Meeting people in your career field is key to moving forward in that field, and you need to let people who you are and what you are looking for.

The more contacts you have, the better your chances are of hearing about a job or internship opening. Making those contacts can take several forms - introductions through friends and colleagues and joining professional associations in your field, to conducting informational interviews or joining a professional networking site like LinkedIn. Your goal is to establish a network of people who will network with and for you.

Steps for success:

  1. Set up a LinkedIn Account.
  2. Join a professional association related to your field of interest.
  3. Arrange informational interviews with people in the fields you are interested in pursuing.  Check out our own Career Contacts Directory to make a connection.
  4. Send thank you notes for all informational interviews and referrals!
  5. Narrow down your contacts and let them know you are interested in the field and would appreciate knowing about any current or upcoming opportunities. Make sure they have your resume!
  6. Stay connected. Be persistent, but not obnoxious!

The On-Campus Interview (OCI) program provides students with an opportunity to interview with employers from business, industry, and government agencies for full-time and part-time positions and internships. Interviews are conducted in Academic Advising and Career Education (SA 2300) for the convenience of both students and employers. Employers typically use this opportunity as a screening process and will call candidates they're interested in for a 2nd on-site interview.

Steps for success:

  1. Register on PioneerJobs in order to view the most recent job openings and become eligible for the OCI services.
  2. Make sure your resume and cover letter are updated and uploaded in the system.
  3. Research companies thoroughly prior to coming in for your interview and prepare questions and answers based on what you know about the company.
  4. Schedule a practice interview on Interview Stream to freshen up your skills.

Obtaining an internship and volunteering in the community are direct, hands-on experience where you will develop many skills required for the jobs you seek.  Make sure you will be doing the things you want to be doing. Experience is experience, it doesn't mean paid. Frequently, students are hired full-time as a result of a successful internship or volunteering. Volunteer positions can help you gain experience in a field when you have no prior experience while giving you the opportunity to network and learn from seasoned professionals on the job.

Steps for success:

  1. Sign in to PioneerJobs to view the most recent internship and volunteer positions.
  2. Search community resources for volunteer opportunities. Check out the Bay Area Volunteer Information Center for opportunities.

Stay informed about and in touch with all sites likely to list job vacancies in your field. We encourage you to regularly search for opportunities on PioneerJobs, this list is by no means comprehensive. Indeed and LinkUp are examples of job search sites that compile job postings from multiple resources, cutting down the time you need to search different sites dramatically. Be persistent and don't get discouraged.

Steps for success:

  1. Keep abreast of all sites that may have openings in your field.
  2. Respond to ads with a targeted cover letter and resume.
  3. Check out Helpful Career Sites for job search links
  4. Follow-up the letter with a phone call and initiate an interview.
  5. Be sure to send thank you notes after the interview!

Identify employers you would like to work for, send targeted cover letters with your resume. Do not send a generic cover letter if you want an interview. Follow-up with a phone call - or even a face-to-face visit.

Steps for success:

  1. Research employers that you're interested in and narrow down the ones that most interest you.
  2. Determine the best person to contact at the organization - search them on Linkedin or a mutual professional association site or call the organization directly and talk with someone who can give you a name and title of the best person to contact.
  3. Draft your letter and resume, targeting that specific company and addressing it to a specific person.
  4. Follow-up with a phone call and be sure to send a thank-you note following your conversation.

Employment Agencies, or Third Party Agencies, find jobs for people looking for work, and also find candidates for organizations looking to fill positions. Policies differ for each agency, so do your research and find out all the facts before you sign up. You may need to pay a fee and/or sign a long-term contract that may restrict you from working permanently with a company for a period of time. Research the reputation of the firm and always read the fine print before signing anything.

That being said, this could be an excellent way to gain valuable experience, test out careers that you're still not sure about, and to network with professionals in your field of interest.

Steps for success:

  1. Contact several agencies and research their services to determine the best ones.
  2. Read all contracts, terms and limitations carefully before signing anything.
  3. Keep in touch often. You have a right to expect results, especially if you are paying for services.

Be sure to tell everyone you know that you're looking for a job - and what field you're interested in. The more people who know what you are looking for, the greater your chances of connecting with a potential job opening. Be sure your friends, family, and classmates have a copy of your resume; you never know who they might meet the next day. Don't be shy - people who like you will be more willing to help you in any way they can.