Job and Internship Search

Search Strategies

Listed below are several 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 are willing to put into them. Stay focused, stay positive, and most important, be sure to check in with an AACE staff member if you have any questions!

Networking

You've heard it before... "It's not what you know, it's who you know." A more correct way to say this might actually be, "It's not what you know, it's who knows what you know." It's important to realize that not only do you need to get out and meet people, but you need to tell 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 - from 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 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. Set up additional interviews as you are connected to more people through your informational interviews - be sure to send thank you notes!
  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!


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On-Campus Interviews

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.


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Internships/Volunteerism

Obtaining an internship and volunteering in the community are invaluable experiences that employers like to see. This direct, hands-on experience will help you develop many of the basic skills required for the jobs you seek. For those who have little to no work experience in the career or job field you wish to break into, an internship or volunteer position is the perfect answer for you. Oftentimes, students are hired full-time as a result of a successful summer internship. Volunteer positions can help you gain experience in a field which 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 in order 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.


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Identify and respond to job vacancies

Be sure to stay informed about and in touch with all publications likely to list job vacancies. While we encourage and want to make sure you are regulary searching for opportunities on PioneerJobs, this list is by no means comprehensive. Indeed.com and LinkUp.com are an 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 publications 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!


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Direct employer contact

If you have identified employers you would like to work for, you should send targeted cover letters accompanied by your resume. Do not send a generic cover letter as this could be implied as insincere. Be sure to 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 - you may even 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.


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Employment Agencies

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 be sure to do 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.

Tell the world!

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.


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