When beginning a job or internship search, there are many things to think about and prepare. If you are unsure of the career direction you would like to go, meeting with a Career Advisor may help you focus your search. Determining a few specifics about your goals and criteria for future job or internship prospects will help you find opportunities that are more relevant to your major and career field.
Career Video Library
Job and Internship Search Steps
Start your search by assessing what you have to offer and what your interests are. The more you can clarify the type of position you are seeking, and what you have to offer, the more strategic you can be in your search. To begin, explore how you may answer some of the following questions:
- What are your career values and how do you want them to be fulfilled in your future position? (Flexible schedule, advancement opportunities, professional growth, and an attractive wage)
- In what environment would you like to work? (Corporate, small business, educational, non-profit, healthcare, government, etc.)
- What population are you interested in working with or serving? (Children/youth, business people, educators, lawyers, healthcare providers, artists, etc.)
- What topics are you excited to explore? (Marketing/advertising, sports and fitness, education, art, social justice, environmentalism, etc.)
It is important to have a polished resume and cover letter when applying to positions. In many cases, this is your first impression. Take time to review what the position is seeking, take an inventory of what you have to offer, and then craft your resume to show you are the right fit. Use our resume and cover letter resources to get started!
Networking is all about building and sustaining mutually beneficial relationships. When you are in a job search it is time to reach out to your network and let them know what you are looking for. Follow the tips below on how to put your network to work during a job or internship search. View our complete networking, LinkedIn and informational interview tips here.
Reach out to your network to:
- Learn about possible careers in your field, gain industry specific advice and learn about possible opportunities not listed online.
- Become familiar with professional associations in your field. These often have job boards and mentor programs which can assist in your search.
- Share your resume and cover letter so they can pass it along to those that might be hiring
There are many online job and internship boards you can utilize depending on the specifics of your search. While job boards are a component of your search, don’t forget about face to face networking and the opportunities you can find there.
Review our list of job boards in the section below.
When we think about our “dream job” or doing what we are called to do, how often do we take the time to think about the process to obtaining our dream job or feeling we are doing what we were called to do? We don’t just mean the process of applying to jobs, but obtaining the skills through various experiences and opportunities.Be open to opportunities you don’t see as a direct fit. You never know what path an opportunity will lead you down.For example, as a student you could gain experience by:
- Studying abroad
- Joining a CSP club or organization
- Joining a professional association related to your current or desired field of work
- Volunteering in your community
- Completing an internship
- Obtaining part-time work
More formally, when it comes to job searching or accepting an offer, your major should not limit you to your career options. For example, just because you are a theater major doesn’t mean success is defined by working in a theater. What other skills have you gained throughout your education and experience? Possibly critical thinking, creativity, communication. As long as you are applying those skills in a future role you are using your degree!
Job and Internship Search Resources
Job fairs are a great way to connect with employers. While many job fairs are face to face, there are also virtual opportunities.
- Upcoming job and internship fairs hosted by CSP
- Log into Handshake to view additional job fairs and employer events
- Conduct an internet search for job fairs in your area
Past Job Fairs
Job and internship boards are a great place to start your search. Review our list of resources below to get started.
- Handshake, CSP’s Job and Internship Board
- Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Job Board (or your local nonprofit job board)
- MN Workforce Center (or your local workforce center)
- LinkedIn Jobs
- Check to see if your professional association has a job board
- Best Free Job Posting Sites in 2020
Remote/Virtual Work Job and Internship Boards
- 25+ Best Sites for finding Remote Work Online in 2020
- 18 Best Remote Job Boards in 2020
- 20 Fully Remote Companies That Thrive on Virtual Work, Hiring Now
Gig, Contract, and Project Based Work and Internships
Major/Subject Specific Job Boards
Employment Agencies can be a great opportunity to partner with when seeking employment. The goal of an employment agency is to work with an employer to understand their culture and hiring needs and then find qualified candidates. There should be no fees involved when working with a recruiter, so be sure to read the fine print before you sign any contracts. It is also important to note that some employment agencies fill positions for general work, while other agencies are targeted at a certain field such as accounting or teaching. As always, trust your gut. If something doesn’t seem right, research the organization and check with the Better Business Bureau in your area.Example Employment Agencies:
In collaboration with CSP’s International Student Services Office, please use this link to view employers who hire international students for Internship, CPT, OPT, and H-1B.
Through a partnership with TalentNeuron Recruit, CSP’s Office of Career Development can set students and alumni up with tailored job alerts specific to geographic areas, job type (full time, part time, internship) and level of experience. More information coming soon!
When putting together your resume or preparing for an interview or job search it is important to take an inventory of what you have to offer. In addition to what you have to offer, keep in mind what the employer is looking for. Each year the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) surveys employers to learn the top skills they seek. For 2020, employers have indicated the following skills:
- Problem-solving skills
- Ability to work in a team
- Strong work ethic
- Analytical/quantitative skills
- Communication skills (written)
- Communication skills (verbal)
- Technical skills
- Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)
- Computer skills
- Organizational ability
- Strategic planning skills
- Friendly/outgoing personality
- Entrepreneurial skills/risk-taker
- Fluency in a foreign language
Through a task force of college career services and HR/staffing professionals, NACE has also developed a definition, based on extensive research among employers, and identified eight competencies associated with career readiness.
Career readiness is the attainment and demonstration of requisite competencies that broadly prepare college graduates for a successful transition into the workplace.