Career Readiness

Searching and applying for internships and jobs is an exciting and challenging process. Crafting your resume, writing a cover letter, and updating your LinkedIn profile are some of the important steps in preparing yourself for your career. 

Your Resume

A resume is a comprehensive document that provides a snapshot of who you are - including your skills, abilities, and professional experiences. Resumes demonstrate to an employer that you are qualified for the job by highlighting your relevant experiences and skills. Resumes make lasting impression with hiring managers, HR, future employers, and recruiters by providing insight into how you might fit into a company's work environment. Resumes are not meant to get you a job - they are meant to get you an interview! A well crafted resume should set you apart from other candidates - list your unique skills and translatable experiences that align best with the position you are applying for. 

Your resume will change over time depending on new experiences and skills gained. Need help getting started with a resume? See our Resumes page for more detailed information or visit a Career Advisor during drop-in hours. 

Your Cover Letter

Many job applications require a cover letter. A cover letter is a one page document that serves as a specific introduction of yourself and why you would be a great fit for a certain employer. Your cover letter is your opportunity to showcase your background, passion, skills, abilities, knowledge, and confidence. Whereas your resume is a list of your qualificatiions, your cover letter focuses on a single significant experience or position that you feel is most relevant to the position which you are applying for. Your cover letter is your chance to let the employer know your personality and passion. 

CVs

A CV, or "Curriculum Vitae" is similar to a resume. In many countries outside the United States, CV is used to describe all job application documents, including a resume. Sometimes, the terms CV and resume are used interchangeably. If you are not sure which kind of document to submit, ask the employer for clarification. CV's are typically required by those applying for fellowships, grants, post-doctoral positions, and teaching or research positions. 

Interviews

Interviews are an opportunity for candidates to showcase that they are the are the best fit for a position. During an interview, you’ll answer questions asked by the employer. Your answers should reflect who you are, your work ethic, and what value you would bring to the company or organization. Also - interviews aren’t just for employers - interviews allow you to learn about the faces behind an organization which can help you decide if the position is a right fit for you. 

What to expect: Employers ask specific questions that are intended to gauge how you work as part of a team, your abilities, and your problem-solving and critical thinking skills. 

How to prepare: Research the organization you are interviewing with and learn as much as you can. You should also prepare a few questions to ask during your interview. 

Strategizing: Answering interview questions can be tricky. You want to be able to answer questions quickly while showcasing that you have the skills necessary for the position. The best way to answer interview questions is by using the STAR Model:

     Situation - What was the situation you were dealing with?
     Task - What was your specific task, role, or responsibility?
     Action - What actions did you take?
     Result - What where the results?

Building Connections

Getting connected is key in your career journey. There are tons of people and places you can get network with to gain insight, tools, resources, and references as you build your own career path. For students, the best way to start networking is through your professors, peers, classmates, and career advisors

Connect to SSU Alumni

As you build connections, you increase your opportunities to learn about internships and jobs. You can connect with SSU alumni on LinkedIn in our new LinkedIn Flash Mentoring Group. Use this group to expand your professional network by asking general or specific career questions, request an informational interview, and learning how SSU alumni got to where they are today. 

Connect to employers and jobs

Handshake is the primary job search tool for SSU students and alumni. With Handshake, users can apply to various job and internship opportunities both on and off-campus. Discover hundreds of available career opportunities that are being updated daily! Jobs posted on Handshake are filtered by Career Center staff to ensure only the most valuable and legitimate opportunities for students. Handshake is always free for all SSU students and alumni. You will gain access to hundreds of personalized job recommendations based on your major and interests.

LinkedIn is an incredible social media platform focused on professional networking. LinkedIn can connect you with recruiters, industry professionals, and SSU alumni. Employers use LinkedIn to post jobs and internship opportunities. A well-built LinkedIn profile can get you noticed by potential employers. Check out these LinkedIn guides for colleges students to help you effectively build your profile and network.

BeVisible is another professional networking site catered to Latinx students.BeVisible blends online journalism with the ability of our community members to share content, ask questions, and build professional profiles. BeVisible allows Latinxs to connect to peers, mentors, and resources — including recruiters from top universities and companies.

Internships

Interning is a great way to gain professional experience while getting a feel for an industry that interests you. Internships are mutually beneficial in that students can apply what they have learned in the classroom to the work environment, and employers gain additional support and resources. Internships can be paid, or unpaid, and many times students can earn academic credit/units for their internship hours. Internships help students:

  • Build real world, relevant, professional experience
  • Apply what you've learned in the classroom to the professional world of work
  • Gain insight into your current career path - is this work right for you? Is it similar or different than you thought it would be? 
  • Build your professional network - you will meet colleagues, supervisors, and mentors in your industry area or career path

Below are multiple platforms you can consider using in your internship search:

  • Handshake: SSU's primary job search tool for students and alumni. On Handshake, users can apply to various job and internship opportunities both on and off-campus
  • Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Idealist, and LinkedIn are ideal places to find internships
  • Center for Community Engagement: If you need to obtain an academic internship (for academic units/credit), the CCE is the place for you. This office supports all academic/credit based internships.
  • Networking: ask your professors, family, colleagues, advisors, and other people in your network if they know of any internship opportunities.