Jobs and Internships Checklist

Although securing a job or internship is not a linear process that is complete once you've done all of the necessary tasks, there are steps to take that improve your chances of getting what you want.

  • Identify your interests. What do you like to do? What are your skills? What are your goals? How can this be applied to the workplace? Consider using an assessment program such as Choices/Bridges or O*Net. Career advisers can help, too.
  • Research. Look for organizations that fit your interests and skills. The following tools can help you investigate: MySpartanCareer/WetFeet Guides, career events, and your personal network.
  • Identify target organizations. Narrow your list to a few companies that you are especially interested in working for. Intensely research what they're looking for in an employee and think about how you could fit with their needs. Look online, use your network, and think critically about what you find.
  • Work on your personal network. This can really help you gain access and insider information to organizations. Consider former employers, friends, and family members who work in the field. You could also ask about our alumni information program, attend a career event, or contact professors who are especially experienced. Remember, 75-80% of available jobs aren't listed anywhere!
  • Update your resume and cover letter. Try to modify them for each application. Draw upon your most relevant experiences and consider the skills, qualities, and content knowledge the employer expects the ideal candidate to possess. CAS Center for Careers and Internships can help!
  • Follow-up. Call and ask meaningful questions: Is there any additional information that I can provide to help you with your decision process? Don't ask, 'did you get my stuff?'. Figuring out what to say will be easier if you understand to the organization and its culture prior to the application process.
  • Practice for interviews. The most well prepared candidates are ready to talk about their personal ability to contribute using specific examples to show that they fit within the organizational culture. The interview is not a test you need to ask questions, too. Try to figure out if this is a good fit for you. Note: Appearance does matter. Get the appropriate attire before your interview and arrive at least 15 minutes early.
  • Accepting an offer. Your first job or internship may not be your dream position, but it may be a necessary stepping stone. For example, interning with a minor league sports team in an out-of-the-way town may lead to a more prestigious position with your favorite major league team. All offers will have advantages and disadvantages. As former students have discovered, your offers may not all come at the same time, so you may need to take a risk and accept or decline a position before you've heard from all of your top picks. We're here to help you with this process.

Job/Internship Resources

Assessment Tools:

Choices/Bridges Planner - Ask for login instructions in Club 181 or in 113 Student Services. Helps you assess and examine your interests, work values, and beliefs about your work skills. Also offers information about recommended occupations.

O*Net - Gives occupational information and evaluates your key attributes and characteristics to give you relevant career ideas.

Helpful People:

Career Advisors - http://careernetwork.msu.edu Meet with you one-on-one to help you determine where you are in the job/internship process. Whether you're not sure what you'd like to do, or you need help identifying key companies, schedule an appointment online.

CAS Center for Careers and Internships Peer Advisors -http://www.cas.msu.edu/advising/careers/drop-in-hoursPeer Advisors are available to help review your resume and cover letter, offer assistance with MySpartanCareer, and give you valuable resources to advance your search.

Internship Coordinators - Coordinate the logistics of an internship. Go to the coordinator corresponding to your major for help with credits and some additional ideas of where to intern.

Online Help:

Career Events Calendar - Check this calendar online to find information, times, and locations for career events and fairs.

CareerSearch - Log in to Handshake, click on the 'Jobs' tab, then 'Other Resources' Search through almost 10 million contacts by industry, geographic location, and keywords to find potential employers and relevant information.

Service Learning Center - Search and apply for opportunities to help the community while getting field experience.

Outside Job Boards - Try meta-search engines such as Indeed.com to get free access to millions of opportunities listed on major job boards, newspapers, associations, and company career pages.

MSU CAS Careers 181 Twitter Group

MSU CAS Careers 181 Facebook Group - Join to be connected to other students and share information about opportunities you've come across or places to find jobs and internships.

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