Review Job/Internship Search Tips

Job Search Tips


Now that you have decided on your career options and have a clear understanding of what you are looking for and what occupations and industries might be a good match, your next step is to start marketing yourself to organizations of interest.

Applying for Jobs/Internships

When Should You Apply

Most organizations are looking for candidates to fill an immediate opening. This typically means you should be applying the semester prior to the anticipated start date. Similarly, most internship recruitment occurs a semester in advance. However, depending on the industry/organization you are targeting, you may have to apply even earlier. Refer to the guide below for a general timeline. (Note: This may not apply to every organization, so please do your research!)

Fall Spring Summer
Students looking for Spring and Summer internships, and full-time entry level jobs (all industries) Students looking for Summer internships, and full-time entry level jobs (all industries) Students looking for Fall internships (all industries)

Where to Find Job/Internship Opportunities

Job/Internship seems too good to be true? Avoid fraudulent job postings.

Develop Leads
In addition to searching and applying to online job/internship listings, you can find a job or internship through your network. Consider the following strategies:

  • Contact your network (family, friends, professors, supervisors, and mentors) and let them know that you are looking for a job/internship. Inquire about potential opportunities and ask for connections and leads.
  • Contact alumni within organizations you are targeting for advice using LinkedIn.
  • Follow up with contacts/recruiters with whom you have previously interacted for potential opportunities/advice.

Manage Your Job Applications
As you submit applications, it is important to stay organized. Here are some tips to help you manage your job search:

  • Have your resume and cover letter reviewed prior to applying for jobs. Make sure they are tailored for the specific job to which you are applying.
  • Make sure to submit all the requested documents and submit them on time.
  • Save a copy of the job description for future reference. Sometimes job postings are removed from job boards prior to interviews so it could be helpful for interview preparation.
  • Keep track of deadlines and interview dates so you can follow up as appropriate. Creating an Excel spreadsheet is an easy way to keep everything organized.
  • Manage your energy. Finding a job is a full-time job in itself! When it gets stressful, take a break.
  • Be polite and clear in your communication with recruiters. Keep track of your phone calls and emails.

Career Center Resources for Job Search

We provide resources for you to learn about job opportunities and interact with recruiters. If you are not sure how to approach your job search, take some time to assess what you want and explore your options. Once you have decided on your career plans, it is recommended that you utilize multiple job search strategies to maximize your efforts.

Browse through thousands of job, internship, and on-campus recruiting (OCR) listings.  Make sure to look into the connectSC listings, Extended Job Search, and Recommended Jobs sections.

Career Fairs
We host career fairs during fall and spring semesters. Employers participate in career fairs to recruit for full-time and internship opportunities.

On-Campus Recruiting Program (OCR)
Our OCR program attracts companies from a variety of industries looking to hire for entry-level positions and internships. It is a convenient opportunity for you to interview on-campus in our interview rooms.

Trojan Talks
Employers share information about their organizations and provide students a chance to network with recruiters and alumni. Students are expected to dress professionally for Trojan Talks. To view upcoming Trojan Talks, visit our Events page or the “Events” tab in connectSC.

Through this online portal, you can connect with employers hiring for internships, part-time, and full-time roles. Handshake provides you insightful information about numerous career paths by exploring roles, industries, and salary information.

Finding Jobs/Internships in Specific Locations

Below are a few resources to help start researching careers by specific geographical locations.

GoinGlobal  – located in the “Resources” tab in connectSC

  • USA City Guides and country guides contain career and employment resources for larger metropolitan areas in the USA and internationally. Included in this database are job search resources, employment outlook, professional networking groups, cost of living, major employer listings by industry sector, non-profits and volunteer opportunities.
  • H-1B employer listings are also listed for all 50 states!

Career Access Resource Library (CARL)
The CARL system is designed to help you access career-related links and resources useful for career exploration as well as graduate school, internship, and fellowship searches.  Users can build a bibliography of relevant links and receive the bibliography via email through CARL.

Job search links for many cities can be found in CARL, type the city of interest in the “keyword search” section, and start exploring!

D&B Hoovers database – located in the “Resources” tab on connectSC
This database offers information on organizations around the world; it enables you to specify variables such as company location, company size, industry, company type, people, financial data, and specialty criteria.

Local Chambers of Commerce
Chambers of Commerce are a good resource to use when looking for local businesses. A Chamber of Commerce is a local and international business and community association with a mission to positively impact critical business and community issues. Chambers of Commerce often partner with the government to accomplish the chamber’s mission; membership size can vary greatly.

Below are a few California-based Chamber of Commerce organizations:

UCAN Internship Exchange

The UCAN Internship Exchange is a dynamic database listing many domestic and international internships, fellowships, and other short-term opportunities. Students are offered access to a large database of internship listings with a wide geographic distribution. UCAN provides students with the ability to gain experience in their career choice and develop connections with employers. In order to access this database, you will need to register separately for this system. Please use your University email address during registration.

Ripple Match

Sign up for free and create an online profile to get matched with entry-level job and internship opportunities with organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies, startups, national non-profits, and a wide array of financial and consulting firms.


Networking can help you clarify and define your interests in a variety of career fields. Click on the link above to learn more about how to network.

Marketing Your International Experience

Whether you have lived, interned, studied, or volunteered abroad, you have demonstrated these skills:

  • Adaptability to a new environment
  • Appreciation for diversity and other perspectives
  • Community building
  • Conflict/Crisis Management
  • Creativity
  • Foreign language proficiency
  • Knowledgeable of international issues and politics
  • Independence/Initiative/Self-Reliance
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Motivation
  • Open-mindedness
  • Organization and Time management
  • Perseverance
  • Problem-Solving
  • Self-Confidence

Be Memorable by Displaying Your International Experience Effectively:

  • Reflect upon your experience and review the skills you enhanced
    • Professional growth
    • Personal development
    • Knowledge gained
  • Connect this experience to characteristics that employers/graduate schools seek in their candidates
  • Utilize these accomplishments in your updated resume/elevator pitch

Be Intentional When Connecting Your International Experiences:

  • Tell me about a time when you had to think on your feet to come to a decision quickly.
  • What are the top three lessons you learned?
  • How did this experience change your life?

The USC Career Center is proud to provide access to Interstride, an interactive career platform designed by international students to enhance the career exploration and job-search experience for international students.

Transferable Skills


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