Find Jobs or Internships
Whether you’re looking for a part-time job, internship or a full-time job after college, the process of looking for a position and employer that’s right for you involves developing a search strategy. This plan or series of steps is designed to help you obtain your goal: getting an oﬀer for a position that ﬁts your interests, skills, values, and personality.
Determine Your Search Criteria and Timeline
What are your search criteria? Be honest with yourself and the people you talk with about your search. Common search criteria include:
- Geographic location
- Application of skills
- Connection to interests/passion
- Fit with work values
- Compatibility with personality
Set a timeline: Understand that an internship or job search takes time, often several months. Establish a plan for when your search process will begin and remain committed to the process, much like you would a class.
Leverage MSU Career Resources
Our network provides several opportunities for students to connect with employers on-campus and virtually.
- Handshake – More than 60,000 job postings are posted on Handshake for MSU students each year. Use a search agent to receive alerts for new employment opportunities that match your specific interests. Follow employers of interest to be updated on their events and job postings.
- On-Campus Jobs – MSU averages more than 17,000 students on its payroll each school year. Locate opportunities.
- On-Campus Interviews- Handshake allows you to search upcoming on-campus interviews for full-time and internship positions. Submit your resume to employers and track your candidate status – interview selection decisions and open interview times and dates. Make sure to also review our Late Cancellation and No Show policy.
- Virtual Interviews – Private interview rooms may be reserved for students who are seeking a quiet and professional space to conduct virtual interviews. Please complete our Interview Room Reservation Request Form.
- Career Fairs – 25+ in-person or virtual career fairs every academic year. Attend to network with employers hiring Spartan talent.
- Coffee Chats – Arranged by career services, connect with employers for brief (15-30 minute) career conversations to learn about opportunities within their organization and how to stand out as a candidate.
Field Specific Research: Focus & Identify Opportunities
Research can make all the difference in your search. It’s your job to do the research needed to understand your top employers’ needs and place yourself in situations where you can demonstrate your abilities. To find organizations and positions of interest you can utilize:
- Job Listing and Professional Resource Sites – Review industry specific search engines under Interest Areas – Career Resources.
- Networking – The Department of Labor estimates that up to 80% of positions are ﬁlled without employer advertising. Learn more under Network and Connect.
- Professional Organizations– Join organizations related to your interest areas and get recommendations from faculty or alumni on best fit groups. You may review options by major, using the What Can I Do with this Major Guide.
- Social Media – Follow organizations of interest for up-to-date information on their activity. Popular outlets include LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.
Geographic Research: The Right Place, The Right Job
If you’ve got some particular geographic areas in mind, there are resources that can help you uncover employers by location.
- MSU Libraries – Has databases, subscriptions and other resources offering a wealth of information on specific employers.
- Find and make use of local resources – Newspapers, networking groups, Chamber of Commerce and regional alumni clubs
Develop Your Search Strategy
As you develop your search strategy, you should:
- Create a list of 5-10 top organizations where you’d like to work. Actively work to meet people in these organizations to learn more about getting your foot in the door. (LinkedIn and MSU Connect are great resources to connect with alumni)
- Create a second list of organizations of general interest. Do some basic research to refine the level of your interest and find possible networking or career opportunities.
- Keep a log of research and activities.
- Meet with a career advisor to further refine your internship or job search strategy, ensuring alignment with your goals and interests.