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Entering Your Career

Find resources on how to gain hands-on experience for exploration or skill development through volunteering, internships and networking opportunities.

Entering your career is about taking what you learn in the classroom and incorporating it into engaging experiences that allow you to utilize and practice your skills and knowledge. Informational interviews and using LinkedIn also deserve a significant mention.

 

Volunteer opportunities provide an opportunity for you to explore areas of interest. It is also where an individual gives their time to an organization or community.

Volunteer opportunities are often more flexible, may require certain hours to be completed, but is not a formal work experience. 

Volunteer Match

VolunteerMatch
A volunteer search engine to find various opportunities in your area related to causes you care about

Just Serve

JustServe.org
Volunteer website where volunteers may search for places to assist their communities and provide opportunities to help those in need 

 

Whether you are just starting as a college student, anticipating a final semester, or a career changer, the pursuit toward gaining internship experience is ideal. Internships are a way to receive entry-level exposure to a particular industry or field. 

Intro to Internships

Chegg Wayup

 

Networking is an essential part of your career journey. Networking is connecting to other individuals for the purpose of developing a MUTUAL relationship. Formulating meaningful connections while in college helps increase opportunity and prepare you for employment after graduating. 

Strategies for Networking 

3 Powerful Networking Strategies that Never Fail (Entrepreneur.com)

An informational interview can be both a formal or informal conversation between you and a professional in a field of your interest. Informational Interviews provide you with an opportunity to ask questions to find out specific information about a particular industry or role from someone who is already established in that field. It gives you a chance to ask questions about the person’s role, the company, and the industry.

It is a way to test the waters before entering the career field.

  • The goal is not to request a job but to gain more information about your field from someone who works in it.
  • Before you begin, make sure you are conducting your own research to generate questions that address information that is more clear coming from professionals with first-hand experience.
  • You can reach out to requests for informational interviews with anyone who you feel might provide you with valuable information, insight, and inspiration for a field of your interest - professors, classmates, colleagues, friends, family, etc. These conversations can occur in person, over the phone, through Zoom or via email.
  • Contact to request a meeting that is convenient for the individual or group you are meeting. Remember, they are taking time out of their day to meet with you; they may be choosing to meet with you out of the joy of sharing their life experiences and passion, so be respectful of their time.

Informational Interviewing: Reaching Out and What to Ask

Check out this informative guide on informational interviews for additional assistance 

Informational interviewing is about expanding knowledge, but it could be also about opportunity. Consider the possibility that with a good impression, the person you are interviewing could provide you with information and additional connections to continue your informational interviewing or even professional experiences, such as internships and work experiences. It is all about building your network, and this is a vital way to start.

 

LinkedIn is a professional social networking platform, often called the “Facebook for professionals” that, as per their mission statement, “connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” With over 690 million users around the world, it is an essential tool to expand your networking efforts. 

Source: About LinkedIn 

Getting Started
We suggest taking the following steps to get started with LinkedIn.

  1. Create a profile and gather a professional photo. Pro tip: Do not use a selfie or a photo that you have cut someone else out of.  
  2. The checklist developed by LinkedIn will help you get started in developing a profile. Another Pro tip: If you already have a resume developed, it is easier to set up your profile.
  3. Refer to the following checklist developed by LinkedIn for college students to begin building your profile: LinkedIn Profile Checklist
  4. After completing your profile, meet with a career counselor for further pointers. 
  5. Check out BestColleges' informative guide covering LinkedIn. Their guide covers top LinkedIn profile tips for college students and teaches how to maximize the platform's exceptional capabilities. Review the guide below:

How to Use LinkedIn as a College Student

BONUS: After creating your profile and adding El Camino College as part of your education section, check out El Camino College’s LinkedIn page and utilize the alumni tool to reach out to current students and alumni to expand your network! See Informational Interviewing section on how to approach individuals to connect with. 

The possibilities of LinkedIn are more than can be explained on a single page. We suggest creating your profile, check out LinkedIn for Students, the El Camino College LinkedIn page, and make an appointment with a career counselor to talk about how else Linkedin can help you in your career journey.

 

Job Search Resources

Throughout your career, you will be in the process of developing your resume, preparing for interviews, and job searching through other methods. This section is intended to provide a introduction of information and resources related to resume writing, interviewing, and job searching.

Warrior Jobs
Browse through El Camino College’s easy and interactive job board site, Job Speaker, to find the perfect employee/employer.

Please note: El Camino College makes no recommendations or guarantees regarding employers or employees. We are acting as a referral service only and provide these links only as a convenience. El Camino College assumes no liability for acts of omissions by third parties or for material supplied by them. No personal or private employment (babysitting, caregiver, roommate, volunteer) postings are accepted.
 

Resumes are the primary document used by employers to determine your qualifications for a job/internship and to decide if you will get an interview. Remember that the resume doesn’t get you the job; for most positions, it is to demonstrate you have the qualifications to be considered for the interview. Therefore, it is important to emphasize on your resume how you are qualified for the job. The resume gets you the interview, but the interview gets you the job.


Click on this link for Common Resume Tips and Strategies


Consider the following worksheet from OC Career Cafe on examples for writing accomplishment statements for your experience on your resume.

Resume – OC Career Café 


Job Scan Logo

Use Jobscan to find how much your resume is tailored to a specific job for which you are applying. Many major companies use ATS, or Application Tracking System, to see how much an applicant’s resume is matched up with the job description. Copy and paste your resume and the job position to discover ways to become more noticed in an application and increase your chances for an interview!


Utilize Career Coach's tool to help you build your resume.

Résumé Builder


From Chegg
How To Build The Perfect Resume

The Muse
Career Advice
How to Write a College Resume That’ll Get You Hired (Plus an Example!)

 

The interview is the part of the job search process that will get you the job. It is your chance to demonstrate to the interviewer/employer that you can do the job and that you will be a fit for the organization.

Types of questions during an interview 

When preparing for your interview, you want to frame your answers in a way that feels organized and prepared. One example is using the acronym framework of PARLA

Using PARLA to Frame Your Interview Answers 

 

The most common way for job searching is through online job boards. We recommend that as you search through job boards that you utilize the other methods of networking, informational interviewing, volunteering, and LinkedIn. Only by taking multiple efforts to connect and apply do you increase your chances of obtaining a desired position.

Before you begin your search, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What key words can I use to broaden my search?
  • Who am I connected with and what resources do I have to assist me in this search?
  • What companies do I find interesting or desirable?
  • What about the company do I find interesting or desirable in a position for employment or internship?
  • How does the mission statement and vision of the organization align with my values?

OC Career Cafe Find a Match Worksheet

Warrior Jobs

Browse through El Camino College’s easy and interactive job board site to find the perfect employee/employer.

El Camino College makes no recommendations or guarantees regarding employers or employees. We are acting as a referral service only and provide these links only as a convenience. El Camino College assumes no liability for acts of omissions by third parties or for material supplied by them. No personal or private employment (babysitting, caregiver, roommate, volunteer) postings are accepted.

After College

Explore AfterCollege for entry level jobs and internships.

College Recruiter

Another job and internship search resource for college students. Be sure to check out their entry-level job seeker advice.

More Job Seeker Advice from College Recruiter