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Job & Internship Preparation

​​​​​​​Job & Internship Preparation 

Searching for a job or internship? Making a career change? This can be a stressful and overwhelming process, but the key to landing a great opportunity is preparation! 

Job and internship preparation includes building your profession​al network, writing and fine-tuning your resume and cover letter, and developing your interview skills. These will all help you make a positive impression on potential employers. 

​​​​​What is networking?

Networking is the intentional​ process of connecting with individuals in your desired or prospective career field. In its simplest form, it involves having a “career conversation” with someone for the purpose of exploring careers or job searching to help you answer important career-related questions.

Networking has the potential to help you: ​

  • ​​Explore careers and jobs 
  • Find a job 
In fact, networking is essential to your job search. A study found that 85% of respondents got their current job through networking of some sort (Per​formanced Based Hiring, 2016). 

What are ways to network?​
  • Attend Employer Recruiting Events
  • Career/Job Fairs
  • Company Information Sessions
  • On-Campus Recruitment Events 
  • Networking Events
  • Create a LinkedIn account to connect with alumni or professionals
  • Get Involved
  • Join a Professional Association
  • Join an on-campus student club/organization
  • Attend off-campus networking events or Meet-Ups
  • Seek Mentorship
  • Conduct Informational Interviews
  • Connect with Faculty
  • Use your personal networks
Watch this video for some additional tips and strategies for networking: 


​​​​​Your resume is a marketing tool which acts as a door opener and allows an employer to assess your qualifications quickly in the prescreening process before interviews. It's a concise illustration of your past experience, which grabs attention and gets you an interview. 

It is a critical marketing tool in your personal marketing campaign - which is what the job search process really is.  Your resume should be succinct, commanding and truthful. It should emphasize skills, strengths and accomplishments. 

Most resumes are initially read for 15 seconds or less (3-5 seconds if unsolicited). The format of your resume should encourage the reader to form mental pictures of you and your activities as they look for key words and phrases. The employer needs to ascertain the benefits you are offering based on your past accomplishments. ​

Sample of a Functional Resume

Free Resume Templates 

​​​​The cover letter is a tool to help introduce yourself in a memorable, personal way during a job application. A well-crafted cover letter goes over information on your resume and expands this information for the reader, taking them on a guided journey of some of your greatest career and life achievements.

Watch the following video that discusses what a cover letter is and how to write one: 


For a step-by-step breakdown and cover letter examples, click here. ​

​To ace an interview, preparation is key! Here are some tips: 

Before the Interview

Step 1: Do Your Research
  • ​Get to know the business and position that you're interviewing for. Understand the requirements for the job so that you can effectively communicate how you're the best candidate​. 
  • Take a look at the website and social media sites for the business. Familiarize yourself with their mission, products/services, location, size, current news, announcements, etc. 
  • Make sure you can answer the questions "What do you know about our company?" and "why are you interested in working for this company?" 
​​Step 2: Review Your Own Experience and Goals 
  • ​Be prepared to introduce yourself and give an overview of your relevant past experiences in about three minutes.
  • Review the resume and cover letter you submitted and prepare yourself to elaborate on any experiences and skills you indicated.
  • Brainstorm your past accomplishments and challenging situations.
Step 3: Practice
  • Practice your answers to common interview questions out loud. This is an important step that's often overlooked! 
  • ​Consider recording yourself on video to watch for your body language​​ and verbal fillers (um, like, etc.) 
  • Complete a mock interview with Career Services or family/friends 
Step 4: Prepare Questions for the Employer 
  • Most interviews end with a chance for you to ask questions 
  • Be prepared with thoughful questions in order to ​demonstrate your preparedness, interest in the position/company; and to help you determine whether the position is right for you. An interview is a two-way street to determine mutual fit.
  • Here are some tips: 
    • Do not ask questions you could have found the answer to online.
    • Allow the interviewers to offer their own personal perspectives. This will engage them and open up a two-way conversation.
Step 5: Dress for Success
  • Business professional attire is generally expected at all interviews unless the employer indicates that business casual attire is acceptable. Make sure they are clean, and press your outfit ahead of time.
On the Interview Day

Step 6: Manage Your Time
  • Prepare in advance so you can relax the night prior to the interview and get plenty of sleep. Get clothing and any materials you're bringing ready the day before. 
  • Allow yourself extra time for traffic and parking. You do not want to be late! 
  • Check in 10-15 minutes early
    • ​During this time, remember to take a breath!
Step 7: Communicate Effectively
  • Here's a quick video example with tips: 

Step 8: After the Interview, Reflect on How it Went 
  • Take time to reflect on the interview. Write down any interview questions you can remember, notes of what you learned, key facts, and the interviewers’ names. You will be able to use these items to help prepare you if you get a second interview and for writing thank you notes.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Internships are learning opportunities that provide hands-on work experience connected to a major or career path. An internship is designed to "test drive" a career​, gain practical work or research related experience, provide an in-depth look at a particular career field and gain a better understanding of the industry.

Internships are an excellent way to...
  • ​Learn what skills are required to successfully navigate a career choice
  • Apply classroom concepts to real work life
  • Develop and enhance communication, critical thinking, teamwork and other transferable skills
  • Learn and develop professional work habits
  • Understand corporate cultures and analyze different work settings
  • Build your resume
  • Network. Get a foot in the door!
  • Build professional confidence​

Check out this resource for how to get an internship: Glassdoor, How to Get an Internship

Micro-Internships for College Students

​​​​​​Career Services seeks to empower you in your career search by celebrating your unique identities, preparing you for an increasingly diverse and global workforce, and advocating for your individual needs.


  • Human Rights Campaign: Workplace Inform​ation 
  • National Center for Transgender Equality: Workplace Rights 
  • Navigating Disclosure Issues in Resume Writing by Oregon State University 
  • Out for Undergrad (Career conferences for LGBTQ Undergraduates)​
  • Job Search Tips 
    • ​​Interviews 
      • Remember, it is illegal for an interviewer to ask about your sexual orientation​n or gender identity. The focus of interviews should be around your ability to perform the essential functions of the job rather than your sexual orientation or gender identity expression. It is your choice to disclose your sexual orientation or gender identity. This can happen during the interview, when the job is offered, in the workplace, or not at all.
      • Ask questions such as “Can you tell me more about diversity in your organization and the initiatives that are already in place?” Their answer may provide you with the information you need to determine if the organization is LGBTQ+ friendly. Wear professional attire in accordance with your gender expression.
    • ​​Networking 
      • ​Not sure if a company is LGBTQ+ friendly? Consider utilizing LinkedIn to find alumni at the organization and set up an informational interview. Ask about the culture, especially around diversity. 

​Students with Disabilities 
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Searching for a Job? 

Off-Campus Jobs 

On-Campus Jobs 

Other Job Search Resources 
If you have questions, please contact the SCC Job Developer 


The Rancho Santiago Community College District, Santiago Canyon College, and Career Services make no representation or warranty as to the legitimacy or accuracy of the individuals, firms, or businesses which seek to employ or procure individuals for possible employment through the Career Services. Job seekers are encouraged to explore the backgrounds of these outside entities they seek to interview for potential employment.

Santiago Canyon College and Career Services make no representation or warranty as to the workplace environment of any prospective employers posting advertisements within the Career Services department. Job seekers applying for employment opportunities with these outside entities do so at their sole risk and hold Santiago Canyon College, and the Rancho Santiago Community College District harmless for any damages which may arise from employment with these outside employers. All employer registration and jobs are subject to approval by the Santiago Canyon Career Services department.


Contact Career Counseling​

D-Building, Room-106