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Job and Internship Preparation


The Career Center has important tools that you can utilize to get started on a job search that is geared towards your values, goals, and education. What do you see yourself doing? How much do you know about yourself? Beginning to explore who you are, can be the first step in finding the job you want. 

Four Steps to a Successful Job Search

Step 1. Identify who you are as a job seeker. 

Knowing your skills and values can definitely help you discover the type of career or job your searching for. This step is important because it is a journey of self exploration. You can begin by reflecting back on your previous work, internship, or volunteer experiences to identify what stood out. 

Ask yourself these questions: 

  • What are your unique skills, talents, values, and interests? 
  • What are your strengths? Have you taken the Clifton Strengths Finder Assessment by Gallup
  • What can you see yourself enjoy doing in a work environment? 
  • What kind of experience would you like to gain? 
  • Where are you interested in living? Are you willing to move out of state?

Step 2. Do your research.

Researching a job, industry, or company can be conducted online and in person. Reaching out to employers is important because it is an opportunity to ask all the questions you may have about the position, industry, or company. Remember, they are not just interviewing you, but you are also interviewing them. During your research, you want to know the most you can about the company’s culture, values, team members, and if there is room for growth. 

Job Research Tasks
Online In-Person
Visit the company website Conduct an Informational Interview
Communicate via Email with company representative Go to Job Fairs and Events
Communicate via Phone with company representative Ask about volunteer opportunities
Search for company videos on YouTube or website Ask about internship opportunities
Follow the company on Social Media Speak to current employers at events
Google the company Speak to colleagues and friends
who work in the same industry

Step 3. Find out the requirements for the job you are applying to.

Every job has different requirements and qualifications. Being prepared and knowing what is required reduces the chance of making a mistake on your application. After learning about the requirements and qualifications, you should tailor your resume to that specific job. A Career Counselor can be an effective resource to guide you during this process. Also, including a cover letter to explain why you're the best candidate for the position may help you stand out from other applicants. Remember, there are many applicants applying for the position and your resume is the first impression you're giving them. Polish your resume because it can be that foot into landing an interview. 

Tips for this step:

Step 4. Apply to the position. 

Links to get started on your Job and Internship Search 

Featured Resource

Digital Flyer



Additional Local, Regional & National Job Search Sites

Industry Specific Search Sites Based On College

Jack H. Brown College of Business of Public Administration

James R. Watson & Judy Rodriguez Watson College of Education

Resources for Special Populations

Volunteer Search

Volunteer experience is a great way to give your time in exchange for hands-on experience, knowledge, and meeting new people. It shows potential employers that you can take initiative and that you’re willing to give your own time to improve the world for other people. If you’ve just graduated or looking for your first job, volunteering is an important and relatively easy way to get a foot in the door of a company you’d like to work with. Even if there’s no immediate chance of employment afterwards, volunteering can help you make connections for the future. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice important common skills used in the workplace, such as communication, problem solving, planning, and organization. If you're considering volunteering, ask yourself a few questions before taking the plunge. 

  • Really think about which causes you’re passionate about - it means you’re more likely to enjoy and stay committed to the work.
  • Are you looking for regular volunteering opportunities or would you prefer a one-off project?
  • What skill set can you offer and what you hope to gain from volunteering?

Internship Search

Internship experience is a great opportunity to make yourself more competitive in the job market. You can gain exposure and experience in your field of study to see if the particular career field is the right one for you. An internship can help you gain skills that can be applied to future jobs. An Internship may be paid or unpaid, and it tends to last about the length of a school semester or a summer break. Get started by clicking on the Prepare button below!



GoinGlobal helps new and experienced job seekers find opportunities both at home and abroad. As the market leader in online career and employment resources for more than 19 years, GoinGlobal's website has helped millions of new and experienced professionals expand their horizons.

Features of this online search and resource platform include:

  • Country Career Guides with expert advice on hiring trends, financial considerations, work permit/visa regulations, resume/cv guidelines and more - constantly updated by GoinGlobal's local employment specialist.

  • City Career Guides for both the United States and the largest metropolitan markets around the globe, featuring the same in-depth employment advice as their Country Career Guides collection.

  • More than 16 million job and internship listings - updated on a daily basis, GoinGlobal's search engine provides the unique ability to identify job and internship opportunities that have been posted in both the local language and English.

  • Global Key Employer Directory provides profiles and key contact information for more than 450,000 local and multinational companies throughout 196 countries.

  • H1B Plus Visa Database - This powerful tool, developed by GoinGlobal, quickly identifies U.S. employers that have submitted HB1 visa applications to employ international talent. Directly sources from U.S. Department of Labor records, GoinGlobal's expanded database now includes more than two million records from 2009 going forward.

To get started, click on the Country Career Guides or USA City Career Guides option below.

Worldwide Job & Internship Search

USA Job & Internship Search

Information About Federal Employment


There are several resources regarding federal resumes. The following links are from trusted sources and will provide you guidance for content, format, tips and more. Please contact a career advisor using Navigate, when you begin your federal job search, for any assistance you should need.

Federal Resume Guide

What should I include in my federal resume?

Tips for Writing a Federal Resume

Tips for Writing a Federal Resume 2

Federal Resume Template


If hired for a federal job, you must at least go through a basic background check to make sure you’re reliable, trustworthy, and suitable for the job. The background check process starts after you accept a job offer.

The hiring agency will ask you for the necessary personal information to start the background investigation process. The amount of information you’ll need to give depends on the job.

Most federal jobs are assigned sensitivity and risk levels, based on their responsibilities and duties

A noncritical sensitive position has the potential to cause significant or serious damage to the national security.

A critical sensitive position has the potential to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.

A special sensitive position security has the potential to cause inestimable damage to the national security.


The SF-86, “Questionnaire for National Security Positions", is used for High-Risk Public Trust positions and for all three levels of security clearance.

Standard Form 86 (SF 86) is a U.S. government questionnaire that individuals complete in order for the government to collect information for "conducting background investigations, reinvestigations, and continuous evaluations of persons under consideration for, or retention of, national security positions."

The form is required to be completed by military personnel, government contractors, and government employees in order to receive a requisite security clearance. Information demanded in the form include any colleges or universities attended over the past three years, an account of the last ten years of the individual's employment, ties to foreign nationals and governments, overseas travel, a list of past residences, etc.


The coding systems used to classify federal jobs vary by agency, but the most common system is the General Schedule (GS). In nearly all cases, Federal employees must be U.S. citizens. Beyond that, qualifications vary.

GS-1 : No high school diploma

GS-2: (GS-3 for clerk-steno positions): High school diploma or equivalent

GS-3: High school graduation or 1 year of full-time study after high school

GS-4: Associate degree or 2 years of full-time study after high school

GS-5 or GS-7, depending on agency policy and applicant's academic credentials:

Bachelor's degree or 4 years of full-time study after high school

GS-7: Bachelor's degree plus 1 year of full-time graduate study

GS-9 (GS-11 for some research positions): Master's degree or 2 years of full-time graduate study

GS-9: Law degree (J.D. or LL.B.)

GS-11 (GS-12 for some research positions): Ph.D. or equivalent doctorate or advanced law degree (LL.M.)


The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) serves as the chief human resources agency and personnel policy manager for the Federal Government. OPM provides human resources leadership and support to Federal agencies and helps the Federal workforce achieve their aspirations as they serve the American people.

USAJOBS connects job seekers with federal employment opportunities across the United States and around the world as the Federal Government’s official employment site. 

Federal agencies use USAJOBS to host job openings and match qualified applicants to those jobs. USAJOBS serves as the central place to find opportunities in hundreds of federal agencies and organizations.

The U.S. Federal Government relies on more than two million Americans and foreign nationals to work in the civil service. Citizens like you help the government fulfill its essential duties in service to the American people. You can find a way to serve at USAJOBS.



This is a quick summary of how the federal application process works when you use USAJOBS to apply for positions.

1. Create an account with

First, you need to create an account with

2. Create a USAJOBS profile

Once you have a account, you need to create a profile on USAJOBS to apply to any job. With a USAJOBS profile you can:

  • Apply to any job on USAJOBS.
  • Save jobs you’re interested in.
  • Save and automate job searches.
  • Upload and save resumes or create one using our resume builder.
  • Upload and save required documents.
  • Have a more personalized experience.
3. Search for jobs

Start your job search by typing in a keyword or location. Use our search filters to narrow your results by salary, work schedule, agency, and more.

You can search for jobs anytime, but it’s best to create and sign into your profile before doing a search. Why? Because we can use your profile information to improve your job search results. Learn how to search for jobs.

Save your search

You can save a search, which will save you time the next time you visit USAJOBS. When you save a search, we’ll automatically look for jobs that match what you’re looking for and email you, daily, weekly or monthly with those jobs. Learn how to save a search.

4. Review job announcement

If you find a job you’re interested in, read the entire announcement to make sure you’re eligible and you meet the qualifications. For each job there are specific qualifications –your application must show how you meet the required qualifications.

Read the This job is open to section to see if you’re eligible to apply.

Read the Clarification from the agency, or the Who may apply sections for further eligibility details (not all job announcements will include this information).

Read the Qualifications section to see if you meet the job’s qualifications. Understand the job announcement.

Contact the agency representative if you have questions. The contact information is listed below the How to apply section of the job announcement.

5. Prepare your application in USAJOBS

Read the How to Apply section of the job announcement before starting your application. Click Apply to start your application—we’ll walk you through a five-step process where you’ll attach a resume and any required documents.

During the application process you can review, edit, delete and update your information. We’ll automatically save your progress as you go, so you won’t lose any changes. Learn how to create an application.

6. Submit application to agency

When your application is ready in USAJOBS, we’ll send you to the agency application system where you can submit your application. Before you submit, you may need to complete other agency-required steps such as:

  • Providing more personal information.
  • Providing more documentation.
  • Answering eligibility questions.

Completing an occupational questionnaire – look for a preview of the questions under the Required documents section.

It may take you longer to apply to some jobs than others, because some agencies and jobs require more information than others.

After you submit your application, go back to the Application section of your USAJOBS account and make sure the hiring agency received your application. Your application status will say Received if the application went through.

You can always check the status of your application in your USAJOBS profile.

How long will it take to receive an updated status?

It may take a few hours, after you submit your application, for the agency to update your application status. You may also receive an email confirmation from the agency application system, but not all agencies send email confirmations.

7. Agency reviews application

The hiring agency will start reviewing applications once the job announcement closes. The hiring agency will review your application to make sure you’re eligible and meet the job qualifications, and will place applicants into quality categories:

  • Minimally qualified
  • Highest qualified

The hiring agency may update your application status to Reviewed, but not all agencies provide this status.

After the hiring agency reviews all applications, they will send the highest qualified applicants to the hiring official—these applicants will see a Referred status in their application status. All other applicants (not being considered) will see a Not Referred status.

8. Interview

The hiring official will review the “highest qualified” applications and select applicants to interview based on agency policy. The hiring agency will contact applicants directly to schedule interviews.

Hiring officials can interview applicants using a panel, video, phone, in-person

There may be more than one interview round. For example, an applicant may have a phone interview and then an in-person interview.

How long will it take to schedule an interview?

It may take some time to schedule interviews, depending on the number of people being interviewed.

9. Agency selects candidate

After the agency completes all of the interviews, they will select a candidate(s) and contact them to start the job offer process. For those not selected, the hiring agency will update their application status to Not Selected.

10. Job offer

The hiring agency will extend a tentative job offer. Once this offer is accepted the agency will start the background investigation. The agency may require additional security checks for jobs that need a higher-level clearance.

When is the job offer final?

The job offer is final when the agency successfully completes the background investigation and any additional security checks. The hiring agency will contact the candidate(s) directly to set up a start date.


Build Professional Connections

Why Should I Build Professional Connections?

It’s important to build professional connections as soon as possible. Getting connected to a network of professionals can help prepare you for your career path and obtain information about companies and organizations you might want to work for. 

There are numerous benefits of building professional connections such as hearing about job opportunities before they are posted and potentially being recommended to the hiring manager by someone in your network. A strong professional network can also help you in a job search or help you make important career moves.

Where Can I Meet Professionals to Connect With?

Networking Platforms

There are many resources that students and alumni have access to in order to connect with professionals such as mentors, faculty, staff, and employers in addition to peers. Click on any of the resources below to start building connections today!

Coyote Network Logo Picture

Be a Part of the Coyote Network!

The Coyote Network is an online community where CSUSB students and alumni come together to promote each other’s growth and success. When you join, you will be able to connect with fellow coyotes who have walked in your shoes and are now working in your field of interest. Alumni mentors can provide you with:

  • Professional resume/ cover letter reviews
  • Advice on career paths & internships 
  • Access to a global network

It easy, fast, and free to sign up, and you can find the mentor that’s right for you by searching by career, industry, location, degree, and more. Sign up today at to ensure your future success!

Other Networking Resources

Capturing Your Best Self: Tips for Taking a Great Headshot for CSUSB Students

In today's digital age, a great headshot is an invaluable tool for personal branding, whether you're networking on LinkedIn, applying for internships, or seeking job opportunities. At California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), the Career Center understands the significance of a polished headshot and offers you tips to make sure yours stands out.

Dress for Success: Choose an outfit that reflects your professional style. Opt for solid colors and avoid busy patterns or distracting accessories. Dressing appropriately in your headshot not only showcases your personal style but also communicates professionalism.

Mind the Background: Select a neutral, uncluttered background. A solid-colored wall or a clean and well-lit area will draw the focus to your face, ensuring you are the star of the photo. The CSUSB campus offers several great locations for headshots, like the Coyote Commons Courtyard or the iconic Santos Manuel Student Union.

Natural Light is Your Friend: Natural light is your best ally when taking headshots. Position yourself near a window or, better yet, opt for an outdoor photoshoot. The soft, diffused light enhances your features and creates a flattering, even complexion.

Perfect Your Posture: Maintain good posture by standing or sitting up straight. This exudes confidence and presents a professional image. Practice your expressions and experiment with subtle angles to find your most photogenic pose.

Focus on Your Face: Your headshot should primarily capture your face, so focus on a clear, expressive facial expression. Smile naturally, engaging your eyes, and avoid exaggerated expressions. Your headshot should feel approachable and genuine.

Maintain Eye Contact: Make sure your eyes connect with the camera for a dynamic and engaging headshot. This establishes a sense of trust and approachability. Remember, the eyes are the windows to the soul.

Relax and Breathe: Feeling nervous in front of the camera is completely normal. Take deep breaths and relax your shoulders before the photoshoot. A calm, composed demeanor translates into a confident and professional headshot.

Review and Edit: After your photoshoot, take the time to review the images and select the best one. Minor retouching, like adjusting lighting or cropping, can enhance the final result. Keep it professional and authentic.

A great headshot is an essential tool for making a positive first impression in today's professional world. By following these tips, CSUSB students can ensure that their headshots convey confidence, approachability, and professionalism. Your headshot is a reflection of your personal brand, so take the time to make it truly stand out.