Career Center

Job Search

Top Photo - student in lab, Bottom Photo- student in chemistry lab

Off-Campus Work Experiences

The job search proces for off-campus jobs is ideal for students seeking to gain work experience outside of the classroom or students preparing to graduate and transition into the workforce. This can be done through either part-time or full-time job opportunities.

  • Part-time jobs are ideally pursued during college, in an industry relevant to your major or one that will assist you in developing professional skills.
  • Full-time jobs are typically pursued leading up to graduation and post-graduation.

For additional support on the job search process, make an appointment on CPP Connect with a Career Specialist.

CPP Connect

CPP Connect is only available for current undergraduate and graduate students. If you have graduated, contact to schedule an appointment. 

Steps to a Succesful Job Search

Job Search Safety

Avoid job postings that sound too good to be true. Beware of job announcements requiring no experience or skills but offering large salaries. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Avoid unprofessional listings. Absence of a professional job title, lack of specific job tasks, frequent misspellings and grammatical errors may be signs of a fraudulent posting. Contact email addresses using free web mail services, such as Gmail or Yahoo may also be indicators of a less than reputable organization.

Beware of job postings that ask you to pay a fee. Legitimate recruiters are paid by employers, not by job seekers. Also beware of postings that indicate fees for training or training materials with the exception of certain training required to obtain a professional license, which is generally paid to the licensee.

Protect your identity. Never disclose your birth date, social security number or sensitive information until you’ve received a job offer. These details may be required by a potential employer in order to conduct a background check, but they will not do so until they’re ready to hire, whereas, scammers will request this information immediately in an attempt to steal your identity.

Beware of money wiring scams. Scammers often disguise themselves as real businesses, utilizing a legitimate name in their posting or sending you an unsolicited email inviting you to apply for online work. At some point, the “employer” will ask you to deposit a check into your account and then wire them the money back. They may even ask for your bank account number or money up front. Do not provide bank account, PayPal, or credit card information. If you receive a check, do not cash it.

Always do your research. Conduct a Google search, verify the company exists, look for blog entries reporting misconduct or associated scams. Look for a valid direct phone number associated with the organization. Look for a physical location, not just a P.O. Box. Addresses can be verified using Google Maps.

Beware of unsolicited contact from an employer. Be careful when posting your resume to an online job board which may inadvertently disclose your personal information. Take note of the site’s privacy policy, how long your resume will be posted and who will have access to it. Fraudulent employers often utilize resume posting systems to identify their victims.

Protect your social networking presence. Consider information posted by or about you on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr, etc. Think about what you or others may be exposing and how this information may be viewed by perspective employers. Maintain a profile that presents positive and accurate content. You may want to periodically Google yourself to review what information has been made accessible about you.

Do not provide employers with referrals. Do not provide employers or recruiters with referrals of friends that might be interested in an opportunity. Should you believe a friend would be interested in an opportunity, forward the recruiter’s name and information to the friend, allowing them to contact the employer if they choose.

Meeting employers. The majority of interviews take place at the employer’s place of business, virtually, or on-campus. Never agree to meet an employer at a private residence. Always make your own transportation arrangements.

Engage in professional demeanor. Employers are expected to conduct themselves professionally, treat job seekers fairly, and observe equal employment opportunity and affirmative action principles.

Start your job search process by defining what you're looking for. Consider the following:
  • Take a career assessment: MBTI, Strengths Quest
  • Do you have requirements for your major to obtain work experience?
  • What skills are you looking to gain? (Gap Analysis)
  • Location (housing needs)
  • ONET Online for job outlooks

A succesful job search begins with strategic planning. Use the list below as a guide to begin your preparation.
  • Prepare resume/cover letter
  • Build up your LinkedIn
  • Complete your Handshake profile
  • Personal branding
  • Business cards
  • Consider keeping a spreadsheet to organize your search
  • Follow companies on social media you want to work for

There are multiple search strategies to consider when starting your job search:

Landing the job interview is the first step. Now it's time to prepare for a successful interview that will showcase your abilities and passions.

  • Big Interview
  • Interview brainstorm
  • Template for thank you notes
  • When and how to follow up when you haven’t heard anything

Congratulations! You've impressed the hiring manager and you've been tendered a job offer. Consider the following strategy to evaluate the offer.
  • Watch for scams
  • Salary negotiation, and other things to consider (housing, parking, dry cleaning, etc)
  • Timeline to reply to employers (typically 72 ours max, can ask for an extension if warranted)
  • Secure housing if needed
  • Celebrate!

Additional Resources

If at any time during the job search process, you feel that you have been subjected to inappropriate behavior cease all contact with the employer and immediately report the behavior to the appropriate authority:

  • Report misuse of Handshake to the Cal Poly Pomona Career Center at 909-869-2342 or
  • Report misuse of external job boards directly to the source of the posting.
  • Scams may be reported to the Better Business Bureau, Federal Trade Commission or local law enforcement.
  • Sexual harassment should be reported to the Human Resources department of the company in question; you may also file a report with Cal Poly Pomona’s Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Compliance Department even if the incident did not occur on campus.
  • Complaints of discrimination may be reported to U.S. Equal Employment Commission; you may also file a report with Cal Poly Pomona’s Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Compliance even if the incident did not occur on campus.