Quick Tips are concise handouts that help explain a variety of career-related subjects like how to write a resume, interview tips, and how to apply to graduate school. The library below includes digital versions (in PDF format) of the most current Quick Tips. Stop by the Division of Career Pathways for hard copies. You can also find this information in our Job Search Guide.
- All About Handshake
Preview: What is Handshake? Handshake is the UCI Division of Career Pathways’ comprehensive online job search platform. This online resource allows students to find jobs and internships, employer information sessions, career fair participants, workshops, and schedule career counseling appointments. Students can store multiple resumes, cover letters, and other documents to use for internship and job searches.
- How to Build Your Handshake Profile
Preview: Why should you have a Handshake profile? A complete profile makes you 5x more likely to be proactively sourced by a recruiter. 40% of students with a public profile have received a message from an employer. 66% of juniors/seniors with a public profile have received a message from an employer. Handshake uses artificial intelligence to customize your search based on your profile information, career interests, and search patterns. DCP emails information about upcoming events, jobs, and internships based on profile data.
Applying for the Job
- Accepting the Offer
Preview: Research salary information before the interview. Use salary.com or glassdoor.com to find salaries for comparable jobs. Do not ask about the salary during the interview, but be prepared to answer a question about your salary expectations. Use the information from your research to provide a range. Know your needs versus wants.
- Dress for an Interview
Preview: How do I find out what the proper attire is for an upcoming interview? You can contact the human resources department of the company and ask them what is appropriate. Keep in mind that some technical companies encourage their applicants to dress more casually. Ask for clarification as to what is acceptable. Is it khakis and a polo shirt? Slacks and a button-down shirt?
- Federal Job and Internship Search
Preview: There are many opportunities for current students and recent graduates in the federal government. There is even a website devoted to such opportunities at www.usajobs.gov/studentsandgrads. After finding a fit in the government, you’ll need to prepare your federal resume, search for positions on usajobs.gov, and put together an application.
- Interview Techniques
Preview: Ten Rules of Interviewing: 1. Keep your answers brief and concise, 2. Include concrete, quantifiable data, 3. Know your key strengths, 4. Prepare five or more success stories, 5. Put yourself on their team, 6. Image is often as important as content, 7. Ask questions, 8. Maintain a conversational flow, 9. Research the company and its competitors, 10. Keep an interview journal.
- Job Hunting for International Students
Preview: Before you begin your job hunt, you should familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations regarding your employment in the United States while you are a student and after you graduate. You should check with the International Student Center at UCI for more information about employment rules.
- Job Search Strategies
Preview: Keep in mind… The average job search takes about six months! Only 10 to 20% of jobs are ever published, which means 80 – 90% of jobs remain hidden in the job market. Using multiple job search strategies will yield better results. Obtaining a job is a process. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get an interview for every application.
- Job Search Strategies for Veterans
Preview: As a veteran… You bring many skills and qualities that employers look for, but you need to present them in a way employers can understand and appreciate. It can take about six months to find a career position, so be sure to utilize many strategies in your job search.
- Prepare for the Fair
Preview: Before the fair… Check Handshake to see which companies are attending. Research the companies and make a list of your target companies. Create a list of questions you want to ask the company representatives. Review and revise your resume through DCP drop ins and rehearse your elevator pitch.
- Resume Help
Preview: Keep in mind… The average employer takes about 6 seconds to scan a resume. Formatting Tips: Limit your resume to one page, include your contact information (with a professional email address), use a professional font (e.g. Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, Georgia, Calibri, Tahoma), use font sizes 10-12, use bolding to make key information stand out (e.g. bold all of your job titles), list your GPA if 3.0 or higher.
- Resume Writing Strategies for Student Veterans
Preview: As a military veteran, you have many important skills that employers look for in new recruits. The challenge is to explain your military experience in a manner that is relevant and accessible for civilian employers. Here are some common questions and answers that may help you in your search for civilian employment.
- Types of Interviews
Preview: There are many different types of job interviews. Be sure to inquire about which types) to expect so you can best prepare! Interview types discussed include: one-on-one, group, committee or panel, meal, second round, and phone.
- Write a Cover Letter
Preview: Keep in mind… A cover letter is your opportunity to tell the employer what you are applying for and why you are a good match for the position and the organization. You should submit a cover letter with every resume, whether for an internship or a job. While a resume provides a summary of your skills and experience, a cover letter takes it a step further by allowing you to highlight your specific qualifications.
Applying to Graduate School
- Application Checklist
Preview: Keep in mind… This is a suggested timeline – your individual deadlines may vary depending on your graduate school program. Includes sample timelines for junior and senior year.
- Applying to Law School
Preview: Includes law school application timeline (freshman and sophomore years, junior year, end of junior year/senior summer, early senior fall, and senior fall/winter) and application checklist.
- Business School FAQ
Preview: Is there a pre-business curriculum at UCI or is there a specific major that pre-business students should choose? The Paul Merage School of Business at UCI offers a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with multiple emphases as well as a Bachelor of Science in Business Information Management and minors in Accounting and Management.
- Considering Grad School
Preview: Research your prospective field. Talk with professors, graduate students, or other UCI staff. Meet with people working in that industry or studying in that field. Check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook by visiting www.bls.gov/ooh/. Identify prospective schools and seek information on their programs. Check out the Peterson’s Guide to Graduate and Professional Schools online at www.petersons.com.
- Grad School for Health Professions
Preview: Includes application timeline for freshman and sophomore years, junior year, summer before senior year, senior year – fall quarter, and senior year – winter and spring quarters.
- Law School Personal Statement
Preview: Be mindful of standard essay rules. What is your thesis or the main aspect that you wish to convey? Is your statement organized? Make sure to have an introduction, supporting examples, and a conclusion. Be aware of your essay’s flow and avoid disjointed paragraphs. Demonstrate and elaborate as opposed to merely stating something and then immediately moving onto the next topic.
- Write a Statement of Purpose
Preview: Your grades and test scores will determine whether or not you will be considered for admittance to graduate school. Your personal statement can help determine if you are unique enough from the other applicants to actually be admitted.
Preview: Reasons to get an internship: Test drive different career options, gain hands on experience, apply your coursework knowledge to the “real world,” build a professional network, increase your marketability for future jobs and graduate school.
Planning Your Future
- Career Direction Resources
Preview: Use the online tools provided by the UCI Division of Career Pathways and informational interviews with professionals to find careers which match your interests. Attend the Career Discovery Series to learn from professionals in fields of interest. Start getting involved on campus in activities, organizations, or jobs that fit your interests. Take on leadership roles and gain experience.
- Choosing a Major
Preview: It is believed that up to 50% of students change their major at least once. Some students change their major two or three times. Keep in mind that you may pursue many kinds of careers with each major. Skills and experience will also be important factors that impact your career options.
- Finding a Campus Job
Preview: Campus jobs may be classified as “work-study” or “non-work-study.” Work-Study is a program that gives eligible students the opportunity to gain work experience and earn money. It is awarded as part of some financial aid packages.
- Gap Year
Preview: Gap years can be defined as a transition period prior to pursuing graduate school or establishing a career. Students choose this intentional period of time to gain skills, prepare for exams, or to obtain hands-on experiences in relation to their future carer goals.
- Informational Interviews
Preview: One of the best ways to gather information on a career is by talking with professionals that are already working in the field. Conducting an informational interview is learning about a job and seeing if it fits your interests, skills, and personality. An informational interview is not asking for a job, rather it is gaining information about a career.
- Transfer Student Guide
Preview: Not sure about your career direction? Don’t worry. Use these tips and resources to help prepare for a life after graduation.
- First-Generation Students
Preview: There can be confusion and difficulties along the way when navigating a new setting like the university system. However, there are many resources available both at the UCI Division of Career Pathways and outside of it that can help you capitalize your time and succeed at UC Irvine. You are an important part of UCI’s success!
- OCI: On-Campus Interviews
Preview: The UCI Division of Career Pathways provides space for employers to interview current UCI students for internships and full-time career opportunities. Through the On-Campus Interview (OCI) Program, students can interview conveniently with employers right on campus! All OCI positions are posted on Handshake (uci.joinhandshake.com).
Preview: Learn more about the services the UCI Division of Career Pathways provides, including individual career counseling appointments, drop in advising, career assessments, workshops, and more.
- Student Veterans
Preview: Learn more about the services the UCI Division of Career Pathways provides that can help student veterans translate their military experience into civilian terms.
Networking & Communication Skills
- Dining Etiquette
Preview: When will you use dining etiquette? Examples include pre-interview, interview, internship event, client meeting, company celebration, and social events outside of work.
Preview: Networking is establishing and maintaining mutually beneficial connections with people in your field of interest. It is often cited as the #1 way to land a job or internship. Networking is not something done once and then forgotten. It is an ongoing process that will occur whenever the opportunity presents itself and it is a lifelong skill that will serve you in whatever occupation you choose.
- Networking for Ph.D Students
Preview: Strategies for academic networking include being proactive at conferences and other academic events, introducing yourself, having business cards, discussing the person’s panel or presentation, being ready to ask questions about the person’s work, and more.
- What is LinkedIn?
Preview: Why should you be on LinkedIn? Connect with more than 500 million members in 200 countries and territories. College students and recent grads are the fastest-growing demographic at 40 million accounts. 85% of employers say online profiles influence their hiring decisions.