Applying for Jobs
If you are a current undergraduate or graduate student and would like information about working on campus, please visit Student Employment.
Whether you are in school, getting ready to graduate, or are an alumnus, the process to finding a job starts with self-assessment and research. View the Career Exploration resources to learn about yourself and potential career options.
If you know what type of job you would like, it’s time to begin the job search process! The following steps will help guide you from identifying available opportunities to tips for interviewing.
Based on your interests and career goals, compile a list of 10–15 companies with which you would like to intern and check their websites for openings. Use the Company Exploration Worksheet (Excel) to stay organized.
Handshake is APU's online job platform for students, alumni, and employers. Learn more about Handshake.
Most industries have a job boards through their associations, or independently, that list available internship and jobs. Download our Career Web Links (PDF) to search these specific sites.
Note: As you apply for jobs and internships, please take a moment to read our Fraudulent Job Postings Warnings and Tips (PDF) document to educate yourself on what to look for in a job posting before you apply.
A recent Harvard study indicated that 70 percent of available jobs are found through networking. Networking is simply connecting with people who want to connect with you. Your network consists of your family, friends you already know, and people you interact with at places like work, church, school, and social groups. Your network might include people you've friended on Facebook or connected with on LinkedIn. Imagine this: If a friend asks you to recommend a good mechanic, you are glad to reply. What if a friend asked you if you know anybody who works at a bank because they might be interested in learning more about a career in banking? You would gladly connect them with the banker you know. That’s it. That’s networking. Asking people for advice or to connect with individuals they know because you are interested in learning more about that kind of job.
The No. 1 way to find openings is through your network. By informing your network what types of internships you are interested in, you are more likely you to get connected to someone who has an opening. A personal referral is always better than blindly applying online.
Use LinkedIn to build and keep track of your professional network and contacts, while also following companies of interest. LinkedIn is becoming one of the top websites to find internship and job opportunities.
Not everyone in your life will be on LinkedIn, so identifying those in your day-to-day network is also important. Use our Networking Matrix in the Job and Internship Search (PDF) to identify your connections.
Most applications will require a résumé and cover letter. As you move through the process, you might also be asked to provide a reference list. Download our Résumés, Cover Letters, and References (PDF) to walk you through how to create these materials.
A few tips:
- Tailor, tailor, tailor! Read the internship description or talk to previous interns and customize your résumé and cover letter to what is requested.
- Network! If you have a connection at the company you are applying to, they can pass on your information to the hiring manager.
- Follow Social Media! Social media is a powerful communication tool that can connect you with a company and it’s employees to learn more about who they are.
- Inform Your References! Before you submit your reference list, check with your references for up-to-date contact information and send them a copy of your résumé and cover letter, as well as the job description so they are prepared if they get called.
You got the interview! Congratulations! For interview tips, check out our Interviewing (PDF) and remember that you can make an appointment for a Mock Interview with a Career Consultant.
A few tips:
- Know Yourself. Take time to assess your personality, strengths, and areas for improvement so you know how you will best fit and what you are looking for in an internship environment.
- Know the Position. Read the description of the position and prepare examples that align with what they are looking for in a candidate.
- Know the Company. Have an understanding of the mission/vision and values of the company so you can tailor your responses.
- Use the S.T.A.R. Method. When you answer questions, remember: Situation, Task, Action, Result. You can find more information in the packet above.