Career Center Director - Dr. Elizabeth Zavala-Acevez's Interview with ABC 7 Eyewitness News: Tips for Finding Jobs Virtually




Exploring Internships and Jobs in a Virtual Environment




How to Have a Productive Summer

May 12, 2021


1. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to build your network, add experiences to your resume, and give back to your community! Even if you are only able to volunteer a few hours a week, little time spent volunteering is better than no time. If you are unsure of where to volunteer, check out TitanConnection on this page. Once you sign in with your CSUF credentials, you’ll see the TitanConnection home page. First click “Job and Internships” then “Search Jobs and Internships.” From there, you can filter to only volunteer opportunities. Make the most out of your volunteer experiences by making an effort to connect with others in the organization and don’t forget to add your experiences to your resume!

2. LinkedIn Learning

Cal State Fullerton students have free access to LinkedIn Learning! According to the CSUF IT LinkedIn Learning page, “LinkedIn Learning combines industry-leading content from with personalized course recommendations based on insights from LinkedIn’s network. With 10,000+ courses and 35+ new courses each week from expert instructors, LinkedIn Learning provides CSUF faculty, staff, and students with the skills to advance their professional development.” Even if you aren’t sure which skills you need to improve in, browsing through the options will definitely give you some good ideas. Get started here!

3. Keep your Resume Updated

Writing a strong resume can be a very time-consuming process, especially if it hasn’t been updated in a while. Set aside a few minutes each day for a couple weeks to work on updating your resume and making it as strong as possible. In no time, your resume will be polished for whenever you need it next! See resume tips on this page and view our Online Career Guide with resume examples here.

4. Set Goals

Making a list with some goals you want to accomplish over Summer can be a great way to stay productive and on track. Have you been wanting to set aside more time for professional development? Do you want to prioritize your physical or mental health more? Is there a book you’ve been wanting to read? Any goal, even a small goal, is a start. See this article for how to set great goals using the SMART goals formula.  

As always, feel free to make an appointment here with the Career Center for more information on any of the above topics. Lastly, don’t forget to ENJOY Summer and make sure you allow yourself time to relax and refresh! Thanks for reading and happy Summer!


Natalie Azzouni
Natalie Azzouni
Career Coach


What I Wish I Knew When I Graduated

May 10, 2021


Raise your hand if you are graduating and you don’t know what to do next. Trust me, you are not the only one right now with your hand raised. Graduating from college is an amazing accomplishment, but this time can also be a season of uncertainty and confusion. When I graduated with my undergraduate degree, I found myself wondering what was next. I have created a list of things I wish I had known during that time, in hopes that it will bring you some comfort!

  • Your path might look different than you expected. Maybe your future looks different than you expected, I know this was the case for me. This can be for a variety of reasons, ranging from the pandemic, realizing your planned career path isn’t a good fit, to not getting into graduate school. As someone who saw her future unfolding differently than expected, take it from me that everything will work out the way it is supposed to. Believe it or not, I am thankful that my post-graduation plans looked different than I expected because I gained so much that I didn’t realize I was missing. So, if you find yourself in this boat, don’t feel like you have failed or that you’re on the wrong path. Rather, try and see this season as an opportunity for growth and learning.


  • Your first job does not define your career. It is common for students to graduate and for them to be unsure about their career aspirations. This is the time to try out different roles and job positions to identify what you like and what don’t like. Try seeing this as a chance to explore the industry you are interested in. This will allow you to get a better sense of what your dream job might be.


  • Everyone’s journey will look different. It’s easy to get caught up in what your friends and peers have on their horizons and begin to compare yourself to them. I know it can be hard, but trust that you are not missing out on what was meant for you. Try and take comfort in the fact that you are right where you are supposed to be, even if it does not feel like it at times.


  • This will be an adjustment. Give yourself grace as you adjust to what life looks like after school. This season might look like continued job searching, attending graduate school, or starting a full-time job. Regardless of where you find yourself, remember that this is a new chapter in your life and so it will take some time to find your rhythm or become comfortable.

If you are wanting to talk to someone about your plans after graduation, we are here to help! Feel free to make an appointment with a staff member by clicking here (did you know that you can still make an appointment with us during your first year of being an alumni?). Congratulations on graduating and best of luck in this new season!

Madeline Johnson
Madeline Johnson
Career Coach


Set Yourself Up for Success: Three Panel Interview Tips

May 5, 2021


Slowly, but surely “in-person” activities are commencing… so it’s essential to start preparing yourself for said activities like panel interviews.


Use the following tips to ACE your panel interview:




In panel interviews, it is challenging to build rapport with each interviewer when there’s more than one. It’s even more difficult when there are five or more ( and yes, you could potentially have an interview with more than five interviewers). Nonetheless, it’s crucial to create the right first impression – the first impression impacts the rest of your interview and your candidacy.


  • Be sure to take a little time to engage with EACH interviewer
  • Be sure to make eye contact, shake their hands and greet them using their names (don’t rush through handshakes – this gives the impression of nervousness)




Focus on your ability to communicate effectively with all panel members:


  • Be sure to make initial eye contact with the person who asked you the question and then make eye contact with all panel members when answering the question
    • Scan from one face to the next when answering questions and briefly pause on each. This allows you to speak to each individual and then, as you finish your answer, return your focus to the person who asked you the interview question.


  • Interview body language is IMPORTANT
    • Be sure to sit upright but not too stiffly (this indicates you are comfortable and feeling confident)
    • Be sure you are aware of and have control of your hands
      • Avoid fiddling with your face or hair, folding your arms across your chest, and waving your hands and arms around.
    • Be sure you are aware of the message your legs are giving
      • Avoid leg movement as it may be distracting and indicate nervousness.




Two of the most essential “closing” panel interview tips are:


  • Be sure you shake hands and thank each interview personally at the end of the interview, again using each person’s name.
  • Be sure to get each person’s business card so that you can adequately address a thank you letter to each panel member.


For more assistance in preparing for your panel interview, be sure to schedule a mock interview with our CSUF Career Center staff or utilize InterviewStream.


Marlee Rangel
Marlee Rangel
Career Coach


How to Answer the "Tell me About Your Weaknesses" Interview Question

April 27, 2021


Many of us struggle to answer the "tell me about your weakness" question in interviews. The first tip to answering this question is to be honest because they are looking for you to have a realistic view of your competencies and the ability to improve on performance. More often than not, candidates do not have 100% of the qualifications and skills listed in the job description. In fact, employers know that realistically they can at least hope to get someone with about 70% to 75% of the qualifications. They hire candidates who do not fit the job description 100% so that there is room to grow and feel challenged in the position. This allows you to be honest and show them how you can improve in a particular area quickly. Choose the weakness wisely and show how you will either use transferable skills or learn the new skill quickly. They want to know that you have a realistic view of yourself and overcome any challenges that may present themselves.


To choose which weakness to focus on, analyze the job description, and determine what you don't have. This will also be obvious to the employer since it will not be strongly represented on your resume. For your answer, you want to choose the item you could learn quickly or least important to the job. Often, the items listed at the bottom of the responsibilities in a job description are the least important.


When framing your answer, you want to state your weakness and let them know how you will overcome it. For example, you may not have managed staff before, and you'll be required to do so in the next job. You could say, "I haven't had formal management experience, but I can apply my knowledge of managing a volunteer group to motivate staff. In addition, I've also taken several management classes that I will be able to apply to this job role." The key to answering this question is to be honest and mindful of what skills you may need to develop.


For more help with your interview, visit our interview resource page, use InterviewStream for online interview practice, or schedule a mock interview to practice with our staff.


Jacqueline Olazaba
Jacqueline Olazaba
Career Coach

THREE TIPS: What to do After Receiving Rejections

April 21, 2021


After all the interviews, the time you took to prepare, the uncomfortable clothes, and the days spent wondering how well you answered some of those difficult questions, you get the email…and they have decided to move forward with a different candidate. UGH! For some jobs, depending on how bad you wanted it, the rejection news is heartbreaking. You are left replaying the questions asked and answers you provided over and over again, attempting to figure out where you went wrong. Know that this happens to everyone, and I understand that when this happens, and it’s a job you really wanted, it’s a shot to your self-esteem. It’s painful, I know! The good news is – IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD, and there are other opportunities out in the world for you.


Here are THREE motivational tips to help you bounce back into the ‘job search’ game stronger:




Interviews are nerve-wracking, and because of these nerves, frequently, most of us come out of interviews not really remembering what happened. Let’s be real, you can’t remember everything the interviewer asked, and you can’t remember how you answered every question, so don’t bother breaking your head over the situation. There is literally no good that can come from over-analyzing the interview for one main reason: you can’t do anything about it. To be quite frank, over-analyzing the situation only makes things worse. Instead, try to focus on the things you can control.


Breathe, meditate, and avoid contaminating your thoughts with what-ifs and assumptions. When you catch yourself over-analyzing, try to switch gears and think positive thoughts. Center yourself and prepare for the opportunities to come.





Now that you took a breather and focused on relaxation methods, it’s time to get back in the game. Begin by taking some time to update your information; make sure your resume is current and correct. Additionally, make sure your resumes and cover letters are tailored to the job you are applying to. In tailoring your documents, I encourage you to highlight the things that are relevant to that industry/job and edit out things that are not. Be sure you are looking for ways to STAND OUT so avoid downplaying any of your skills and job descriptions.


TIP #3: PRACTICE. PRACTICE. PRACTICE. with friends or professionals.


Practice makes perfect. Well, let’s be real; interviews could never be perfected. Nevertheless, it’s still essential to practice with friends and Career Center professionals. If you choose to practice with a friend, make sure your friend is someone who will tell it like it is. You need a coach when practicing interviews and not just a set of ears. So, be proactive in finding friends who will give you honest, constructive feedback. If no one comes to mind, use your resources – the CSUF Career Center is here to provide you with tough love and good coaching! The CSUF Career Center provides you with frequent workshops relative to resumes and cover letters, interviewing preparation, and mock interviews to help you ease your nerves and better prepare for interviews.


The most important thing to remember when you receive “no’s” is to never give up.


You will eventually get that YES.


Remember, “Whatever is meant to be, will be.”


Marlee Rangel
Marlee Rangel
Career Coach


What NOT to Include on Your Resume

April 19, 2021


Have you been applying to internship after internship or job after job and haven’t heard back from anyone? If so, it might be because of certain things you have on your resume. However, fear not, this is an easy fix! This blog post will list several things that employers do not like to see on resumes. Let’s get started:

  1. Identifiable information: When employers are reviewing an applicant's resume and cover letter, they do not want to know any demographic information about the applicant. Employers do not want to know this information because they do not want anyone thinking they got the position due to providing that information. Some ways this information can be displayed is through a personal email or a headshot. For example, if your personal email address contains the year you were born, the hiring committee may stop looking at your resume. Therefore, it is important to use a professional email, such as your CSUF email. Additionally, headshots can land you in that automatic “no” pile. Instead, move that amazing photo of you to your LinkedIn profile photo.
  2. Paragraphs: Did you know that employers only spend 6-10 seconds when they first look at a resume? This means that it is important to have the content on your resume easy to skim through. Paragraphs make it hard for the committee to skim through, so instead focus on breaking your responsibilities and experiences down into bullet points.
  3. Soft skills: This one comes up a lot during resume reviews. Soft skills are personality traits such as leadership, communication, and organization. While these are important, these are better highlighted in your bullet points and on your cover letter. Instead, focus on highlighting hard skills. Hard skills are technical skills you have such as computer skills or languages.
  4. References: The last component I want to mention is references. Often as a new professional, you only get a one-page resume and a one-page cover letter to make the case that you are a strong candidate for this position. By including references, you use up precious real estate! If the position wants to know about your references, they will either ask you to input the information into the application or ask for the information later in the application process. Instead, use that space to highlight other experience that you have, whether that be another course project or a past part time food service job.

So quick, if you have any of these things on your resume go and make these quick edits and start applying to more positions! If you would like to talk more about these suggestions or want help on your resume, please book an appointment with one of our staff members by clicking here.

Madeline Johnson
Madeline Johnson
Career Coach


Is Your Resume ATS-Friendly?

April 7, 2021


Did you know that most companies use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to assist with recruitment and hiring processes? How about that more than 98% of Fortune 500 companies use an ATS to help in their hiring process? Since our chances of applying for a job or internship with a company that uses ATS in their hiring process is high, it is time that we craft a solid ATS-friendly resume to make it through that stage of the process and land an interview.


Once resumes are submitted online, the ATS will scan the documents and decide who the best matches are for any given job. If that system scores you as a solid match, you move forward. We know that 70-75 % of resumes are screened out of the ATS system. If your resume does not match the job description close enough, you will not continue the hiring process.


So how do you format your resume to be a strong match? Make sure you weave in as many keywords from the job description. Highlight all the skills and action verbs that you possess or have experience with. Then highlight with another color all the skills you lack yet can gain quickly before your interview. The are many only self-help and learning videos that can assist with learning skills relevant to many jobs.


Also, leave out tables, columns, graphics, and photos. The ATS reads top to bottom and left to right; therefore, tables, columns, images, and graphics interrupt the ATS reading ability. Using two columns to list your skills in bullet format will be fine. However, formatting your resume document in two or more columns will not read correctly in the ATS.


Make sure you use the exact language as it is displayed in the job description. For example, if the job description abbreviates certifications, software, or even titles, you want to abbreviate them as well.


Use fonts that are easy to read, like a standard serif or sans serif fonts such as Times New Roman, Garamond, Arial, and Calibri. You may use more than one font to differentiate yourself as long as you are consistent, it’s readable, and does not look messy.  


Here are a few tools to help you optimize your resume:

  1. A free tool to get instant online feedback on your resume is VMock
  2. A free tool to optimize your resume layout is Cultivated Culture
  3. A free tool to scan your resume and compare it to the job description is Jobscan
  4. Free virtual quick resume feedback in our Career Center Drive-Thru
  5. Free virtual resume counseling appointment with a staff members at the Career Center


Jacqueline Olazaba
Jacqueline Olazaba
Career Coach

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