Key tips from employers to land the job you want!

We’ve received many questions from students regarding what employers really look for in potential employees. So, we polled some of our employer partners who are currently recruiting students for internships and entry level jobs to get their direct feedback and tips. Here’s what they had to say:


ibm logoLindsay Pollock, IBM University and Extreme Blue Recruiting

“When meeting with a potential employer, be prepared to talk about your accomplishments and the contributions you can make to the company. Employers want to know about the challenges you have faced and the resolutions you have reached. When attending a career fair, do not simply “look for a job.” Rather, convey your specific interests to recruiters. The former approach signals a lack of motivation, while the latter suggests that you are truly “interested.”

Follow these tips when networking with recruiters and building a resume that stands out:

  1. Tout your strong points 
  2.  Be clear and concise
  3.  Be unique
  4.  Show your personality
  5.  Be consistent and persistent

Some additional tips for international students:

“As an international student, you’ve invested in a global education and may be unsure of how to search for an internship or full-time job. Here are some tips that we recommend from IBM: 

  • Utilize your career center to research job opportunities, review your resume and participate in practice (mock) interviews
  • Know the facts about immigration laws and visa employment regulations. For instance, do you know what Optional Practical Training (OPT) is, and whether or not you are eligible? *Career Center note: At San Jose State University you can obtain this information from the International Program Office:
  • Network! Actively create connections and let people know you are job searching. Build relationships with faculty and fellow students. Attend networking events and join professional associations.
  • Gain experience through internships, externships, campus employment, student organizations, and volunteering. Internships are a potential gateway to a full time opportunity with an employer. For instance, most of IBM China’s full time entry-level hires were interns in the IBM China Blue Pathway Internship Program ( ). If you want to work for IBM China, first apply to be a Blue Pathway intern during your junior year. 
  •  Consider international employment. Do you have personal connections to a non-US country or are you interested in gaining international experience? IBM has a vast array of job opportunities around the world for students with global education and experiences. Visit:  to learn more and apply!



target logoSara Moghadam, Group Campus Recruiter, Target

 “Great eye contact, smile, personal brand and hand shake create strong first impressions. Also, come to career fairs with 3 things that you’d like to share with a representative to highlight yourself. Great examples of this include things you are doing on campus outside of the classroom, your personal leadership style (strengths), what type of work environment you enjoy or see yourself in etc. Being prepared will also help you feel confident.”


cisco logo images


Niki Baccam, University Manager, Cisco


  1. Do some homework to learn about the company prior to the job fair
  2.  Find out what openings are available and review the job description in advance *Career Center note: you can find a listing of all job fair participants and positions by logging into SpartaJobs:
  3. Show some enthusiasm when talking to an employer. Share your passion about the industry or technology
  4. Professional attire—dress for the job you hope to get
  5.  Don’t be overly aggressive when talking to employers (be yourself)

Now that you have some tips for success be sure that you use them to your advantage and meet with these employers in person at our next career fair (IBM, Target & Cisco as well 80+ other employers will be in attendance): 

 Fall Job and Internship Fair
This Thursday, 10/15/09

12:00pm – 5:00pm located in the SJSU Event Center

This event is open to current SJSU students and registered alumni at 12:00pm.
Please bring your current tower card or a Career Center membership card. **The fair is open at 2:00pm for community members and reciprocal CSU students.  Please bring your Career Center membership card.


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