Frequently Asked Questions about Career Employment

If you have specific questions or concerns, contact an adviser via email or phone.

Where are all our job listing sites?

Search SlugQuest for off-campus full and part-time jobs or Career Beam

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How do I narrow or create a targeted job search?

Look at steps, resources, and tips here

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  1. Instructions to Login
  2. I can't click the apply button
  3. Posting a job

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When should I start looking for an internship, part-time job, or summer job?

Begin searching in the preceding fall semester in order to take full advantage of all the resources and job listings available to you. Some deadlines to apply are very early in the school year. If you begin looking early, you will have the time to conduct a thorough job search even though your academic schedule may be demanding of your time. See System Access for eligibility and access dates.

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How can I get a job if I have no job experience?

Employers value skills developed through academic work, volunteer experiences, extracurricular experiences, or other experience which demonstrates skills useful in work. Not all of these skills are job type specific; some of these skills are general such as communication skills and analytical skills, and can transfer to different settings. And routine types of student jobs can demonstrate to employers that you have been a successful employee.

If a job does require some very specific experience, you might consider finding a more routine position in a setting similar to where you would eventually like to hold a job with greater responsibilities.

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Why can't I find a job?

We know how frustrating it can be to be looking for work and it seems particularly difficult this year. UCSC hires over 4,000 students each year and most students, who actively search, are able to find jobs. The main thing is perseverance. All campus jobs must be applied for on-line using the ER system.

There are new jobs posted almost every day throughout the year, particularly near the beginning of each quarter, so check often. Jobs are approved for posting all day long, but most are approved in the mornings. You must apply for numerous jobs to increase your chances of being hired. Follow up with jobs you have already applied for.

Network by talking to supervisors at dining halls, the gym, library, or any place you think you might want to work. Almost all campus departments hire some students. Some high turnover units may have job openings that may never get posted. In the world of career employment, 80% of jobs never get advertized and are found through networking connections. Talk to your professors about working for them, and talk to students that already have jobs.

To improve your chances of success, submit a high quality application. Create a saved application, under “My Applications” and print it out to proofread. Be sure to check spelling and include any volunteer work you may have done as well as other information about your strengths and skills. Supervisors receive large numbers of applications, and a simple spelling error may cause them to go on to the next. Please read the job description and qualifications thoroughly as some positions ask for extra information, such as a resume and/or cover letter.

If you have work-study, you may also apply for non work-study campus jobs and consider the SlugQuest jobs and internship listings as well. The only difference between work-study and non work-study jobs is the source of funds. You may apply for either type of position and there is no penalty if you do not earn your work-study award.

The main Career Center portal for off-campus career and part-time jobs and internships is SlugQuest:

Other local Santa Cruz job search resources are located here

Meet with one of our Career Advisers to help with targeting job search, resume, cover letters and more!

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What can I do to increase my chances of finding a good job?

In addition to looking at our job listings, diligently network with people who may have contact suggestions for you, approach employers of interest to you directly, be sure you have put your best effort into writing your resume and are prepared to handle interview questions well. consider being more flexible if you are having difficulty. For a summer position, can you consider other geographical areas? Be sure to attend our Job Search Strategies workshop. Or talk with one of our Career Counselors or Jobs Developers if you need additional information. Also see Why I Can't Find a Job for more information.

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Can I have someone review my resume?

Yes, sign up for an appointment or come to drop in advising

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How can I research employers?

To find information about a specific employer, you may want to conduct a web search. Or check out these researching companies tools

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On Campus Interviews

  1. Information
  2. List of Events

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How do I negotiate salary?

You've received a job offer; now, comes the negotiation of salary and benefits. It is in this final stage of the job search process that many new college graduates lack knowledge and experience. It is estimated that 10-25% of workers are under-compensated in their jobs. It is estimated that 10-25% of workers ae under-compensated in their jobs. The salary you accept is the base for raises and future salaries. Under-negotiation of your salary can add up to thousands of dollars over a lifetime of employment.

Almost all salaries are negotiable within a given range (some entry level positions with numerous qualified candidates, and government jobs with set classifications are exceptions). The following 6 rules (partially taken from Kristen Hallam's On the Job Column, Nashville Banner) can help you in the negotiation process.

For more information about accepting/declining job offers and negotiating salary, click here

Rule for negotiating

Rule 1: Don't negotiate unless you're ready to accept an offer
Make sure you've thought out all other aspects of the job (work environment, job description, location, etc.). Does the job fit your values and interests?

Rule 2: Know what you're worth
This is one of the most important parts of salary negotiation. Research salary ranges prior to your interview. Use the Internet to find out salary ranges for specific positions (web sites are listed below). Call the Human Resource Departments of both the firm that has offered you an interview as well as competing firms to find the salary ranges for the position. Use books in the Job Search section of the Career Center library for salary surveys.In addition, know what your needs are. In advance, figure out the minimum salary you require for living expenses, paying off loans, etc.

Rule 3: Negotiate for what you're worth
Never initiate the discussion of salary; let the employer raise the issue or make the first offer. Try not to lock into a fixed figure. If an employer asks for your salary requirements, summarize the duties of the position (to clarify mutual understanding of all the job involves and also highlight the responsibilities in a positive manner which may help support your negotiations). Speak knowledgeably about the salary range (which you've researched in advance) and try to obtain the highest reasonable salary in that range.

Rule 4: Negotiate things that are important to you
Negotiation involves much more than salary. Flex time, medical coverage, vacation time, stock options, and retirement plans are other benefits to consider and negotiate. Some candidates may prefer less salary if the other benefits are of more personal importance.

Rule 5: Consider the offer
Never accept an offer right away. Allow time for consideration of the position and the offer. Most companies give the courtesy of at least 48 hours for a response.

Rule 6: Get it in writing
This includes both the salary and other benefits.

Researching Salary Information

If you are trying to find information about salary estimates for different career fields, the following resources may be helpful.

Occupational Outlook Handbook U.S. Bureau of labor Statistics. Biennial. Provides detailed information, including salaries, for over 250 occupations. Also available in the UCSC Career Center Library.

JobSmart Links to 300 salary surveys. Survey by both position and location. Includes description of positions.

Salary Expert Salary surveys and advice.

LinkedIn Salary Tool Learn about you earnings potential.

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On Campus Interviews

  1. Information
  2. List of Events

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Can I receive credit for an internship?

Yes, internships can be paid, non-paid, or you can receive academic credit. You need to talk with the appropriate departmental advisor. The advisor can provide you with forms that will have to be signed by the student and professor.

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I have a problem with my employer

If you have a problem or complaint about your employer, the Career Center will try to help you informally resolve the issue and can direct you on how to proceed with a formal complaint if the issue is not immediately resolved. Please see the complaint process in the Career Center Policies and Procedures manual. The Career Center contacts and other offices that can assist you are listed below.

For all student employment issues, both on and off-campus, please contact the Career Center Director, Barbara Silverthorne, through her assistant at (831) 459-4021, or directly at (831) 459-4590

Additional Resources:

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W2 form

  • A W-2 tax form shows the amount of taxes withheld from your paycheck for the year and is used to file your federal and state taxes.
  • W-2 tax forms are mailed by February 1st to your permanent address on file with payroll, unless you opt to receive it on-line. 
    • Even if you did not opt for the on-line delivery of your W-2, it will still be available on-line on February 15th.
    • If you did not receive it, and cannot access it as described above, you will need to contact the Payroll Office.
  • Fill out your W-2 as instructed
  • Attach your W-2 to the front of your tax returns

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Online safety tips

If a position or job offer seems to be too good to be true, if you feel uncomfortable with some of the information requested, or something just doesn't seem right – either back off or proceed with extreme caution. Even if the original position description seems valid, if you receive follow-up e-mails, phone calls or job offers that seem unusual, you need to proceed cautiously.

Here are some red flags:

  • You are asked to give credit card, bank or PayPal account numbers
  • You are asked to send a payment by wire service, transfer, or courier.
  • You are offered a large payment or reward in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account - often for depositing checks or transferring money.
  • You receive an unexpectedly large check.
  • You are asked for personal information such as your Social Security Number.
  • You are requested to send a photo copy of your ID, i.e., driver's license to "verify identity".
  • The job posting doesn't mention the responsibilities of the job; rather it focuses on the amount of money you will make.
  • Be wary of postings for Mystery Shoppers, work at home, or virtual Administrative Assistants or Bookkeepers.
  • If you are an entry-level candidate with little experience, be wary of an offer with a salary that is way out of range.
  • Are there multiple misspellings in the job notice?
  • If the position listing does it include travel expenses? Has up front program fees?
  • Verify that a URL listed in the ad goes to the internet domain of the company that listed it. For example, if the ad lists "" but when you click on it, goes to "", it could be a scam.
  • The position initially seems to be a traditional job, but upon further research or contact, is actually an independent contractor or f
  • In addition, you may receive a job offer in response to your application to a legitimate-appearing job description that is actually just a marketing e-mail to sell you job search "help." Some other tips:

If you encounter suspicious postings in SlugQuest:

  • Please report your experience to UCSC Career Center at or 831.459.4767 and to The Internet Crime Complaint Center
  • End all communication with the employer, and if personal information was disclosed, monitor your accounts over the next few days, to be on the safe side.
  • Contact the police and report the fraud or scam.
  • If you have sent money to a fraud employer, contact your bank or credit card company immediately to close your account and dispute the charges.
  • If the incident occurred entirely over the internet, file an incident report with the FCC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or at
  • SlugQuest Privacy Policy

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