You’ve explored your interests, values and skills, and identified different career options. You’ve perfected your materials and learned how to present yourself effectively. Now it’s time to connect to opportunities — that all-important internship — or maybe you’re even ready to apply for a job or graduate school. Whatever your goal, take time to develop an action plan.

Where to Begin

  • Before you start searching, get some ideas of what you’re searching for.
  • Your first CRE very likely an informal opportunity that is found through someone you know or through reaching out directly to the organization with an exploratory email.
  • For this break-in opportunity, look close to home and try to match approximate fit of industry, organization, or role so that you can build skills towards next summer. Researching companies can help you build your prospect list of organizations.
  • Your second CRE is an opportunity to enhance the skills and knowledge you gained in your break-in opportunity. For instance, you might seek an opportunity that relates directly to your intended career path or apply to more prestigious companies.
  • For both of these, students are much more successful when they network and reach out to organizations rather than only apply to listed opportunities.
  • Handshake is The Career Center’s one-stop-shop for job and internship opportunities, on-campus employment, events and career resources. Alumni and parents post positions specifically for Hamilton students. You can also use the extended search options to find opportunities outside of the Hamilton community.
  • External internship listings are also helpful in giving you a broader view of internship offerings.
  • HPIN (Hamilton Internship Peer Network) connect with other students about their internships.

There is funding available for unpaid or minimally paid summer internships.

Develop a Plan

A successful job search begins with a developing a plan.  If you are having trouble developing or articulating your plan, come in and meet with a professional counselor.

  • What type of job you are looking for (informed by CRE and self-assessment)and
  • Where, geographically, you want to do that work.


  • Generate a list of organizations in your field of interest and geographic area (CareerSearch and Google Maps are excellent online resource to use for developing a "prospect list").
  • Learn everything you can about your industry and the specific companies you are targeting.

Network & Search for Opportunities

  • Network with family, friends of family, Hamilton alumni, and other acquaintances. Reach out to people working in the industry and/or city you are focused on.
  • Search internet and print resources regularly – but do not rely on them exclusively.


  • Apply to opportunities you discover via networking or online.
  • Target your resume and cover letter to each specific position.
  • Send required materials well in advance of deadlines.

Follow Up

  • Contact each organization to confirm receipt of materials and to set up an in-person or phone interview (if appropriate).

Many Hamilton College seniors make the choice to go to graduate school. Between 16-23% end up going directly from Hamilton.  Hamilton Professors in disciplines you are considering may be an excellent resource for you.

Petersons.com is a great resource that will help you navigate the process of identifying graduate programs. Use the search tool to find information about taking standardized tests, finding financial aid, writing a personal statement and obtaining recommendation letters.

Other Resources:

Hamilton-Specific Resources

Handshake (jobs and internships promoted directly through the Career Center)
Student accounts have been preloaded and match your Hamilton log in credentials for easy, single sign-on.

My Hamilton Connect (online portal to connect with Hamilton alumni and parents)
Activate your account using your Hamilton login credentials.

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