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Before you search for an internship or full-time job, it is critical to investigate career fields of interest to you and consider if you wish to go to graduate school right after graduation. If you are not sure of your interests or if graduate school is the path for you, you may wish to meet with a career advisor.

Identify the Job You Want

In recent years ILR students have taken jobs in multiple career fields: corporate human resources, labor relations, labor, government, law, arbitration/third-party, non-profits, human resource consulting, management consulting, and financial services. For more information, please review the postgraduate report, which outlines what ILR graduates have done upon graduation.

Once you’ve determined the career field(s) of interest to you, you must find opportunities to match.

Getting Started

  • Take advantage of workshops offered by ILR Career Services on how to search for an internship or full-time job
  • Meet with a career advisor to discuss your interests and strategy, as well as learn about resources
  • Let your family, friends, and others in your network know about your career interests and the experience you are seeking.  They may hear of opportunities they can send your way.

Utilize a Multi-Pronged Approach to Your Job Search

The effectiveness of your search will be influenced by how much time you invest and how many different strategies and resources you use. Identify potential opportunities including:

  • On-campus Recruiting: Employers who come to campus to interview candidates (ILR and Barnes Hall/Cornell-wide). In addition to doing on-campus recruiting, please look at the other full-time and intern job postings on Handshake.
  • Career forums and events
  • National job boards and other internet sites
  • Networking with alumni, potential employers, and even friends or relatives could reveal opportunities from the "hidden job market."  Networking is a key part of any job or internship search, so be sure to look at the networking webpage to learn more about the benefits and process.
  • Use the other resources found

Keep It Organized

It is important to develop a system for managing all aspects of your search process. You'll need to keep track of:

  • Deadline dates for submitting application materials
  • Job titles and companies for the positions to which you applied
  • Dates, times, and locations of interviews
  • Names and job titles, and contact information of the many people you'll meet
  • Follow-up actions that you have taken or need to take AND reminders of when to do them
  • General notes on contacts you've made with various employers and interviewers

You may want to create a database to help manage this information. Ask other students what works for them - perhaps you'll discover an approach that's right for you.


Students gain career-related experience, network, and explore career fields through the programs below. What type of internship fits your job search?

Other Ways to Gain Experience and Be More Marketable