Career and Life Success Guide: Professional Foundation

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Professional Foundation:
The knowledge and skills you need to effectively compete for internships, jobs, graduate school and other opportunities. 

How career-ready are you? Choose the Professional Foundation level that best describes you. To progress through the levels, select the action steps that seem most appealing and useful to you. Complete as many as you’d like and consider repeating any that you found particularly helpful. Before you know it, you’ll stand out and be ready for your next career step.


I know resumes are important, but mine isn't well-developed. I'm unsure of which skills I have to offer an employer.


I am able to leverage my qualifications and professional brand with diverse audiences through my resume, cover letter, portfolio, etc. and feel comfortable navigating the job search process.


"Professional Foundation is the sincere and effective presentation of the skills and qualities that will help you drive our company during your internship or career." – Micro-Vu

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  Action Steps

  • Create a resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and Portfolium account that convey and illustrate your knowledge and skills. Visit Career Services drop-in hours for help.

  • Meet with a career counselor to learn strategies for finding career-related opportunities.

  • Practice your interview skills by using BIG Interview or doing a mock interview with your career counselor.

  • Attend career fairs and communicate your knowledge and skills to prospective employers.

  • Set up your MustangJOBS powered by Handshake profile and update it as you gain new skills or experiences. Use MustangJOBS to find opportunities that interest you such as internships, jobs, or fellowships.

  • Attend company networking sessions hosted to learn what qualities they look for in employees; reflect on how your experiences relate.

  • Ask for feedback on your professional brand from a mentor or trusted member of your professional network. An easy way to reach out to alumni is through Cal Poly Career Connections (can also be accessed through your Cal Poly portal). This online platform connects students with alumni for mentoring and networking.

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