When and How Do I Apply?

Although many employers will start recruiting somewhere between 3-6 months before a start date, it is important to note that many employers have varying timeframes. Some may recruit a year in advance while others only a few months in advance. It is important for you to do your research so that you know the types of organizations you are interested in and their recruiting timelines so that you do not miss an opportunity!

Schedule time to attend on-campus recruiting events, such as career fairs, in which employers will come to campus to recruit for opportunities like Co-op. All our employer recruitment events are posted in Handshake for you to view details and registered organizations and plan to attend.

Co-op positions should coincide with the academic semester so it is important to make sure you are reporting a Co-op offer/hire as soon as you accept them. This will help to ensure that course registration and any other paperwork can be completed in a timely matter and will not have a negative effect on your ability to report to your Co-op on the first day indicated on your offer letter.

Get ahead of the competition AS part of the Pre-Screened Applicant Pool!

This is a great opportunity for you to get onto a list of students who have already shown interest in obtaining a Co-op opportunity. Specifically, that you would be willing to commit to an employer for a minimum of 2-3 work terms (semesters). Remember that you must meet all eligibility requirements and have at least 2 semesters left before you will be graduating.

If you feel you meet that criteria and want be referred to potential Co-op employers that you meet the qualifications for then please fill out this Pre-Screened Applicant Request. (Link coming soon!)

Applying for Positions

As mentioned above, employers may recruit at different times so being prepared by researching employers of particular interest will be important to a successful Co-op job search. Make sure you are:

  • Checking organization websites
  • Following organizations' LinkedIn pages (and connecting to relevant recruiters as appropriate)
  • Attending on-campus employer events – all posted on Handshake
  • Connecting with student professional associations related to your field

Co-op opportunities that employers are choosing to recruit USF students for are going to be posted in Handshake. Here are things you can to do your Handshake account to help you with your search:

  • Complete the information sections on your profile to ensure it is as close to 100% complete as possible.
  • Update your skills and project sections with class, personal, or work projects. Employers like to do keyword searches for specific skills!
  • Have an up-to-date resume loaded into Handshake. We recommend having it reviewed during Career Express before you upload, and to upload a PDF for best results.
  • Make sure your profile and resume is made public to employers. If it is not, you cannot be referred or searched by employers who are looking for your qualifications.

The final thing to do in Handshake to help you is to create a saved Co-op/Internship job search so that you will receive alerts anytime a new Co-op (or internship) is posted that meets the criteria you set.