Students in the CSE department have a wide variety of options available to them when looking for a job. The resources of the CSE department, the College of Engineering, and the University of Washington all help you get where you want to go, so review the following information to utilize the services, advice, and connections we provide. In addition, the department polls its graduating classes to see where they head after graduation; this information may also help direct your job search.
The following CSE resources are available to you:
- CSE undergraduate jobs blog for both full- and part-time positions (accessible to current CSE students only)
- Resume Database for Affiliate companies to search
- Tech Talks where you can connect with prospective employers
- Affiliates Career Fair which happens in Fall and Winter quarters
- Employer Panels that include industry Affiliates to prepare students or the interview process
- Resume Review Workshops
- Technical Interview Coaching to assist students in preparing for mock and actual technical interviews
- Mock Technical Interviews where engineers, hiring managers, and other technical interviewers serve as volunteer mock-interviewers to give students feedback on practice-run technical interviews.
Unsure where to start the general job search process? The UW Career Center and the College of Engineering Career Center offer many other career-related services, such as career counseling, workshops, and individual career planning appointments.
- Prepare your resume.
- Once you complete your resume, post it on the CSE Resume Database. Put a reminder on your calendar to update your resume at the end of every quarter.
- Start regularly checking Handshake and the CSE undergraduate jobs blog.
- Plan to attend the Affiliates Career Fair for CSE majors in October and January. You're welcome to attend other career fairs on campus as well.
- Become familiar with CSE policies and protocols for interviewing, accepting and declining offers.
School-sponsored career events and on-campus interviews are privileges that carry certain expectations for your conduct. To reinforce appropriate use of UW CSE and Career Center on-campus recruiting opportunities, we have adopted protocols to better serve you and the employers visiting campus. Please familiarize yourself with these standards of appropriate behavior before participating in any on-campus recruiting events.
In your best interest, CSE has also defined a UW CSE's Recruiting Policy for Employers to ensure recruiting entities work within a framework of professionally accepted recruiting, interviewing and selection techniques as stipulated in the NACE Principles for Professional Conduct.
If you have questions or concerns regarding your interactions with employers, please contact a CSE advisor.
Cancellation and No Shows
Failure to appear for scheduled interviews prevents other students from using your time slot and wastes the recruiter's time. Such behavior reflects poorly on your professionalism, could jeopardize UW CSE's relationship with the employer regarding research and related activities, and could ultimately cause employers to suspend recruiting in our department. Therefore, it is important to follow through on all interview appointments. If you cannot make your scheduled interview, be sure to take the appropriate steps in advance.
Recruiters, hiring managers, and technical interviewers take time to prepare for and conduct your interview. Canceling within 48 hours for reasons other than illness or an emergency is not acceptable and will jeopardize your recruiting success. If you must change or cancel an interview, call the recruiter to inform them and e-mail both the recruiter and the interviewer (if you have the interviewer's e-mail address). You should apologize for the inconvenience the cancellation causes them and reiterate your interest in their company and the position for which you are being considered. Ask if it would be possible to reschedule, but understand that such a favor is at their discretion.
If you miss an interview for any unexplained reason, contact your recruiter to apologize and explain your reason for missing the interview. It is important to understand that a "no show" for either a phone screen or an in-person interview is looked at very negatively. It could remove you from consideration for the position.
Ethics of Negotiating
It is assumed that you will negotiate in good faith with employers. This means you should negotiate with an employer only if you plan to accept the employer’s offer if the negotiation goes well. It is unethical to negotiate with an employer whose offer you have no intention to accept. If you reach an acceptable compromise in your negotiations, it is assumed you will accept the position. Negotiate only if you plan to accept the compromise.
It is appropriate to politely refuse to provide an employer with specific information about any job offers you may have received from other employers. If asked, you can affirm if you have other offers pending. You do not have to name the organizations that have made offers to you, nor are you obliged to provide specific information about the salaries, perks or other compensations involved. Instead, broad responses to these questions that include salary ranges (rather than specific dollar amounts) are perfectly acceptable.
When you receive a job offer, you are likely to feel elated and probably a little anxious. Consequently, you may be tempted to rush into accepting the offer immediately. Try to evaluate all aspects of the job offer and think objectively about your choices before responding to an offer.
There is no standard amount of time that an organization is legally required to give you to make a decision. The UW CSE department details the expectations and timelines that employers must follow in our Recruiting Policy for Employers, and we ask that all Affiliate companies abide by it when recruiting our students through on-campus and departmental channels (which includes participation in career fairs, tech talks, on-campus interviews, etc.). An employer's failure to do so could result in sanctions against employers in their access to departmental recruiting activities; therefore, it is in their best interest to adhere to the policy.
Delaying a Response
You may find that you need more time than an employer initially extends to make a decision on a job offer, especially if you have other employment opportunities pending. There are appropriate ways to approach this matter that minimize any negative impact on the employer, your reputation, UW CSE or other students who might be interested in pursuing an opportunity with this employer. Please consult with an advisor in the UW Career Center or the CSE department on ways to address this situation.
Accepting an Offer
Once you have accepted a job offer, it is important to terminate all other job search activity. Failure to do so could deprive another student of those opportunities. Notify all other employers that you are no longer available for employment and cancel any interviews (on-campus or off) you have pending.
Declining an Offer
If you are declining an offer, do so with sensitivity to the employer's needs. Inform the recruiter verbally as soon as your decision has been made, following your conversation with a thank you letter. DO NOT delay contacting the employer: while making that phone call may be difficult, it is unlikely bad news will get better with time. Employers need to know you are declining their offer as quickly as possible so they can adjust their plans accordingly. Waiting until the last moment to contact them could force them into a situation they cannot remedy.
Reneging on Offers
Accepting an offer is a commitment to the employer who made you the offer. Reneging on an offer could be seen as an unethical and possibly legal violation of your commitment. Besides negatively affecting your reputation and UW CSE's, reneging could also taint the reputation of future graduates of our department.
Professional communities are never as large as they seem. Recruiters share information and change companies throughout their careers. They might share information about someone who reneged with other recruiters, or they may move to another recruiting position at a different company, which could cost you future interviews and job offers. If you are not ready to make that commitment, do not accept the job offer.
The UW CSE department spends considerable time and effort on your behalf to cultivate strong, positive relationships with employers. We consider reneges undertaken in any but the direst circumstances a serious ethical breach. Doing so may result in the forfeiture of your right to participate in future departmental recruiting activities.
The UW CSE Student Recruiting Policy was adapted with permission from the policy in place at the MIT Career Office.
Interviews and Handling Offers Assistance
- Common Technical Interview Questions asked at corporations, especially during the Microsoft interview process
- Tips for Technical Interviews with more frequently asked technical interview questions
- Recommended book: Programming Interviews Exposed, Mongan, Suojanen, and Giguere
- Glassdoor.com: "An inside look at jobs and companies", including inside information about interviews, salaries, and more
Job/Career Search Sites
CSE Ugrad Jobs Blog (accessible to current CSE students only)
UW Career Center
College of Engineering Career Center and Internship Program
ACM Student Career Resource Centre
WA Technology Industry Association
Jobs in Game Development
Job Search Planning
How to get More Experience
The AIESEC Exchange program connects students with internships in foreign countries
Other Helpful Links
Graduating Senior Surveys
We poll our graduating classes to see where they head after graduation. Check below for results from previous years.
2016 Survey Results
2015 Survey Results
2014 Survey Results
2013 Survey Results
2012 Survey Results
2011 Survey Results
2009 Survey Results
2008 Survey Results
2007 Survey Results: Industry and Graduate School
2006 Survey Results: Industry and Graduate School
2005 Survey Results: Industry and Graduate School
2004 Survey Results: Industry and Graduate School