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Make a first impression with your Handshake
University Career Services introduces a new job search platform for students
It feels like classes just started but University Career Services’ Fall Job & Internship Expo is Thursday.
So you might want to start think about resumes and how to make a great impression to employers both at the career fair and online.
But don't panic: This year, University Career Services has a new job search platform called Handshake that replaces Careerolina. The aptly-named platform helps students make the same good impression online that a handshake does in a job interview.
Similar to LinkedIn, Handshake’s purpose is to make job search and career planning more equitable for students. Built-in artificial intelligence comes to learn your habits and what jobs you are looking for, and then makes recommendations the more you use it.
Handshake allows students to contact employers that would not necessarily come to UNC-Chapel Hill, said Jeff Sackaroff, the associate director of University Career Services.
Here are some pro tips from Sackaroff on how to firm up your Handshake experience.
1. Make sure your profile is up to date.
A profile public allows employers to find you directly and consider you as a candidate. This means that keeping your profile up-to-date can set you apart. Make sure your interests, accomplishments, and experience match what you do and who you are. Simply upload your resume to Handshake and the platform will automatically transfer information from your resume to fill in the blanks on your profile.
2. Set weekly targets.
Keep yourself accountable by setting tangible goals. “I want to find five opportunities this week that interest me that I’m going to apply to, or I’m going to have my profile 100 percent done by Monday, or I’m going to upload my resume and do this outreach,” Sackaroff said.
The key is setting small manageable goals to get the process started because that is usually the most overwhelming piece. Accomplish your goals by going about them in an organized, tactical manner.
3. Define your job search.
Use the the advanced search bar to narrow your search in order to find employers that match your needs. The categories vary from companies with great perks, companies for STEM majors — you can even search for companies by fastest growing cities. If you don’t know what company you want to work for, search by industry. Another great way to search for jobs is by deadline, said Sackaroff. You can also “star” jobs as favorites while searching to come back to them later.
4. If you see a job posting that looks interesting, apply.
“You have nothing to lose,” Sackaroff said. “Go on an interview, get the experience, because you never know when you're going to connect with that employer or fall in love with the culture or hear something about a company that really clicks with you.”
Handshake holds paths to a variety of organizations and employers, beyond the ones that are heavily advertised such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google. “At the end of the day, most people don’t work at Fortune 500 companies,” Sackaroff said. It’s important to be open and accepting in your job search, Sackaroff said. Do not waste your time if you are not interested, but if you’re on the fence, go for it.
5. Come and meet with a counselor.
Handshake has a portal where you can make an appointment with counselors. Counselors help you find jobs that best fit your interests. They can also introduce you to different at Career Services and information sessions held by employers you would be interested in. Wherever you are in your career planning process, counselors can help alleviate the stress and promote organized habits to help you along the way.
Fall Job & Internship Expo
UCS's career fair is 12-4 p.m. Thursday at Ram's Head Recreation Center
Visit the online Expo guide to get information about companies, interest sessions and more at career.dailytarheel.com.
Start your Handshake profile by visiting University Career Services.
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