5 Steps to Success For Getting the Job or Internship You Want

A guide for your first days on Handshake that will help you find the right jobs and get hired on Handshake.

Guidance Provided By: The Handshake Team

You signed up for Handshake—congratulations! You’re on your way to finding a great job or internship. To help you get started, we’ve outlined five steps to take during your first five days on Handshake. Read below for tips that will put you on track to landing your next opportunity.

Day 1: Fill out your profile 

Don’t skip the most important step of getting started on Handshake—completing your profile. This is absolutely necessary to have success in finding a job or internship. The information in your profile helps you receive the most relevant job recommendations, and helps employers find you in their candidate searches.

Make sure to fill in your job interests including job type, cities, and roles that you want to explore. Don’t worry if you’re not quite sure what you want to do or where you want to be, you can update your profile at any time. Next, add your work experience, courses, organizations and skills. The more information you include in your profile, the better your chances are of hearing from recruiters. 

Upload your resume so you’ll be ready to apply to jobs. If you’re applying for more than one type of role, consider modifying your resume for each one and uploading different versions.

Day 2: Explore jobs and save the ones you like

Once you’ve filled out your profile, you’ll receive personalized job recommendations based on this information. And as you add interests and update your profile, your recommendations will update as well—helping you find the right jobs for you.

As you’re viewing your recommended jobs on Handshake, save the ones that catch your eye. This will store them on your dashboard and in the Saved tab on the job search page—helping you quickly find them when you’re ready to apply. You’ll receive important notifications about saved jobs, including reminders to apply before the deadline.

Saving jobs also shows Handshake what you’re looking for, so your job recommendations become even more relevant. To save a job, click the bookmark icon located on the right side of the job preview or on the left hand side of the job page.

Day 3: See who’s hiring and follow employers 

The employers you see on Handshake want to hire students at your school. And with top employers in every field, you’ll be able to find organizations you want to work for. When you see an employer you like, be sure to follow them by clicking the Follow button on their page—or the star button if you’re on the app. 

You’ll receive alerts when the employers you follow post new jobs and events on Handshake. Plus, following employers helps improve your job recommendations.

Day 4: Register for a virtual recruiting event 

Virtual recruiting events are taking center stage this year, giving you an opportunity to meet employers through your device. Employers will be hosting sessions with students at your school to recruit for open jobs and internships. This is also a good reason to follow employers you’re interested in—because you’ll be notified when they’re attending virtual fairs on Handshake. Also be sure to check your email and log in often to see upcoming events for students at your school.

Virtual fairs on Handshake are unlike the traditional career fair you may be familiar with. When you register for a virtual fair, you’re able to sign up early for sessions with the employers you want to meet. So forget the lines and register for virtual recruiting events!

Day 5: Apply to your first job or internship

Spend some time today going through your saved jobs and new recommendations, and start applying! Because you’ve filled out your profile and uploaded your resume, you’ll be able to apply to many jobs on Handshake in just a few clicks. We recommend keeping an open mind and applying to as many jobs as you’d like, especially if you’re interested in more than one field. It’ll increase your chances of finding a great job and help you explore potential careers.

If a job posting requires a cover letter, check out these tips for crafting a letter that will help your application stand out.

That’s it—just follow these tips to make your first week on Handshake a success! Log into Handshake now to get started.

What Recruiters Like to See on a Resume & What Makes Them Cringe

By: Kristen A. Urhausen-Kummerer, Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) mentor and former Big Four recruiting and operations leader

I have read thousands of resumes in my career with the Big Four and have seen all styles, formats and lengths. Having a resume with the right information, format and presentation can make or break your chances of grabbing the attention of a recruiter. There is no doubt that resume writing is one of the hardest things to do. It takes time and patience, but if done right, you can capture a recruiter’s attention and score an interview that will help you get one step closer to your dream job.

Here is a list of five things that are eye-catching to recruiters:

1. Notable accomplishments vs. a list of responsibilities  

When you include notable accomplishments, you are immediately showing the reader how you added value to your current/past employers, and how you could do the same for their company. Notable accomplishments should include quantifiable information, if possible, and a concise explanation of how you achieved the accomplishment. For example, the line, “Helped company save $300K in expenses annually” should be edited to say, “Key contributor in helping company save $300K in expenses, annually, by re-negotiating all vendor contracts and implementing an automated approval process workflow for all expenses.” A list of responsibilities doesn’t help sell you, your skills or capabilities is what will get your foot in the door.

2. Modern and slick format  

The format of your resume must be clean and easy to read. If your resume doesn’t have a format that is easy to follow, you will lose the reader’s attention in the first few seconds. Consider these guidelines:

  • Make sure your name jumps off the page by using at 20 pt. font
  • Include a bolded headline under your contact information (i.e., Innovative Information Technology Consulting Director)
  • Stray away from Times New Roman or Book Antiqua as the font. Use a font such as Cambria, Arial or Helvetica
  • Bold important information at the beginning of each notable accomplishment in an effort to encourage the reader to continue reading

3. Simplified contact information.

The key contact information to share is your name, e-mail address, phone number and a link to your LinkedIn profile. There is no need to include your physical address.

4. Career summaries that highlight expertise, experience vs. soft skills

Most candidates highlight their ability to communicate, get along with people and build relationships in their career summaries. Although this is important, recruiters want to know what your sweet spot is. When people think of you professionally, what comes to mind? If you are an IT consultant, you probably have strong experience assessing current information system infrastructures and providing custom solutions that meet client needs and business objectives.

5. Tables

Use tables to highlight technical skills and other competencies vs. including them in a bulleted list.

Now that you know what recruiters like to see on resumes, here are five things that make recruiters cringe:

1. Resumes longer than two pages

Recruiters spend an average of less than one minute reviewing a resume, and will most likely put your resume in the “no thank you” pile if it is longer than two pages.

2. Detailed company descriptions about current, past employers 

If you choose to include a company description, try to limit it to one sentence. Including more than one sentence takes up valuable white space and will lose the interest of the reader.

3. Objective statements

Adding an objective statement is out-of-date and will not help you stand out from the crowd. By applying for an open position, you are implying that you are looking for a new opportunity that will utilize your skills and career interests at a specific company.

4. References available upon request

Make it easier on employers, and yourself, by offering your references early on. In some cases, employers will automatically ask for references either on the job application, or after they have decided to extend you an offer of employment.

5. Misspellings and grammatical errors

Be sure to double and triple check your resume. Print it out and read each word out loud to make sure that it reads perfectly. Consider sending it to a friend to review as well. You need to demonstrate to the reader that you pay close attention to detail.

So, how does your resume stack up?


Kristen A. Urhausen-Kummerer received her Bachelor of Science in commerce from DePaul in 1992 and has 22 years of Big Four recruiting and operations leadership experience at KPMG LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Arthur Andersen & Co, SC. She has interviewed and hired hundreds of professionals ranging from administrative assistants to senior executives over the years. Kristen is currently an independent resume designer and career advisor who focuses on partnering with job seekers as they prepare for their job search. She provides job seekers with insight on current resume trends, prepares them for interviews and helps to increase their confidence. Kristen is also an active ASK member and has helped students prepare for job fairs and interviews, in addition to providing career guidance and mentoring.

Handshake Hacks: Personalizing Your Home Page

Have you ever noticed that Handshake suggests internship and job listings to you when you log into your account? These little boxes included on your home page’s center panel provide you with a few key details and offer you the option to either learn more (click “View Details”) or begin your application (click “Apply”).

Sounds great, right? But if you’re an education major and you’re seeing positions in logistics and supply chain management, it may not be as helpful as you would like. The fix is simple! Take a few moments to personalize your Handshake experience by completing the “Love what you do. Do what you love.” questionnaire.

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Finding your perfect opportunity might be as simple as answering six key questions. The survey will walk you through identifying the following:

  • What you’d like Handshake to help you find such as job listings, information about career events, networking opportunities, etc.
  • The types of positions you are seeking such as full-time or part-time jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, graduate programs, etc.
  • Where you’d like to live post-graduation
  • The industries that intrigue you
  • The types of job functions that interest you or what type of work you want to do
  • And when you expect to graduate

That’s it! Handshake will use that information to populate your home page with relevant opportunities, and the Career Center will use it to help inform you about events, and more.

Think your responses may change over time? No problem! Simply click on “Your Career Interests” on the left-hand navigation panel to edit your responses in the future.

If, on the other hand, you are struggling to select responses to the mostly multiple choice items on the survey, see your career advisor. We’re ready and waiting to help you explore and identify job functions, industries, and geographic markets that will best fit your career goals. Check out our website for more information on connecting with your advisor!

Handshake Hacks: Strengthening Your Search

For students seeking job and internship opportunities, Handshake is a terrific starting point. The Career Center team works with a number of employers who want to hire from DePaul, and they also reach out to employers that students express interest in. Our employers will use Handshake as a means of getting the word out about career opportunities to our students and alumni.

There are a number of different ways to search for these opportunities on Handshake, though, and it’s important to think about what strategy will be most beneficial given your interests, experiences, and goals. Whether you’re searching for a job or internship opportunity, one of the three categories below may be the best starting point when utilizing Handshake to find employment.

Job Function

If you are seeking a job or internship that will allow you to carry out specific skills and tasks, the “Job Function” category is a great way to focus your search around a particular area. Searching by a particular job function, such as “Accounting” or “Design/Art,” will generate opportunities in which that particular function is utilized on a fairly consistent basis. (A closer look at the job description will often indicate if that job function is a major or minor component of the role).

The other benefit of searching by job function is that your results will include positions across all industries, which will widen your search yet still keep the focus on a particular set of duties. For example, if you select “Marketing” under “Job Function,” you will find a number of opportunities with marketing agencies, as well as discover a slew of other marketing roles within the financial industry or with a non-profit organization, for example.

Employer Industry

On the other hand, some people may know what field they want to work in, but not necessarily the type of work they want to do within that field. This is where searching by “Employer Industry” may prove helpful, as selecting an industry such as “Food & Beverage,” “Internet & Software,” or “Non-Profit” will produce opportunities within those industries while highlighting a variety of different roles.

If you’re new to a particular industry, this is also a great way to research both the types of opportunities within that field as well as generate ideas for networking opportunities through LinkedIn or DePaul’s ASK network. If you see a particular job title consistently popping up within a desired field, it could indicate a high-need area. And, reviewing the verbiage of these listings could give you some direction as to how to market yourself and what skills or experience you will need.

Labels

In Handshake, “Labels” are essentially hashtags that sort jobs and internships into college-specific categories. For example, #dpucdmjobs pulls together full and part-time opportunities that pertain specifically to our College of Computing and Digital Media student population, while #dpulasjobs does the same for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences majors. (If you’re looking specifically for internships, those would be categorized as #dpucdminternships and #dpulasinternships, respectively).

The “Labels” category is curated by the Career Center, meaning we identify positions that may be a great fit for students based on their college.

Next Steps

Stop by the Career Center to meet with your career advisor! We can help you develop a search plan based on your interests and experiences, and recommend one of the strategies above (or a combination) that can help you take full advantage of what Handshake has to offer.

College Hiring For Class of 2016

By: Tara Golenberke, marketing professional in the education industry, and former digital media & marketing manager at the DePaul Career Center

Preparing for life after DePaul, can you imagine it? Let us paint you a picture.

You’re decked out in your new work gear, clutching a portfolio that houses years of experience – The daily grind, the kindled dreams, the future goals and the pool of new connections. You’re ready for the job interview, and you’re confident knowing that the college-hiring outlook is, well, killer.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook 2016 report, employers plan to hire 11 percent more new college graduates from the Class of 2016 for their U.S. operations than they did from the Class of 2015.

Not only is U.S. hiring going to increase for 2016 graduates, but respondents recruiting for positions outside of the U.S. also expect to increase hiring, based on report findings.

The final quarter is in full swing, and the reality of preparing for life after college is sinking in for this year’s graduating seniors. Fortunately, graduates, the job market is looking bright.

Degrees in Demand

Regardless of degree level, graduates of the business, engineering, computer and information sciences categories are most in demand, based on the report. Top degrees in demand by broad category include business, engineering, computer and information sciences, math and sciences, communications, and social sciences.

“Within the humanities disciplines, liberal arts/general studies majors are most in demand, with 94 percent of respondents indicating they will hire these graduates,” noted the report.

If your degree category or major is not listed among the “in demand,” don’t fret, as recruiters do not evaluate candidates based on this criterion alone.

What Employers Are Looking For

Work Experience

There is no question that employers consider work experience when hiring college graduates. According to the report, a very small pool of respondents – only 6.3 percent to be exact – said that work experience does not factor into their hiring decisions. Rather, a whopping 91% of respondents preferred to hire candidates with some type of work experience under their belt.

GPA Screening

According to the report, 69.3 percent of recruiters will screen candidates from the 2016 class, and a little over 70 percent of employers who plan to screen candidates by GPA will use a cutoff of 3.0. Although GPA has a strong influence, so do other factors including leadership skills, participation in extracurricular activities and written and verbal communications skills.

Power of Social Media

The trend of utilizing technology in the recruiting process ceases to waver. The report stated, “more than half of the respondents to this year’s survey plan to use more social networks and/or more technology in general in their recruiting methods.” Maintaining a professional online presence is more important than ever.

Career Exploration at DePaul

No matter where you are in your career search, whether it’s finding the right career path, arranging a portfolio, landing an internship or preparing for your first job interview, the DePaul Career Center is here to support you. Allow our advisors and professionals to share their wealth of knowledge about today’s employers and the strategies and tools you need to impress and ultimately achieve your career goals. Learn more about the Career Center and start connecting with alumni and employers today.


UPDATE: NACE just released new projections based on the Job Outlook 2016 Spring Update survey, which was conducted from February 10 – March 22, 2016. Employers now expect to hire 5.2% more graduates this year compared to the 11% they projected earlier. They also found the average number of job postings for the 2015-16 recruiting year is down compared to the 2014-15 year. You can find more projections based on the spring survey, here.

So far, the DePaul University Career Center has seen a 22% increase in the number of job postings this recruiting year over last. Visit Handshake to apply for jobs posted. The Career Center plans to monitor these projections as well as employer activity to continue to best serve DePaul students and their career search.