Employer Spotlight: Carlo Varquez (MS ’18) LifeStart

The Health Care & Science (HCS) Career Community wants to introduce students to a wide range of careers. Students may be familiar with popular clinical roles (e.g., nurse, physician, veterinarian), but less familiar with jobs like healthcare data analytics, health administration, or biotech research.  

Today, we highlight a certified personal trainer, certified nutrition coach, and small business owner. In a virtual interview, Debbie Kaltman (HCS Employer Engagement Specialist) spoke with Carlo Varquez (MS Exercise Physiology ‘18) to learn about his educational and career journey, insights into pursuing preventative health and fitness professions, and advice to students.

Carlo’s educational and clinical experiences in the healthcare industry shifted his perspective and career goals to focus on preventing rather than treating health issues. In the health promotion, wellness, and fitness industry, Carlos serves as a general manager for LifeStart and founder of Pride Wellness, a small business built to empower clients to invest in their overall health via online classes and coaching sessions. As a certified fitness trainer and nutrition coach, Carlos seeks to take care of other people’s health so they come to feel better about themselves, believe they’re part of something, and vision their life in different ways. He plans to keep learning to become a “master trainer” who has a well-rounded skill set and is well-known as a person who will work hard for his clients.

Carlo’s advice to students interested in preventative health, wellness, and fitness: “Invest in yourself first before you invest in others! A) It gives you credibility. You practice what you preach. B) If you’re not following the right steps to keep yourself healthy, it’s going to be hard to advise others to be healthy.”

“Take every opportunity no matter how big it may seem. If you feel like it’s the right thing in your gut, just do it. I’m a big advocate for that gut feeling. It doesn’t make sense, you don’t know why it’s making you feel this way, but it feels right at the same time. Just follow your gut and take care of yourself.”

Resources for Diverse Job Searching

When choosing where to apply, it’s important not only to find a role you’d enjoy, but also a company where you feel welcome and represented. At May 7th’s “Culture & Careers: A Job Search Summit for Underrepresented Students,” Career Center advisors and ambassadors shared lists of the top diversity employers, diversity job boards and some of the top ranked companies for diversity in Illinois. Explore the lists and maybe find the next step in your career path while you’re at it!


Employer Lists

Forbes – America’s Best Employers for Diversity

Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to survey 50,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees and pinpoint the companies they identified as being most dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion. The final list ranks the 500 employers that not only received the most recommendations, but also boast the most diverse boards and executive ranks, as well as the most proactive diversity and inclusion initiatives. Features of the list include searching nationally or by state and links to company profiles.

Diversity Jobs – Top Diversity Employers 2021

Diversity Jobs has compiled a list of employers who value diversity and inclusion in the workplace. These organizations have shown consistent outreach and dedication to recruiting and hiring from all diversity groups. The list is categorized into 25 industries.

Fortune – The 100 Best Workplaces for Diversity

Fortune’s list of best workplaces for diversity provides detailed information on 100 companies. Details include percentages of various underrepresented groups including minoritized groups, women, people with disabilities and lgbtq. Other features include links to company profiles and “Great Places to Work” reviews.


Diversity Job Boards


Top Illinois Companies for Diversity

CompanyIndustry
JLLBusiness Services & Supplies
Zurich North AmericaInsurance
GraingerRetail & Wholesale
AbbVieDrugs & Biotechnology
U.S. CellularTelecommunications Services & Cable Supplier
BrunswickEngineering & Manufacturing
Ann & Robert H. Lurie’s Children’s Hospital of ChicagoHealthcare & Social
Ulta BeautyRetail & Wholesale
ExelonUtilities
Discover Financial ServicesBanking & Financial Services
BMO Harris BankBanking & Financial Services
Adtalem Global EducationEducation
DuPage Medical GroupHealthcare & Social
Rush University Medical CenterHealthcare & Social
YMCA of the USATravel & Leisure
Baxter InternationalDrugs & Biotechnology
BoeingAerospace & Defense
US FoodsFood, Soft Beverages, Alcohol & Tobacco
Allscripts Healthcare SolutionsHealthcare Equipment & Services
GallagherInsurance
Motorola SolutionsAerospace & Defense
CaterpillarEngineering & Manufacturing
R.R. Donnelley & SonsMedia & Advertising
Conagra BrandsFood, Soft Beverages, Alcohol & Tobacco
Advanced Technology ServicesBusiness Services & Supplies
Hyatt HotelsTravel & Leisure
BDO USAProfessional Services
Abbott LaboratoriesHealthcare Equipment & Services
Deere & CompanyAutomotive & Suppliers
United AirlinesTransportation & Logistics
WalgreensRetail & Wholesale

Finding a Job on Handshake: FAQs

Guidance Provided By: The Handshake Team

Do you have questions about how to find a job or internship on Handshake? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. That’s why we’ve compiled answers to the most common questions from college students.

1. Why should I make a Handshake account if I already use other job sites?

Handshake is the only place that connects you, your school, and employers together. All of the jobs on Handshake are meant for students—in fact, Handshake has the most opportunities for students and new college grads of any job platform. It’s also the only place where employers are recruiting specifically at your school.

2. Why do I need to fill out my Handshake profile?

Your profile is the key to finding a job or internship on Handshake. When you fill out your profile:

  • Handshake gives you personalized job recommendations based on the information you provide on your profile—so you can find jobs and internships that are right for you.
  • You increase your chances of having a recruiter message you directly with job opportunities and event invitations. In fact, 80% of students who fill out their profile receive a message from a recruiter.

3. Which parts of my Handshake profile are most important to include?

In addition to your major, Handshake also uses your job interests to recommend opportunities to you. Your job interests include:

  • Job type: select part-time job, full-time job, or internship.
  • Job location: choose the cities that you’d like to live and work in.
  • Job roles: select at least three positions that interest you.

TIP: You can change and update your interests at any time.

4. What are the top things employers search for?

After job interests, these are the most popular fields that employers use to find students they’d like to message:

  • Work experience: Have you had a part-time job, internship, work study, research position or volunteered? Employers like to see that you’ve taken on responsibility, and that these experiences have helped you develop valuable skills.
  • Skills: Add technical skills like SQL and soft skills like communication. The more skills you list, the better your chances are of showing up in an employer search.
  • Clubs and organizations: These highlight your unique interests and involvement on campus.

5. Why should I make my profile public? 

Employers are able to find and view your profile only when you make it visible to them. So help employers find you! Make it public so you’ll show up when they’re searching for students to recruit for jobs and internships. You can also make your profile visible to other students, so you can connect with them for advice, or help them.

Don’t worry—your profile will not be public to employers that have not been approved by your school, or to anyone without a Handshake account.

6. Can I use Handshake on my phone? 

Yes! Download the Handshake App from the App Store or Google Play, to search and apply to jobs right from your phone. You’ll also be notified when you receive a message from an employer, be first to see new job postings, and can apply to jobs in two clicks with Quick Apply.

7. What is the best way to use keyword search and filters?

Keyword search and filters are a great way to narrow down and customize the jobs you see on Handshake. You can filter through jobs by criteria such as job type, location, work authorization, and industry. Keyword search helps you find jobs whose description includes a word that you’re looking for. For example, if you search for the keyword “accounting,” you will see jobs where the word accounting appears within the posting.

TIP: Save your searches to quickly access a set of filters you’ve used in the past.

8. Why should I contact other students on Handshake?

When you view a job or employer page, you can see other students who have worked there and reach out to them with your questions. You can get an inside look at company culture, interview tips, and more through company reviews. You can also find answers to common career questions (or ask your own!) in Q&A.

TIP: You can also search for students based on their major, work experiences, and more.

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.

screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-9-55-45-am
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!