How Do I Job Search in the Middle of a Pandemic?

It’s a hard time to be conducting a job search. We get it. It can feel hopeless and overwhelming. Know this – you’re not alone. We’re here to help with some tips and resources.

How to Impress Employers at Virtual Events

Guidance Provided By: The Handshake Team


Employers host a variety of virtual events on Handshake to connect with students across the country and provide an inside look at their companies.

Common virtual events include:

  • Live Q&As with a recruiter or hiring manager. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions directly about what you’d like to know—including career opportunities, interview processes, company culture and more.
  • Panel discussions with current employees, including recent grads or alumni. You can learn about their backgrounds, career journeys and experiences at the company. As with Q&A events, there is usually an opportunity for you to ask the panelists a question at the end.
  • Office tours give you an exclusive look at what a typical day is like for an intern or new employee. Virtual tours are a unique way to see the lesser-known, fun aspects of life at the company that you can’t find anywhere else.

You should approach virtual event etiquette the same way you would for an in-person meeting with a potential employer. Here’s what to do before, during and after to make a great impression.

Before the event

  • Do some research. Learn more about the company by reading through their employer page on Handshake, as well as their company website. You should also do a quick online search to find any recent news articles and other information that can help you prepare thoughtful questions to ask.
  • Find a place to focus. Make sure that you are in a quiet place with a reliable internet connection, and test connectivity before the event. If you’re sharing the space with friends or family, ask if they can hold off on streaming movies or other activities that can take up a lot of internet bandwidth.

During the event

  • Dress professionally. We all know it’s more comfortable to job search in your pj’s. But when you’re attending an employer event via video, it’s a good idea to showcase your favorite career-ready outfit.
  • Set your computer in front of a neutral background. Keep the viewer’s eye focused on you, instead of the concert posters on your bedroom wall.
  • Show up on time. It’s important that you are on time for the event. Try signing in a few minutes early so you can fix any technical issues before the event begins. Being on time shows the host that you’re responsible, and ensures you don’t ask a question about something that was covered earlier in the program.
  • Maintain eye contact with the camera and concentrate on what the presenters are saying. Consider smiling and nodding occasionally as you would during an in-person conversation. Limit any distractions around you so that you’re not tempted to look away from your computer screen.
  • Ask a question at the right time. Bring a list of prepared questions, because one or more of these may be covered during the event. Have a pen and paper nearby so you can jot down new questions that you think of during the conversation. It’s important to wait for the host to say that it’s time for audience questions, before attempting to ask yours.
    • Consider tailoring your questions based on the type of event and who is hosting. For example, if you are attending a panel discussion on company diversity and inclusion, you might ask a question related to mentorship programs or resource groups for employees from underrepresented communities.

After the event

  • Be prepared to follow up. Employers host virtual events on Handshake to raise awareness about their company and build excitement about open positions. So when the event is over, stay engaged by visiting the employer’s page on Handshake and exploring their open jobs and internships. You can follow the employer by clicking the Follow button on their page—so you’ll be the first to know when they post new jobs.
  • Update your Handshake profile. A complete profile can help you get an early start on applying to one of the open jobs or internships. Check to see if a separate resume and cover letter are needed for the application so you can prepare them as well.
  • Be responsive. Many recruiters will reach out to students on Handshake to follow up after an event. If you receive a message from an employer, be sure to reply as soon as possible. Thank them for hosting the event and share something specific that you enjoyed or were glad to learn about the company. This will clearly show your interest and may help you get an interview!
    • Download the Handshake app in the App Store or Google Play so you’re notified when you receive an employer message.

Get a Job Online as a College Student: 4 Tips From Recruiters

Guidance Provided By: The Handshake Team


 

Thanks to Handshake and other digital tools, employers are increasingly focused on recruiting college students online.

As a job seeker, this is great news for you. It means you can find your next job or internship without having to rely on multiple in-person meetings with recruiters. How can you utilize Handshake to find a job virtually? Here are four helpful tips from recruiters.

1. Fill out your Handshake profile

The most important step to landing a job or internship on Handshake is filling out your profile. Employers are searching for students on Handshake based on the information in their profiles, and messaging candidates with event invites or to encourage them to apply for new job opportunities.

That’s why completing your profile, and keeping it up-to-date, is essential. Beyond the basic information like your major and graduation date, make sure to fill out your job interests, work experience, skills, courses, and clubs and organizations you’re involved with. The more information you provide, the easier it is for recruiters to find you!

2. Attend virtual events

Employers like IBM and Under Armour often host virtual events on Handshake to connect with students from across the country. Attending these events is a unique way to meet employees at the companies you want to work for. Virtual events also give you an opportunity to learn more about a company before applying for a job.

Be sure to check Handshake for new events and sign up for behind-the-scenes tours, coffee chats, and Q&A sessions, so you can get an inside look at your next potential employer.

“Handshake helps us expand our reach and create more meaningful connections with students from all backgrounds.”

Jeremy Buentello, IBM

3. Showcase your soft skills

As mentioned, skills are an important part of your Handshake profile. The hard skills you’ve developed in the classroom, at work, or through extracurriculars—such as digital marketing or a programming language—help you stand out to employers looking for students like you. However, don’t forget to include soft skills like communication, problem solving, collaboration, and creativity.

According to a recent survey of hiring managers, 92 percent said that soft skills matter as much or more than hard skills when they’re hiring. When preparing for an interview, try to think of specific projects or experiences that you can talk about to illustrate how you’ve applied these skills in your life.

“We’re fighting the misconception that you need an engineering background to join a tech company. Sourcing tools on Handshake are crucial for us in connecting with the students who are going to get the most value out of our fellowship.”

Emily Vogel, Box

4. Reply to recruiters ASAP

Last year, employers sent more than 16 million messages to students on Handshake. Typically, recruiters send messages to invite students to networking events or encourage them to apply for new opportunities. Chatting with a recruiter on Handshake is a great way to make a personal connection to the companies you want to work for, and helps distinguish you from other candidates.

So, when you get a message from a recruiter, make sure to reply as soon as you can. Download the Handshake app in the App Store or Google Play, so you can be notified when you get a message.

Log in to Handshake today to start getting recruited for your next job!

5 Things to Consider Before Accepting a Job

By Dania Din, DePaul Alum & Talent Engagement Associate at Axiom Global

When you search online for job hunting tips, thousands of articles pop up. So, when the Career Center asked me to write a post for their blog on career readiness, I took a few moments to reflect and realized I never received advice on how to determine if a position is a good fit.

Accepting a job is a major life decision that will shape your career path, help you grow, and make you feel fulfilled. Because much of your success will come from external factors, I’d like to share some key observations from my experience in the workforce.

1. People

You’ll spend the majority of your day with the people you work with, and they’ll come from a variety of backgrounds with varying opinions. As you meet with multiple people through the interview process, be sure to ask yourself if you can see yourself working with them on a daily basis. You don’t have to be friends with the people you work with, but when tough/frustrating situations arise, can you see yourself collaborating with them? It’s important to find a team that will support you through the highs and lows.

2. Your Manager

There’s much to learn when you accept your first full-time position, and you’ll need a trusted leader to show you the ropes. I was lucky to have a manager who invested his time in my development, and I owe much of my success to him thus far. Take a look at the jobs you may have had through high school and at DePaul. What qualities did your manager have that you liked? Take some time to reflect on these points before starting the interview process, and come ready with specific questions about the hiring managers’ style. Your manager will have a tremendous impact on your career and overall satisfaction, so take the steps to ensure it’ll be a good fit.

3. Opportunity for Growth

During the job search I didn’t consider what promotion paths could look like, but for those who strive to climb the corporate ladder, it is important to get a clear sense of what growth opportunities exist at your company. Companies either promote their employees based on meritocracy or have a specific promotion path in place. Both have their pros and cons, but be sure to understand what the standard is so there are no surprises down the road.

4. Work Culture

We all have preferences! Some prefer traditional work environments, while others thrive with minimal direction. What has worked best for you? When onsite at an interview, spend a few minutes observing the people around you, the dress code, common interactions, and what the floorplan looks like. At my company, we have a structured atmosphere and an open floor plan, which allows fluid communication and fosters a sense of community.

5. Diversity

A value that has become increasingly important to me, stemming from my Vincentian education! Don’t be afraid to ask what a company is doing to support diversity initiatives if it’s something important to you. For example, I had been interviewing with a prominent PR company, and when I asked about their diversity initiatives, the recruiter brushed off my question. In that moment, I realized the company didn’t support my values. On the other hand, when I asked the same question to my current employer, it was evident they valued the individuality of their employees.


 

Job hunting is scary, time-consuming, and stressful. As a first-time job hunter, consider these tips as you weigh your options. DePaul provided me with a strong education and the tools I needed to transition into the workforce. The above points will have an impact on your day-to-day happiness given you may spend 40+ hours/week immersed in the position you ultimately chose to pursue. Companies take the time to interview you, but be sure to return the favor. Good luck!

10 Unique On-Campus Job Openings at DePaul

By: Sara Frankiewicz, Student Communications Assistant, Office of Student Employment

There are a variety of different on-campus jobs DePaul has to offer that goes beyond a typical workday. Working on-campus gives students the opportunity to develop a diverse set of knowledge, skills, and abilities. Whether you’re just starting out or trying to build your existing resume, the perfect job for you might be waiting on the Campus Job Board. Here are some unique jobs that may not come to mind when about when thinking about student employment.

1. Bus Runner / Theater School

  • The Bus Runner is a member of The Theatre School and the Reskin Theatre student services staff and will work with the Group Sales Representative, Group Sales Assistants, Manager of Audience Services, and other front-of-house staff providing support services relating to the development of The Theatre School audiences.

2. Athletics Academic Assistant / Athletics Academic Advising

  • The Athletics Academic Advising office at DePaul University is looking for two to three graduate students to serve as academic assistants and tutors for DePaul University student-athletes. These two positions will work primarily with Men’s Basketball and Women’s Basketball student-athletes, but may also assist with other students and responsibilities like front desk coverage as needed.

3. Student Project Leader: Explore Your Purpose / Division of Mission and Ministry

  • The Student Project Leader for Explore Your Purpose (EYP) at DePaul will work directly with the staff project leader as well as with the EYP Core Team to assist with the coordination and oversight of logistics for all EYP initiatives. They will also serve as the project leader for any student engagement programs that are part of the EYP project. This position will help the student develop a strong sense of leadership, interpersonal skills, and encourages creativity and innovation.

4. Storytelling Assistant / Career Center

  • The Career Center is seeking a dynamic student to help collect and share the diverse stories of DePaul students and alumni. As part of the Communications Team, the storytelling assistant works closely with the director and digital media manager to write, create and curate student and alumni success stories for print and digital distribution. This position will assist with the creation of a storytelling library and digital landing page to collect and host the profiles

5. CONNECT Logistics Chair / Student Involvement

  • The Council on New and Existing Campus Traditions (CONNECT) Chair’s primary responsibilities include various signature programming efforts, including Welcome Experience Programming, Ugly Sweater Party, the Gnome Hunt, and more. The Chair will also be an active member of the CONNECT Committee, attending weekly/biweekly meetings, assist with planning and implementation, and other projects as assigned.

6. Student Mascot Performer / Athletic Department

  • The student in this role serves as one of the most visible icons of the University. They perform as and develop the character of ‘DIBS’ the mascot for DePaul Athletics. Student performers are required to represent the University with the highest integrity and professionalism. DIBS, the Blue Demon mascot, performs at over 100 events per year and is a highly visible and living version of the DePaul brand. This position requires the student to be comfortable wearing a snug-fitting costume head with limited vision. Preference for students with a height between 5’5″ and 6″ for optimum costume fit!

7. Egan Tutor / Steans Center for Community-Based Service Learning

  • The Egan tutor-mentor will work with students in Catholic and public schools to help students meet their academic goals. Egan tutor-mentors are placed in schools in under-resourced Chicago communities. Depending on the needs of the school, responsibilities may also include assisting a teacher(s) in an assigned classroom(s). Tutor-mentors may also be assigned individual students or a small group of students to provide more individualized tutoring and/or assistance with classroom assignments.

8. Student Success Coach / New Student and Family Engagement

  • The Office of New Student and Family Engagement selects approximately 25 highly driven and caring upper-class undergraduate or graduate students to serve as Student Success Coaches. Student Success Coaches will report to the Coordinator of Retention and Student Success Initiatives. Success Coaches play an integral role in supporting the transition and success of first-year students. They will facilitate structured one on one meetings to guide first-year students through thought provoking conversations. Through these meetings, goals and strategies will be established in order to maximize student’s personal and professional potential.

9. Freelance Videographer / Career Center

  • The video content creator will work with the Career Center communications team to shoot and edit videos covering a variety of subjects. These videos are used to tell career success stories and educate students about services and
    programs.

10. Student Photographer / CDM

  • The College of Computing and Digital Media is searching for student photographers to document CDM events and student life. The photographer(s) will be responsible for taking photos of CDM curricular and co-curricular events and capturing stills to be used in promotional materials, including on the CDM website, social media channels, and print.

 

Self-Care for Your Job Search

By: Jen Fleming, Education, Nonprofit & Government Career Community Advisor

The job search can be stressful. The transition process and vulnerability can bring out anxiety. Here are 5 tips for practicing self-care during the job search to ensure you don’t burn out.

1. Find a Mentor

You will have a lot of decisions to make! Mentors can help you pinpoint job opportunities and evaluate offers. They may point out things that are not even on your radar (e.g. one job offer includes great health care coverage but your other offer pays a slightly higher salary with no health coverage). Mentors can also assist with career advice and share industry specific information regarding trends or potential interview questions to impress a hiring manager. Don’t have a mentor yet? The ASK Network is a great place to find one!

2. Have Fun

Make sure you’re having fun with the experience! An upbeat attitude will help hiring managers notice your talents, passion, and drive. Get involved in volunteering or attending professional development events related to your career interests. Not only is it a great way to meet people and network within your industry but it also gives you unique topics to discuss in an interview.

3. Limit Your Time Spent Applying

Rather than spending hours on end applying to every single job you can, be strategic. Consider the types of roles you’re most interested in and qualified for and keep your focus there. The best piece of advice I ever received about the job search was a mentor telling me to limit it to 2 hours a day. This advice gave me permission to focus on other aspects of my life and stop feeling guilty about taking breaks from my search. Too much time spent on the job search can quickly lead to burn out and frustration. Set goals and boundaries on how much time you’ll focus on your job search each day.

4. Be Intentional

Self-care looks different for everyone but, it should be something that rejuvenates you (for some people it may be reading a book, listening to music, walking your dog, getting dinner with friends etc.). It’s truly individual; take some time to think about healthy self-care strategies you may already do but haven’t necessarily identified as such. If you don’t think you have any, start a list of things to try and keep track of your feelings after doing each. Choose something that you enjoy and gives you energy to keep moving forward.

5. Celebrate the Good

There will be ups and downs. Doing self-reflection after each experience can help you keep track of what you’re doing well and identify areas for improvement. Make sure to celebrate each of your wins – big and small. Maybe you made it to a final round interview and did your absolute best but didn’t end up getting the offer—celebrate your accomplishments, learn from whatever you can, and keep going!

 

The Career Center will support you in a variety of ways including connecting you with employers through networking events and job fairs as well as providing individual career advising. Many students visit us for mock interview practice, feedback on resume and cover letter writing, and to ask questions about navigating the job search process. We can also help you explore how your interests, values, skills, and personality fit into different careers.

Schedule a career advising appointment on Handshake today!