The many life changes brought by COVID-19 continue to shape our future. Finding internships and quality employment is part of that ever-growing list.
Many workers have found that working at home is doable and sometimes more effective. Working through technology and communicating with potential employers is hard enough, but putting them together makes the game even more complicated.
WSU uses the application Handshake to help students find the best opportunities for them. Handshake is a virtual job board that helps connect students to employers specific to their university. But its features range beyond just job postings.
According to the WSU Handshake website, the app allows students to learn about upcoming job fairs, meet with career advisers and reach out to WSU-approved employers.
Employer and Events Specialist for Career Services Kyle Hole said the best way to use Handshake is to become familiar with it. Creating your profile will help Handshake pick jobs that specifically relate to you, while searching and applying for jobs brings up more related options.
When looking for internships or jobs, Handshake allows you to use keywords such as ‘part time’, ‘remote’ and other key terms related to your field. One big bonus of using the app is that it is all online. You can search for jobs, and contact employers and Career Service mentors all from home.
WSU was one of the first schools in Utah to adopt Handshake as its primary job posting site. Now over 1,000 schools use Handshake to connect with real employers and find students their dream job.
During the time of COVID-19, jobs and internships have started to look a little bit different. Many workers have done well with remote working, and companies may look to that in the future.
Remote working has been proven to work for many companies. Hole said that we could see a difference in how frequently companies allow their workers to work from home.
Handshake allows you to search for specific jobs that are remote right now because of the global pandemic. This could be enticing to students who wouldn’t have the means to move out of state for a internship, but could participate in a remote option for the company.
“Obviously the work environment is going to be different, especially with a lot of places working from home,” Hole said. “They have to be able to rely on you still getting all your work done, without having the structured schedule.”
Employers on Handshake are looking specifically for students. This means that you won’t have to have 10 years of experience on your resume, and companies will know that your schedule and resources could look different from other adults. Applying on Handshake gives you the advantage over applying in the regular pool.
According to The National Association of Colleges and Employers list, there are 8 critical skills students should have for career readiness. Some of these include critical thinking and problem solving, professionalism/work ethic and written and oral communication.
Good communication is now more essential than ever. Communicating takes more time.
“You can’t just mention to someone down the hall that you need something from them,” Hole said.
This distance aspect has made school and work more challenging, but companies will be looking for those who can communicate well in a remote setting.
Director of Career Services Dr. Winn Stanger said they encourage students to use the resources offered at the center as early and as often as possible. Discovering who you are and what your interests are can help lead students to a great future.
Career Services on campus offers many resources to students. Meeting with a career mentor can still be scheduled through Handshake but is done through virtual means. The Career Station is open from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. each day, virtual and in-person, where students can get hands on help with their resumes and participate in mock interviews.
Other resources are also available through the Career Service website and Handshake.