Published: January 21, 2021 by Jillian Collins
Meet SJSU graduate student career counselor, Carrie McKnight. While we have entered 2021, my interview with her in December 2020 clued me in on three crucial career center tools. With Carrie insight, it’s much easier to turn career resolutions into reality. As Carrie said to me, “My job is to advocate for you guys because you guys do such great work.”
Welcome to Your Resources
Carrie has a great grasp on getting you to a great career, partly because of the terrific resources she has at her fingertips via the SJSU Career Center. I asked her about what students should be using – and how they should be doing it.
Where to start? (The “when” part is easy: Carrie wants you to start now!) These are the top three resources Carrie recommends that the Career Center offers.
- Handshake. As an SJSU student, you may have heard of Handshake. You may have an account. But what is it? And why should you use it? Although often underutilized, it’s an incredible tool that can be more powerful than LinkedIn. Per Carrie: “Your Handshake profiles [are] important… because if you use the Handshake platform to attend any of our virtual job fairs or virtual employer relations events, or if you apply for jobs or internships over the Handshake platform,” you’ll not only know you’re connecting with employers who are hiring, but also “managers can see or view your profile.”
As Carrie pointed out, “Making sure you have an updated Handshake profile is almost like a miniature LinkedIn.” In addition, the more detail you put into your profile, the more visible you are to employers (remember these are employers and companies that have reached out to SJSU for talent). Plus, creating your account on Handshake means you’ll be alerted to upcoming career fairs, which, according to Carrie, can be an important source of career opportunities. Essentially, LinkedIn for SJSU.
- SJSU2. For Spartans, by Spartans. “…SJSU2 is our mentoring platform,” Carrie explained, noting that by utilizing SJSU2 “you could start off just connecting with alumni, maybe asking some questions and then potentially finding a mentor, which could be really important to career development.” Beyond the network you have, take advantage of the networks that were built before you.
- Focus2. What can you do with Focus2? I asked Carrie about the usefulness of this career assessment tool: “Current graduate students who kind of know what their career path is could use career assessments to help them with branding to really identify one of [their] top skills.” As you learn about you, Carrie recommends “putting that [information] into a profile, or a portfolio, or a resumé, or interviews. You know, when you sit down for an interview, they ask you about your strengths or your skills, and [career assessment information] gives you that summary that you can refer to when you’re creating your brand, or doing a job interview.” With the brand set, the Career Center also has a resumé review resource called VMock, as well as the mock interview tool, Big Interview, to help you impress at your next job interview!
The Insider’s Edge
As with so many school resources, the tools Carrie shared with me can only help you if you actively use them, which she’d love to have you do! Looking for jobs? Turn to Handshake. Building your professional connections or possibly seeking a mentor while still a student? Check out SJSU2. Not sure what your key strengths are or wondering how to showcase them in a resume or discuss them in an interview? Focus2 will help you navigate this common challenge. With VMock and Big Interview, well, you’re set.
Oh, and reaching out to Carrie? She would be happy to hear from you, so she can help you further down your career path!
Quick Jot from Jillian
When you’re job searching, any tool or connection that you put time into will pay off. Carrie and the entire team at the SJSU Career Center is trained to match graduate students like ourselves, with amazing careers. Take time to get the ball rolling with Handshake, SJSU2, and Focus2 – and all other great resources!
Oh, and make sure to keep an eye on the blog, because there is more to the story from my interview with Carrie McKnight!
Selected Career Opportunities
- Virtual Librarian. TutorMe. Part-Time Remote Position. Apply on TutorMe
- Library Operations Implementation Manager. Virtual/Remote Position. Apply on LibGig
Mark Your Calendar!
- Date: Monday, January 25, 2021
- Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (Pacific Time)
- Location: Registerhere to attend this Zoom event
- Date: Thursday, February 11, 2021
- Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (Pacific Time)
- Location: Register here to attend this Zoom event