Beginner’s Guide to Using GoldPASS Powered by Handshake, Part 1

By: Kendra

What is GoldPASS powered by Handshake?
GoldPASS, Handshake, or GoldPASS powered by Handshake are some of the different names you might have heard before. Regardless of the name you might have heard, the system is the same. GoldPASS is an online platform that connects students and alumni from any of the five University of Minnesota campuses with jobs, internships, and employers. One can find full- or part-time positions, summer jobs, internships, or volunteer opportunities by using GoldPASS. The reason behind the different names is because many different universities and colleges across the United States use the system, which is Handshake, for employers to post opportunities. GoldPASS is just the name that the University of Minnesota chose to distinguish our Handshake platform from others. 

Why use GoldPASS?
Based on my previous explanation, you might be thinking that GoldPASS sounds very similar to LinkedIn … so why use it? The best part about GoldPASS is that employers who post their opportunities in the system are specifically seeking University of Minnesota graduates, as GoldPASS is only for University of Minnesota graduates and alumni. If this weren’t true, they would not bother with GoldPASS and they would just post on LinkedIn or similar sites. This is not to say that you shouldn’t use LinkedIn, because that is a great resource, too. GoldPASS, however, is just for us, which I think is pretty cool. Also, GoldPASS is a smaller platform than LinkedIn or other job posting sites, which means less people will be vying for the same opportunities. 

image: desktop with notebook, computer keyboard, and coffee cup
text: beginner's guide to GoldPASS powered by Handshake

What can GoldPASS do for me? 
Upon completing your profile on GoldPASS, the possibilities are endless. One can see job postings that are curated just for them, events that might be coming up on any of the five campuses, and more. One of my favorite aspects about GoldPASS is users have the option to have their profile private or public. A personal example: When I was in the process of completing my profile, I had it private so employers and other students would not be able to see it until I was finished. This was nice because it allowed me to perfect everything before others were able to see any of it. Then, when I was ready, I made my profile public. This allowed different companies to seek students based on their available jobs and reach out to them. In fact, I have had companies reaching out to me about their positions because my education and skills aligned with what they were looking for. So, while GoldPASS is for students to connect with and find employers that interest them, it is also useful for employers to find future employees.

Where should I start? 
The first thing one should do when starting to use GoldPASS is login and start completing their profile. To login, click on this link: https://app.joinhandshake.com/login. Upon logging in for the first time, users will be prompted to complete their profile as shown below:

Sign in screen for GoldPASS

To have a complete profile, one will need to enter their education information (ie. which campus they are attending, their majors/minors, and expected graduation date), their interests, work and volunteer experience, skills, and more. I think of my profile as a super in-depth resume, because it holds the same purpose as a resume does: to give a viewer a snapshot of what I have done to make myself applicable for the opportunities I am interested in. This process can take some time, especially when done thoroughly and with detail. The great part about this is that users have the option to make their profiles private, which I recommend doing until your profile is complete, or as complete as possible. Here is a snapshot of my GoldPASS profile:

Kendra profile on GoldPASS

As you can see, my profile is only 85% complete, which is entirely okay. I do not have certain areas of my profile added simply because I do not have information to add to them, which, again, is okay. Fill your profile with the information you do have. As you move along in life, you will gain more and more experiences, skills, and information you can add to your profile. Another item that can be added to your profile is your resume. When a resume is uploaded, it must be approved before you can begin applying for opportunities. We want resumes to be approved just so we can make sure they are great before employers get to see them. If you are in need of a resume review, stop by Solon Campus Center 22 and a peer educator would love to help you out. After uploading a resume, you are all set to start searching for and applying for opportunities, which I will dive into in my next post. 

Stay tuned for a second part to this GoldPASS powered by Handshake Guide, where I will go into more detail about how to use the system. If you need any assistance with your GoldPASS account, please don’t hesitate to stop by our office at Solon Campus Center 22 and we would be happy to help. 

Best, Kendra

Of Possible Interest:
GoldPASS powered by Handshake
Internships; Job Search – all our blog posts on the topics
Ace the Job Search – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Kendra’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Lukas Blazek

The Grass Isn’t Always Greener, But You Should Check Anyway

By: Kirsi

image: green grass growing
Text: the grass isn't always greener, but you should check anyway

I thought I had my post-college life figured out. This summer I received a verbal job offer, determined a location to work, and established a network of friendly coworkers. For seven internship/Co-Op tours, I got to know this job site and found work there that best fit my interests. Out of nowhere I was contacted by a different center of the same organization. They offered a similar job position in an extremely different environment and work culture. I have made a binding offer acceptance with one of these two jobs! Here is how I worked through my dilemma: 

basket of pens and pencils with one pencil on table beside basket.

This basket of writing utensils is all possible jobs I can pick from. The pencil is the first job offer I received at the place I am most familiar with. The pencil is sturdy, predictable, and perfectly fine. I am so happy with the pencil I found I do not feel the need to try any of the other writing utensils.

Basket of pens and pencils with a pen and pencil on table beside the basket.

Out of the blue, a multicolor retractable pen gets chucked at my face. Unexpectedly, I experienced an “ooh something shiny” moment. This pen is the coolest and I can’t believe I was happy with a pencil. Suddenly the new opportunity seemed to be the best opportunity – but I wasn’t sure why and if that was true.

My Worries

  • Was the appeal of my well known option only more attractive because it was a safe? I was not sure if this was true or not, but I was aware familiarity can be a fallacy while determining what is best.
  • FOMO (fear of missing out) – I wanted to be sure I chose to work where I would be useful and where there were the most projects.
  • Will I enjoy life outside of work at xyz location?
  • Will where I work value me and assign me projects beyond busy work?

How I Explored The Options

  • I talked to trusted advisors and mentors about what my options were and what questions I should ask each job site.
  • I evaluated my values I want to practice at work, in personal life, and hobbies.
  • I imagined in more detail what my day to day would look like at each job.

and most importantly….

  • I interviewed and toured onsite at the new job offer. 

Touring the site of the new job offer was invaluable. Every worry, preconceived notion, rumor, and assumption melted away. I felt I gathered enough information to feel confident about making a decision. I walked around the location, drove around the area, tried food nearby, shopped in a grocery store nearby, and spoke with prospective supervisors and team members.

After a lot of thought, reflection, and advisement I accepted the first job site’s offer. Ultimately, I made this choice because I found the work at the first job site most interesting. I feel self-assured that the decision I made was truly mine and not influenced by anyone or force with bias.

Of Possible Interest
UMD Health Services & Career & Internship Services – chatting with a mental health or career counselor can be a great way to help with the decision-making process
The Basics of Salary Negotiation
How to Turn Down a Job Offer

Read Kirsi’s other posts

Photo Sources: Unsplash | Chang Qing & Kirsi

Questions You Can Ask After an Interview That are Actually Good

By: Kirsi

The hardest part of an interview may be the dreaded, “Do you have any questions?” Interviewees may use this question to learn logistical information like; “when can I expect to hear from you?” Beyond logistical questions an interviewee can use questions to determine if an organization is a good fit. Turn the tables, the organization can now be interviewed about their qualifications.

student talking with recruiter at job fair
Kirsi chatting with an employer at the E-Fest Job & Internship Fair.

Questions To Ask About The Supervisor
What is your supervisor style?
Are you hands off? Their answer could allude to their check in/ monitoring frequency.
Do you like to stay involved with projects? Watch for warning signs of micromanagement.
What got you interested in the organization/ position?
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
What do you find valuable in your work here?

Questions To Ask About Your Position
What are the duties day to day for this position?
What are some projects employees completed in this position?
What is the workload of this position?
Why is there an opening in this position? What is the turnover? This may help identify red flags about unrealistic expectations by the employer.
What does it take to be successful at this position?
Why is this position important for your company? Could help you determine if you help advance company goals or if it is simply busy work.

Questions About The Workplace
What is the environment/ work culture like at xyz organization?
Is overtime expected/ the norm for employees?
How is life balance/ work+life balance achieved here?
Does this organization feel more like a government, private industry, academic, or startup setting?  
Do employees feel tied to the organization’s missions and feel fulfilled by their contributions?  
Is the work pace slow enough/ fast enough?  

Of Possible Interest:
Interviewing – all our blog posts on the topic
Interview Like a Pro – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

The Power in Connections

By: Amanda

During the job and internship search it is common for students to feel apprehensive when tapping into their network of connections. Oftentimes, students do not even take time to step back and evaluate who is all in their network they should reach out to. Today I will cover a few ways I have taken advantage of my network and hopefully inspire you with a few ways to use yours.

Image: sunset time with light trails over boxes
Text: The power of connections

LINKEDIN – THE ALUMNI FEATURE

When I am looking for potential networks or connections, I start with LinkedIn. A solid starting point is to search your university in the search bar. More often than not, alumni are willing to answer messages with questions about their current role and company. After pulling up the University of Minnesota Duluth page, I was able to select filters based on my interests. For example, one filter I selected was alumni who live in the Chicago area and are working in Marketing and Sales based fields. From this point, I was able to narrow my search down to 92 alumni. LinkedIn offers six filters (where they live, where they work, what they do, what they studied, skills they have, and how you’re connected) that can help the search be narrowed quickly and easily. 

Screenshot of LinkedIn Alumni Feature

Once I have found an alum who I want to reach out to about their position/company, I send an invitation to connect with a personalized message that includes the following:

Hi Sam,

I noticed that you are a UMD alumni working at Johnson & Johnson. I am currently a junior at UMD majoring in Sales and Marketing. I am interested in applying for their Sales internship opportunities for this summer. I am wondering if you have any recommendations for applying to the company? Additionally, if you could provide any insight on what it is like working for J & J and the company culture overall, that would be greatly appreciated!

Respectfully, Amanda

Remember, when connecting with anyone on LinkedIn, always send a personalized message! This shows that you are willing to go above and beyond to take initiative and build a relationship. You never know when your connection will be useful. 

STUDENT GROUPS

Take a look at the student groups you are apart of. Chances are, there are either current individuals or alumni who can point you in the right direction. From Greek Life and clubs of interest, to clubs based on a major, there are many connections to be had in each. Try reaching out to members who have been in your org for a long period of time, they will have ideas on who to reach out to. 

In conclusion, in order to set yourself apart when searching for jobs and internships, it is crucial to look at your current connections, as well as branch out to network with others to get the most out of your search. Take some time this Fall to really tap into your network and make the most of your opportunities! 

Of Possible Interest:
Networking – all our blog posts on the topic
Key to Networking – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Amanda’s other posts

Photo source: Unsplash | Federico Beccari

Phone Interviews: My First Impression

By: Paying

I have recently been applying for summer internships for the Twin Cities while I’m in Duluth and was contacted for an interview. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make a trip down for the times that were listed so they offered me a phone interview which I have NEVER done before. For this blog post, I will be sharing my first impression getting interviewed over the phone and some advice for those of you who may want help preparing for it!

Before the Phone Interview
Our office actually has a blog post of how to prepare for a phone interview so go check it out for more in depth advice! For me, I was told the interview would be about 30 minutes to an hour long so I decided to book a study room in the Library so I wouldn’t be interrupted. Make sure to find a private and quiet spot before your interview begins and double check that your phone is fully charged!

Besides that, I also did research beforehand and looked up information through our Pinterest board for simple tips and tricks of how to handle a phone interview compared to an in-person interview. If not being able to see your interviewer is an issue, don’t be afraid to request for a video call!

Image: black and silver table rotary phone
Text: Phone interview tips

During the Phone Interview
One thing I did not expect for my phone interview was for there to be multiple interviewers on speaker! The room echoed a bit and one of the voices was further away from the phone which caused it to not be as clear. It’s okay to ask for clarification on questions!

Since everything is done through the phone, be sure to pronounce your words clearly! Talk in a bold voice as if they were right in front of you. A good tip for this is to stand up and keep a smile on your face so you don’t sound slouched or mumbled.

Usually when I am told something or is asked a long question, I nod and say “Mhm” to show that I am being attentive and that I understand. However, it is quite different in a phone interview and threw both me and the interviewers off multiple times. Since I was on speaker, it sounded as if I was interrupting to ask a question so I had to adjust and not say anything until they were done speaking. Expect to adapt to the situation!

After the Phone Interview
As for any other interview, send a thank you email! Thank them for their time and address any other questions, comments, or concerns you or the interviewers may have had. After that, be prepared to be patient and wait for them to finish interviewing the others.

Now that you know what to expect for a phone interview, be prepared and be confident! Good luck!

Of Possible Interest:
Interviewing – all our blog posts on the topic
Interview Like a Pro – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Paying’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Pawel Czerwinski

The Ins and Outs of LinkedIn as a Student

By: Heidi

As a business student who is in the stage of actively job seeking, using LinkedIn seems like an everyday occurrence for me at this point. After having conversations with friends and colleagues about how I use the website as a student, I wanted to share some of my personal favorite tips I have acquired over the years.

When to connect with people
There are several occasions when it would be beneficial to connect with someone on LinkedIn. Different examples consist of after a Job Fair, after meeting at a Tabling Event, post Informational Interview, as well as connecting with your Professors. When you do connect with someone who either has a professional career or is a Professor of yours, I challenge you to send a personalized note when connecting with them, which can only be done when sending an invitation on your computer.

Image: looking down on white wood desk with iphone, mac laptop keyboard, and cup of coffee
Text: The ins and outs of LinkedIn as a student.

What type of message to send
When sending a message on LinkedIn, the type of message you send depends on if you’re currently connected or if its a new connection you’re adding. If you’re sending a message to someone you want to connect with, it’s important to note that you’re limited on the number of characters you can send. Typically, when I send out a message to recruiters after a job fair or someone to conduct an informational interview the message starts out like this:

Message after a Job Fair:

Hi Candace,

It was so nice to meet a fellow Bulldog at the job fair on Friday. I loved getting to learn more about the position and how you have the capability of working on your own projects and meet with clients of fortune 500 companies. Thank you so much for answering all of the questions I had. Looking forward to keeping in touch.

Thanks, Heidi

And because of the character limit it typically gets cut down to something like this:

Hi Jordan,

It was so nice to meet a fellow Bulldog at the job fair on Friday. Thank you for answering all of the questions I had. Looking forward to keeping in touch!

Thanks, Heidi

Message to a Recruiter for a position you’re interested in:

Hi Olivia,

My name is Heidi and I’m currently a senior studying at the University of Minnesota Duluth. I’m interested in relocating to Nashville once I graduate in May and I’m extremely interested in working for The Creative Group. I was hoping I could learn more from you or point me in the right direction of who I could talk with for an internal position.

Best, Heidi

After Revision:

Hi Olivia,

My name is Heidi and I’m currently a senior at UMD. I’m extremely interested in working for The Creative Group in Nashville. I was hoping I could learn more from you or if you could point me in the right direction of whom to speak with about an internal position.

Best, Heidi

Perks of LinkedIn Premium
Having a Premium account isn’t essentially necessary to have if you’re not actively seeking employment. I personally chose to save my free month of premium until second semester of my Senior year when I knew I was ready to get serious about applying to jobs. Different perks I have learned about after having my Premium account are:

Having access to insights for a job you’re looking to apply to. As long as there are 10 applicants, you can see how your skills compare against other candidates, the seniority level of different applicants, as well as different companies and schools they’ve hired from.

If there is a recruiter attached to the job you’re applying to, after hitting the bottom to “apply” through LinkedIn, your profile gets shared with that recruiter which is a great way to get a set of eyes on your profile fast!

To follow that, when you apply to a position through LinkedIn, you get notified when you application was viewed and when it was last seen. This can be a helpful tool when deciding if you need to reach out to recruiters if you’re concerned about not hearing back.

Use Your Connection’s Connections
Before you think you’d be creepy for doing this, remember the purpose of LinkedIn is to network! You can go to a Professor’s page or previous colleague and view their connections. It’s helpful too to narrow it down if you’re looking for a job at a certain company or a city you’re interested in relocating to. There is a LinkedIn feature where you can request that your connection introduces you or you can reach out over email and explain your situation.  

Of Possible Interest:
Social Media & Digital Identity – all our blog posts on the topic
The Student Job Hunting Handbook series on LinkedIn
Social Media & Digital Identity – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Heidi’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Alexander Mils

Tips on Marketing Yourself From a Marketing Student

By: Amanda

Marketing is for everyone. Yes, you read that right. It does not matter whether you are a civil engineering student, or in the early childhood education program, it is important to recognize what you bring to the table when applying for jobs and internships. So often the idea of “selling/marketing yourself” comes with a negative, inauthentic connotation. I’m here today to bust that myth.

WHAT DOES MARKETING YOURSELF MEAN?
Marketing yourself is the idea of identifying your niche. As a college student, it is vital to identify why employers should want you over another applicant. Marketing yourself means identifying your interests. For example, if you are interested in the outdoors, perhaps this could lead to sustainability. It also means looking at what skills you have and which you can improve upon. You might consider making a list of skills and how you can apply them to the workplace. Some example skills would include: public speaking, time management, organization, or teamwork.

CREATING A PERSONAL BRAND
Creating a personal brand means understanding your strengths, values and most importantly, what you uniquely bring to the table that other candidates may not have. For example, if you are a political science major with interests in sustainability and values of inclusiveness and empathy, you can find ways to build these into your brand. The Career and Internship Services Office offers three different assessments that can help in finding your strengths and personality, as well as interests. Once you have the content for your personal brand, put it to life in your LinkedIn profile, Resume, Cover Letter, social media platforms and your life as a whole. If you live out your values and what makes you unique, it will shine through in your job search process.

Image: color confetti on ground
Text: Tips on marketing yourself from a marketing student

MARKETING YOURSELF ON YOUR RESUME
When crafting a resume it is important to realize your paid work experience is not the only relevant experience to highlight. Club positions and volunteer work can show ample amounts about who you are as a person. Consider putting your most relevant information, regardless of if it is paid work experience, at the top of your resume. Here is an example of a volunteer position resume section:

Tour Guide, Office of Admissions, UMD, Duluth, MN, Aug 2018 – Jan 2019

  • Promoted the benefits of campus to parents and students
  • Attended diversity training and display awareness during interactions with prospective students
  • Developed public speaking skills by speaking in front of groups ranging from 6 to 20 guests

This resume section, although unpaid, shows a passion for public speaking and an interest in promoting diversity.

MARKETING YOURSELF ON A COVER LETTER
Crafting a cover letter is also a prime opportunity to market yourself.  Take this opportunity to go above and beyond and showcase your personality. Try to find out the name of the person at the company that the letter should be addressed to. Describe your potential value to the employer. Do this in such a way that focuses on what sets you apart from other applicants. Maybe you were President of a college club that relates directly to the type of work you would be doing, or maybe growing up you always had a passion for the company you are applying at. These seemingly small concepts can help you go from an average job candidate to securing an interview.

MARKETING YOURSELF ON LINKEDIN
The first step to marketing yourself on LinkedIn is to make sure that your profile is fully completed. That means the summary, education, experience, profile photo, and all other areas are polished. After this is complete, go on to engage. Share and like posts that are a good representation of yourself. Always post online like the CEO of your company is going to see the post.

Of Possible Interest:
Resumes & Cover Letters – all our blog posts on the topic
Ace the Job Search & Internships – our Pinterest boards filled with articles & resources

Read Amanda’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Chris Barbalis