Use Your Time Wisely

By: Kendra

Typically, us college students are extremely busy with classes, working, being involved, and schoolwork that it seems like we don’t have any spare time. In adjusting to our new ‘normal’, I have found myself having free time that I just don’t know how to fill. I am sure many others are feeling this way, too, so I decided to come up with a few tasks you can do to productively spend your free time. 

Complete your profile in GoldPASS powered by Handshake.
If you are unfamiliar, GoldPASS is the University of Minnesota system’s online platform for connecting students and employers. Students are able to search for jobs and internships, connect with employers and other students, as well as learn more about recruiting events going on across the system in GoldPASS. Having your profile updated and complete is important because it allows employers to find and reach out to you. See “The Three Must-Haves on Your Handshake Profile” to learn more about completing your profile. Additionally, I have written a two-part guide to using GoldPASS powered by Handshake (Part 1 & Part 2). Our Employer Relations team would be more than happy to help you with any GoldPASS related questions and can be reached via email at

image: notebooks laid out on white background
Text: Use your time wisely. Complete profile on GoldPASS powered by Handshake. Research companies. Practice interview skills. Update resume.

Use this time to get ahead on researching companies.
This will help guide you in your future searches for an internship and/or a job after graduation. There are a few different resources that can help you research companies: 

  • GoldPASS powered by Handshake: Once your profile is complete, use GoldPASS powered by Handshake to see companies that have recruited at UMD in the past. In GoldPASS, you are able to see employers who have attended career fairs in the past by including past fairs in an event search. You can also search for jobs and internships on this platform. If you see a position that interests you, look further into that company to learn more about it. 
  • Internship Data: Many students at UMD participate in internships each year. We have compiled data from the past two years that shows where students of certain majors interned. Here is the 2017-2018 academic year internship data, and here is the data for the 2018-2019 academic year. Research these companies to learn more about the work that they do to see if it seems interesting to you. 
  • Graduate Follow-Up Report: The Graduate Follow-Up Report is an annual document our office creates to show where our students end up after graduation. It includes information on where students were employed after graduation, where students continued their education, and more. This information is so valuable! 
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a platform that allows you to create a professional network, search for positions, and showcase yourself. By first creating your profile and completing it, you will be able to connect with professionals to begin networking. You will be able to connect with other students at UMD, as well as alumni, to see where they are currently employed. 
  • Google: While the remainder of the resources I listed were ways to see where other UMD students landed positions, don’t feel limited to only those companies. Conducting a Google search can be quite overwhelming, which is why I think it is best to start out by using some of the resources I listed previously. Take what you have learned from that research to Google to find even more companies that might interest you. 

For example, say I, an accounting major, am researching the companies where previous accounting majors have interned. I am learning more about those organizations and find that the ones that most interest me are all public accounting firms. I take this knowledge to Google to find more public accounting firms, as well as to learn more about them in general. This method of learning more about companies and their industries can be applied to any major, too, not just accounting. 

You can take your research to the next level, too. If you find a company you are really excited about, find a contact and reach out to them! Scheduling an informational interview, or just a time to chat with a representative of a company can be extremely beneficial in learning about the company, as well as opportunities within it. If you are looking for advice on how to contact companies, what to say, etc., our Career Handbook has some excellent information. Additionally, our career counselors would be more than happy to help. You can get in touch with them by emailing or calling 218-726-7985 to schedule an appointment.

Practice your interview skills.
As a student at UMD, you have access to InterviewStream, which is a wonderful resource that allows you to do this. InterviewStream is a website that allows you to conduct practice interviews, record them, and watch them later. You are able to customize your interview by selecting questions that relate to the type of interview you want to practice. You can also record your practice interviews to watch later, which will help your future performance in interviews. This is an excellent way for you to practice interviewing without anything being on the line, so I highly recommend taking advantage of it. 

Update your resume.
Using our Career Handbook, you can refine your resume or create one if you haven’t already. In our handbook, you will find a guide for creating resumes, example resumes, and more that will help you create your document. Once you’ve updated your resume, upload it to GoldPASS so that employers can view it. If you would like to have your resume reviewed, just following the submission instructions on our website

I hope this inspires you and gives you a few ideas of how to fill your time. As always, the staff in Career & Internship Services is always available to answer any questions you might have, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

Of Possible Interest:
Internships; Job Search – all our blog posts on the topic
Ace the Job Search; Turn Your Major Into a Career – our Pinterest boards filled with articles & resources

Read Kendra’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Plush Design Studio

Searching for Your Perfect Match

By: Andrew

First and foremost here, Happy Valentine’s Day! No, this is not an article about finding love on Valentine’s Day (here’s one if that’s what you thought you had found: Finding Love), but it is a blog post geared towards guiding you in the right direction in your job search and at job fairs.

Next week (Feb 22nd) the University of Minnesota campuses are hosting the U of M Job & Internship Fair from 10am to 4pm at the Minneapolis Convention Center. This would be an ideal opportunity for you to connect with many employers in one concentrated area. Before you attend the Job Fair it would be diligent of you to research the organizations that will be attending it.

HOL empty tables

Allow me to explain some reasons why knowing what organizations will be at the Job Fair ahead of time is important to you.

1. It’s Responsible:
Knowing what is going on feels a lot better than looking around in complete amazement to the maze of a Job Fair you have just stepped into. You are doing yourself a great favor by knowing what companies will be there ahead of time, so all you have to do is look at your map and seek them out.

2. It’s Respectful:
Your time is important, so is the time of your peers and the employers. You look lost and uninformed when you do not know what companies are all about at the Job Fair because you are wasting their time. Companies are meeting dozens of people, probably more, at the Job Fair so you need to save time by avoiding asking questions such as:

  • What does your company do?
  • What open positions do you have?

Instead, say something like this, “I saw you were taking applications for _______ position. I have (or plan on applying) applied online for the position and am wondering if I can leave a copy of my résumé with you.” This will not only show that you are being very proactive, but it will also show that you are conscious of their time and your peers (a great quality to have).

3. It Sets You Apart:
This goes with being responsible I would say, but has a different twist to it. Recruiters do not just attend the U of M Job Fair, they attend many Fairs each year, so they see through your lack of preparation or they DO see how much time and preparation that you put in. It is one thing to wander over to Thomson Reuters’ booth, but it is impressive to recruiters if you have a direct and assertive approach to stepping up to their booth.

4. You Find Better Opportunities:
Since the theme of continuing the previous reason is working here, I will keep rolling with it! When you understand the opportunities that are at the Job Fair and where those companies are located at it gives you a much more relaxed and confident feeling. Being relaxed and confident is fairly easy to convey when speaking to recruiters, so make sure to be prepared and bring your confidence. Recruiters have a way of weeding out candidates early, so making that confident first impression is important to your success.

With the Job Fair being only 8 days away, check out the list of U of M Job Fair Organizations. Understand what the companies you want to speak with are all about and remember that how much time you put in now will be similar to what you get out of the Job Fair!

What else do you do to prepare and research for job fairs? Comment below and let me know (that goes for the Valentine’s Day article too)!

Of Possible Interest: 

Read Andrew’s other posts