Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Searching for a Job? Career Services is a Great Place to Start!

By Melanie Cain

Special Note: The Career Services Center is hosting its biggest event of the year, the Springfield Collegiate Career Fair, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, February 25, on the lower level of the PAC. Over 100 businesses are expected to attend.

We all know that searching for a job can be a trying task, and it’s often especially difficult for individuals entering the work force for the very first time. Luckily, UIS students have a wonderful tool right at their fingertips to assist them in their job searches -- the UIS Career Services Center.

Housed within the Division of Student Affairs, the Career Center offers a large number of services on a variety of topics. For example, students can get help selecting majors and career paths, preparing resumes, conducting job searches, contacting employers, finding internships, networking, and preparing for interviews.

Tammy Craig, interim director of the Center, feels that the most useful tool they have to offer is also one of the newer ones: Career Xplorer, an online database specifically designed for the UIS campus. This program takes a two-pronged approach, as both students and employers can use it. Students are able to post information about themselves and can also search through the various job listings. Employers are able to search student profiles, post job openings, and contact Career Services if they want to obtain a particular student’s resume. There is no charge for either students or employers to use Career Xplorer.

Two other online programs available to students are Career Search and Discover. Career Search is more of a “leads list” that allows students to search employers by industry and also geographically. Users can obtain information about a company, as well as any job openings they have and who to contact for more information about a certain job or department.

The Discover program, more useful for those just beginning college or the career search, helps students who are trying to decide what they want to do with their lives in terms of selecting a major or choosing an occupation. Discover has two basic areas, Occupational and Tips. The first allows students to search through various careers, and provides information on average salaries, related academic programs, and how to prepare for the field. One of the best features of this program is that it takes into account both the student’s work values and interests when recommending occupations. The Tips section offers advice on writing resumes, interviews, and other career-related issues.

In addition to these free online services, the Center also offers career counseling; vocational testing; assistance with resumes, cover letters, and preparing for interviews; information on job shadowing; and advice on graduate schools.

If you would like to learn more about the Career Services Center, you can email their office, call 206-6508, or visit them in SAB Room 50.

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