Sites offer career help, job postings for U students

>College of Continuing Ed provides help for job seekers and the confused

It’s almost graduation time, but many students who will walk the plank to the real world are still unsure of their future.

And this problem doesn’t just plague students; many current career-holders also have a hard time deciding what they really want out of a job.

The University’s College of Continuing Education is doing its part to help with the dilemma with its recent launch of CareerPath, a free, online career-management tool that does more than simply list current openings in specific fields.

It’s geared more toward figuring out exactly what to do with your life and what skills you possess, said Janet Pelto, a licensed psychologist with a master’s degree.

Pelto, a lifework consultant with the College of Continuing Education, said the free Web site operates by mapping users’ career histories and possible futures, whether they be in the same line of work or something different.

“People are often interested in changing careers, and they have to know what they’re good at, what’s important to them and what they need to do,” she said. “It’s a lot of self-reflection. It’s hard to do that yourself; this tool structures that for you and gives you a roadmap for where you’ve been and where you want to go.”

The site accomplishes this by providing “views” of a user’s career past, allowing them to look at different aspects of their backgrounds so they can figure out their skills and areas where they excel.

The five views include: a detailed career history view; a “self-knowledge” view that highlights strengths,

weaknesses and decision-making skills; a “personal network” view that lists friends and coworkers from different jobs; the past job “roles” view that showcases skills, as opposed to titles; and a “decisions” view describing why the user left a certain job, helping employers see what a job seeker is looking for.

on the web

For more information about the Careerpath tool, go to: http://www.cce.umn.edu/
careerpath

Though the site is open and available to anyone, the College of Continuing Education is promoting the online tool to adults enrolled in professional development courses at the University – classes designed for brushing up on certain areas people might not have studied in school, but need to be familiar with for their career.

Director of the Department of Continuing Professional Education Linda Halliburton said these individuals need just as much help as graduates when it comes to figuring out what’s next.

Employers who choose to work with CareerPath will have access to all profiles – anonymous or identifiable – a decision left up to the user. And because students can also view the profiles, Halliburton said the site can assist graduates who are anxious to see what people do with different degrees.

“There’s a lot of stuff out there, but you don’t always know how to get there,” Halliburton said. “Some people might have your ideal job, and you can find out how to get it.”

Journalism senior Mi Yong Kim is graduating this May and said she knows the pressure that waits around the corner.

“Finding a job is stressful because there are those token jobs that everyone advertises,” she said.

Kim said she thinks the networking aspect of finding a job might be most important.

“My degree is in journalism, and I know that brings a lot of people a lot of different places,” she said. “If I didn’t know the people I know, it’d be a lot different.”

The College of Continuing Education will hold a demo at 9 a.m. on Sat. May 19, at the Continuing Education and Conference Center at 1890 Buford Ave., St. Paul.

GoldPass Web site to expand, admit students from all university campuses

Special to the Daily

Several improvements are on the horizon for the University’s career and résumé Post and Search system.

Since its inception in February 2006, the GoldPASS Web site has handled 4,328 employers who registered and posted 7,575 job opportunities. Users have uploaded a total of 6,924 résumés and 11,779 students have accessed the GoldPASS Web site.

Becky Hall, central coordinator for career development in the department of student affairs, said the changes planned for GoldPASS include expanding the Web site from the Twin Cities campus to a systemwide reach and adding a section to publicize recruiting events on campus.

on the web

For further information about GoldPASS, contact your Career Services office. A list of offices can be found at: http://www.career.umn.edu/
goldPASSoffices.htm

The system was created to combine at least a dozen separate job-hunting systems across the University into a single source, Hall said, providing easy access for all parties involved – the University, employers and students.

The Web site was prompted by employers’ frustration with having to go through various departments to hire University students, Hall said, so the career centers worked together to create GoldPASS.

“The site has had an overwhelmingly positive response from the employment community,” she said.

The Web site has also had positive feedback from students, who find it especially helpful when their major isn’t specifically tied to one career, like English majors.

Lindsey Kaczmarski, a communication studies senior, said she has used the system and really likes it because it has “a plethora of employment opportunities.”

“Unfortunately, I’m not exactly looking for a job at the moment, but enjoy seeing what options are out there and knowing it’s there for future reference and opportunities,” she said.

When asked how GoldPASS could be improved, Kaczmarski said increasing the list of field criteria would bring up more job opportunities. The site allows both students and employers to specify what field of work they are in.

Duygu Arpinar, a communication studies senior, registered last spring for GoldPASS as a result of a career planning course.

With her May graduation approaching, Arpinar is now actively perusing GoldPASS, and said the system is easy to use.

“What I really like about it is they e-mail you with contacts,” she said. “All you have to do is go on the Web site, put in the reference number and the job comes up. That’s really helpful.”

While the system has seen a steady number of hits, many of the students interviewed were unaware that GoldPASS even existed.

Hall said once the changes are made, the University will work to more actively promote GoldPASS.

-Freelance Editor Yelena Kibasova welcomes comments at [email protected]