By India Pilgrim

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Students and alumni can meet virtually with Director of Vocation & Career Services Karen Mathews to discuss the next steps into their future.

Despite ongoing changes in higher education and throughout the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, students and alumni can still count on Vocation & Career Services to prepare them for future success.

The goal of the Vocation & Career Services office is to assist students in understanding their identity as it relates to the workplace, responsibilities while job searching and preparation for the transition from student to professional. The resources used to accomplish this goal are available during this time of distance learning.

Some resources offered through Vocation & Career Services include:

  • Self-branding through:
    • Resume writing
    • Cover letters
    • LinkedIn profiles
    • Interview skills
  • Personality tests to understand interests, strengths, etc.
  • Determining academic pathways that will best prepare students for future success.
  • Ensuring students are in the major that best suits their personality and interests.
  • Helping determine the kind of work experiences they will provide the greatest level of personal satisfaction and professional success.

Each of the resources serves a role in showing students and alumni how to develop habits and skills that can be utilized in their job search.

“During the shift to off-campus learning, students can access the same tools for career and major planning through Focus 2,” said Karen Mathews, director of Vocation & Career Services. “In addition, Purple Briefcase, our online job platform allows students to post their resume, search for jobs and internships, and take advantage of tutorial videos and much more.”

Those interested in making an appointment with Career Services can set up a phone interview by scheduling a time with Mathews by clicking here. There are instructions included about conducting a meeting over the phone.

Even though offices may be closed for in-person meetings, the same information and resources are still available to students and alumni through the Career Services webpage which has been recently updated to ensure students are receiving the best information and resources.

“We encourage every student to build daily habits and skillsets in researching and locating job opportunities,” said Mathews.

Students are encouraged to activate their Purple Briefcase account and spend time familiarizing themselves with the platform and its resources if they have not done so already. There is a link and instructions on the Career Services webpage along with tutorial videos in Purple Briefcase once the account is activated to help students.

One mistake students might make is slowing their job search process down during these uncertain times.

“Students should not slow down their efforts to research and apply for jobs,” said Mathews. “Internet and online processes are still working well. Be persistent. Notice what companies are currently hiring. Even if you do not secure your ideal job, you can find work and demonstrate your work ethic.”

In addition to continuing job searches, students should spend time each week working on their LinkedIn profiles, research and learn about companies they are interested in, update resumes and cover letters, practice their interview skills, identify potential references and ask for letters of recommendation and apply for positions weekly.

“Finding a job is a full-time job,” said Mathews. “This situation will not last forever.”

If students would like to contact Mathews or Career Services, email kwm@reinhardt.edu or career-services@reinhardt.edu for additional help and/or questions.