For Students / Alumni
CPaRC offers career-related support throughout various areas of students’ career processes. We connect on and off-campus employers to students looking for work through job/career fairs and Handshake, an online platform where you can search and apply for jobs. We also help students and alumni prepare for their future career through resume-building, cover letter and interview tips, general career counseling, and more!
You can expect career advice in a 30-minute session covering various topics of interest. Each walk-in is different depending on what the student is looking for, but we cover topics ranging from general career support to preparing for a specific job interview.
Don’t stress! Being undecided is very common. The first thing we recommend is to reach out to your academic advisor to get support and guidance, then come to CPaRC during our walk-in advising to meet with a career counselor. Take time to evaluate your interests, values, and skills. Career assessments are helpful tools that can also connect you to possible majors. Make yourself aware of the majors at UWM by visiting department websites. It would then be helpful to speak with an advisor about academic requirements and meet with a CPaRC career counselor about how majors connect to careers.
Additionally, every Fall there is an Exploring Majors Fair open to all students that CPaRC hosts. This fair is a great opportunity to meet with advisors, faculty members, and current students to discuss different majors and their career options.
Start by looking over our Resume Writing Guide for tips and examples. You can visit this link or stop in our office for a hard copy. https://uwm.edu/careerplan/wp-content/uploads/sites/73/2014/01/Resume-Packet-11-14.pdf
Then type a rough-draft resume, including any experience you have past and present. Bring a hard copy of it into CPaRC during walk-in advising and a career counselor can provide you with tips on how to format your resume and enhance the content.
Most on-campus jobs are posted on an online platform called Handshake, an online platform where you can browse and apply for on and off-campus jobs and internships. As a UWM student, you already are signed up for an account on Handshake.
Log onto Handshake, click UWM 1Log-in, and sign in using your e-panther ID and password. To activate your Handshake account build your profile with work history, education, awards, etc. We recommend being as detailed as possible on your profile, because you’re then more likely to match with jobs you’d be interested in.
Then you can browse all the positions that are posted and filter them to what you’re looking for. To find an on-campus part-time job, select those filters. If you find something you like, you can apply right on Handshake.
You’ll need a resume to apply for all on-campus jobs and most also require a cover letter. If you need to get started building a resume or cover letter, visit https://uwm.edu/careerplan/ and review the section application materials. A career counselor would be happy to meet with you to give you tips on improving them as well. Stop in to CPaRC during walk-in hours and bring a hard copy of your resume and/or cover letter.
It’s important to find an internship during your college career to build skills in your desired field. Typically, a good time to do this is your sophomore year. Our tip is – visit the Career Planning and Resource Center as soon as you can! Below are some additional tips for getting an internship relevant to your career:
- Attend CPaRC Job & Internship fairs in the fall and spring: Employers are hiring interns and part-time students – use these fairs to learn about career-related opportunities and network with employers.
- Meet with your academic advisors to learn the process for doing academic internships for class credit. Your academic advisor might also have connections to employers related to your major that you can connect with.
- NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK! Reach out to someone who has a job you are interested in and ask them to meet for an informational interview. Informational Interviews are great to hear about people’s experiences and career paths, as well as make connections in your field.
- Set up an account on Handshake. Employers post internships on this database and you can easily search for opportunities in your field.
Students and alumni should attend the career fair because it allows them the opportunity to showcase their academic, service learning or volunteer, and internship experiences. The career fairs at UWM have local and national employers that desire students and alumni from all academic majors and minors. With a great portion of the employers that recruit from UWM being alumni, there is a special connection and interest in hiring fellow graduates and students.
We recommend that you come into CPaRC during our walk-in hours to discuss your assessment results with a career counselor. They will help you find meaning in your results, determine how the results are helpful to you, and identify next steps for planning your major/career direction. Career counselors are always here to discuss your concerns and needs throughout your career exploration process, and the self-assessments are a great place to start!
Absolutely! Handshake, Big Interview, and any online resources are always available for UWM alumni to use. All of our fairs are also open to alumni, with the exception of the part-time fair in the fall.
We also allow alumni to have one-on-one walk-ins and appointments with a career counselor depending on the number of years since graduation. Please see our official policy below. If you or the career counselor you work with feels like you might need more than the number of visits you’re allowed, you will need approval from the director.
|Number of Years Since Graduation||Number of Visits per Year|
|0 – 1 Years||6|
|1 – 2 Years||5|
|2 – 3 Years||4|
|3 – 4 Years||3|
|4 – 5 Years||2|
|5 – 6 Years||1|
To properly verify new employers, CPaRC takes about 2-3 business days to approve all Handshake account registrations and job postings.
We offer several recruitment options for employers:
- The first step is utilizing Handshake, our online service where employers may post their job listings to be seen directly by our students after administrative approval. This site is available to all UWM current students and alumni. To learn how to register and make successful job postings please visit: https://uwm.edu/careerplan/students-2/jobs-internships/pantherjobs/
- Tabling Sessions on campus are a free opportunity we offer to employers with approved registrations and at least one job posting on Handshake. To learn more about this opportunity please visit: https://uwm.edu/careerplan/employers-2/off-campus-employers/on-campus-recruiting/
- Job and Career Fairs are a great way for on and off campus employers to connect with our diverse student body. These events both help to promote the company and greatly increase their exposure to our students. Employers benefit from having hundreds of talented students present in one area and interested in learning more about a company’s mission and opportunities. To learn more about participating in a Job or Career Fair please visit: https://uwm.edu/careerplan/employers-2/off-campus-employers/careerfairs/
- Our Employer Partner Program offers the most opportunity for employers to connect with our students. This program allows employers to connect with our students through social media promotions, target emails, career/job fair participation, and more. There are various levels of packages available for employers to choose from to best suite theirs needs.
Employers benefit from attending job and career fairs by increasing their brand’s exposure on campus to a diverse student body. Hundreds of students attend these fairs prepared to learn more about companies; providing employers the ability to get a sense of a student’s talent and professionalism in-person rather than just on paper. This is a great opportunity for filling internship, part-time job, and full-time job positions as all our alumni are welcome at career fairs as well.
CPaRC has developed a Job Shadow Program compromised of employers volunteering their time for informational interviewing, on-campus interviewing/resume reviewing, and/or on-site shadowing opportunities for students. These programs help to guide students in their career while also increasing a company’s brand presence at UWM. To learn more please visit: https://uwm.edu/careerplan/employers-2/get-involved-at-uwm/job-shadow-program/
For Family / Friends
Short answer: No. Handshake is designed specifically for UWM students and alumni for them to create their own profiles and apply for on and off-campus jobs. Your student automatically has an account – so we suggest you help guide your student with creating their profile. It’s important for them to take ownership of the process, but you certainly can help them!
As soon as possible! We recommend students visit us at least once every semester, twice would be preferable. Students should come a few weeks before they pick classes for the next semester to make sure they’re on the right track. Even if students do not know exactly what they’re looking for when they come in, career counselors can help gauge where the student is at and guide them towards good career-related activities. When students visit CPaRC early and often, they are setting themselves up to be more marketable, competitive, and confident in their career path.
We recommend visiting a CPaRC career counselor to help with your search, fine tune your resume, and practice interviewing skills as well as meeting with your academic advisor about getting credit for your internship. Listed below are some online resources we suggest:
According to our 2016-2017 graduate survey, within 6 months of graduation 72% of students were employed full-time, 11.7% of students were going to graduate school or the military, and 12% of students were employed part-time. This means that fewer than 5% of the graduating class had not yet moved into their First Destination. You can see more of UWM’s graduate data here: https://uwm.edu/careerplan/about/uwm-graduate-data/
Employers normally seek students for internships starting sophomore year. After you have just completed your freshman year, it is a good time to visit the CPaRC to learn about and prepare for career-ready skills employers seek from all majors, internship opportunities, and requirements available for sophomore students and beyond.
Recommendations for after your freshman year:
- Meet with a career advisor/counselor at CPaRC to help with identifying interest’s area and employers
- Attend CPaRC job & internship fair in the fall and spring for all majors
- Networking and Informational Interviewing
- Get a summer job. Summer jobs not necessarily career-related can also help you build skills that will make you more desirable for future internships and employers. Here are the skills National Association of College Employers reports as most important to employers from all majors:
- Ability to work in a team.
- Communication skills (written)
- Problem-solving skills.
- Strong work ethic.
- Analytical/Quantitative skills.
- Technical skills.
- Communication skills (verbal)
These are the types of professional skills you can build at any summer job. Make sure you keep a list of skills you learn throughout the summer and continue to add new ones as you gain more experience. This will add substance to your resume for when you do start looking for internships.