Maximizing Your Career Development

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the job market is constantly shifting. There is a lot of uncertainty for recent graduates and those who have been laid off or furloughed. Below are several tips from Maryville’s director of career success and professional development to help students and alumni maximize their career development.

“Maryville is here to fully support students and alumni in reaching their career goals,” said Antoinette Boyd, director of career success and professional development. “We know the job market is changing, but we want to ensure our students and alumni are prepared for those changes. Our goal is also to ensure that students and alumni continue to grow and develop themselves in preparation for their future career paths. It’s important to not lose sight of goals and to remain focused on the bigger picture.”

Find Jobs Online
Thousands of employers including Fortune 500 companies, startups and more recruit students and graduates via Handshake, Maryville’s online career platform. All Maryville students automatically have a Handshake account, free of charge. All you need to do is log into Handshake using your Maryville credentials. Alumni also have free access to Handshake and may use the link to set-up an account. Once you build a profile, you can search for fulltime jobs, part-time jobs and internships based on your major and interests. You can also get personalized job recommendations emailed to you.

Focus on Industries that are Still Hiring
Many companies are still hiring during the coronavirus pandemic, and need to fill essential roles now more than ever. There are more than 3,000 active jobs listed in Handshake, Maryville’s online career platform. And among those jobs, there are a variety of roles and opportunities available in a mix of industries. Check out this article from The Muse for 75 companies that are accepting applications right now.

Develop a Resume and Cover Letter
A resume is an important tool in searching for employment, and now is a great time to create a resume or update your existing one. Your resume should highlight relevant skills and qualifications related to a position of interest. This document provides employers a written summation of your skills and abilities. The purpose of the resume is to get you the interview. Employers scan resumes in seconds, so make it count!

Each resume you send to an employer should be accompanied by a cover letter. A cover letter is your opportunity to create a personal statement to the employer about why you would be a good fit for a particular position. Letters must be individually typed, focused on what you can offer an employer and addressed, when possible, to the correct hiring party.

Create a Personalized Email Signature
During your career search, you will probably be sending a lot of emails. You can make each email a personal billboard of your personal and professional accomplishments by adding a personalized email signature. HubSpot offers a free email signature generator tool. Make sure your personalized email signature links to your LinkedIn account, online portfolio or personal website to drive traffic to those pages. You can also add your personalized email signature to your smartphone or tablet so it appears on any emails sent from those devices.

Practice Virtual Interviewing
More and more companies are interviewing candidates virtually. This means video interviews. All Maryville students and alumni can practice mock video interviews, free of charage, via Interviewstream. All you need to do is log into Interviewstream using your Maryville credentials. There are more than 3,000 pre-recorded questions already built into the platform, or you can input your own personalized questions. Your mock video interview will be recorded and then you can watch it to assess your answers and nonverbal cues. You can also share the recordings with professors, mentors or others to request their feedback.

Conduct Career Research

A great place to begin your career research is the Student Success Hub, which is located in each student’s Canvas dashboard. The Student Success Hub contains robust information on career development. Students can explore topics from “Career Options for Your Maryville Degree” to “Preparing for an Interview” to “Negotiating a Job Offer.” Many topics include links to helpful videos, articles and podcasts as well as suggested actions to take after completing your research.

Build New Skills
If you find yourself with more free time on your hands, now is the perfect time to build new skills. The Maryville library offers many self-paced resources and trainings to build leadership skills or communication skills. Additionally, the 24/7 Library Chat is always available to address your library-related questions by sending a text to (314) 207–4747.

Network, Network, Network
You can network with professionals virtually, just like you would have networked with them in-person. Use LinkedIn to find individuals with job titles at potential employers that interest you. You can direct message these individuals with a request for a quick, 20-minute informational interview to learn more about what they do, and to discuss the challenges and satisfactions they face. After each informational interview, send a thank-you note. And then stay in touch. You can ask these individuals if they know of departments in their company or other individuals in their field who may be looking for candidates.

Set Up a Career Development Appointment
Maryville’s career success and professional development staff are available to support you remotely. Email to set up a virtual appointment. Anyone can set up an appointment, at any stage of the career search. Students can also email, call or text their individual life coach or send a message to to schedule a 1:1 Zoom call or phone call to discuss career development.

“It’s important to stay positive and focus on your goals, and not let these uncertain times deter you from anything you had already planned to do,” Boyd said. “Your career development may look a little different or may take a little longer. But focusing on your goals will give you purpose each day and help you move forward even when times are challenging.”

For more information, download the “Advance Your Career Development with Virtual Resources” guide.

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