ColumbiaWorks revamped to increase student employment


Screengrab from ColumbiaWorks

The college recently announced the launch of a new software platform for its job board, ColumbiaWorks, to enhance the site and increase efficiency as students search for jobs and internships.

By Digital Content Manager

ColumbiaWorks, the college’s job board that students use to find various work opportunities, transitioned to a new software platform called Handshake on June 1 to improve student use and job searching.

ColumbiaWorks’ new features include an improved design, easier navigation, mobile availability on all devices, a single sign-on option similar to students’ OASIS accounts and a news feed that provides useful information to enhance students’ career readiness, according to Eric Wordlow, assistant director of Student Employment.

The search for a new software platform was in the works for about a year before Handshake was selected, said Christie Anderson Asif, former executive director of the Portfolio Center who will be stepping down from her position in August.

Students, internship coordinators and staff in the former Portfolio Center and Student Employment Office participated in the decision to select the Handshake software. The group, which heavily considered the student members’ feedback, decided the chosen software’s features and quality were the best among its competition, Wordlow said.

“It is important that we help students understand how important it is to start your career path and those resume-building opportunities,” Wordlow said. “Handshake will help students [more easily] find all those sorts of opportunities—everything from internships to employment.”

According to Anderson Asif, incoming students can benefit from the job board within a week of registering for classes.

“We want students to get [on the site], upload resumes, start interacting with the tools and know it’s just going to get better as we build up the features,” Anderson Asif said.

Students seeking feedback on their ColumbiaWorks profile can visit the college’s new Career Center, a “one-stop-shop” for building a brand, career advice, feedback on resumes and searching for employment.

The center is currently housed on the third floor of 623 S. Wabash Ave. Building but will announce a new location on campus in the fall. The new location will be chosen to make the center more accessible and visible for students, according to Anderson Asif.

“[Students] can make sure their profiles look professional and get an idea of what standard they should set for themselves when they graduate,” said Jennifer Maderal, communications and events associate in the Career Center.

Maderal added that the college’s job board gives students a good foundation for what they can expect when searching for a job after graduation.

“[ColumbiaWorks] is about the student experience,” Wordlow said. “We say at the Career Center, “The earlier you can get to our office, the more exposure to our programs.’ For incoming students or students that are new to Columbia, I would recommend using [the job board] to find your way. It is a way to explore careers; it is a way to gain resume-building opportunities.”