Handshake, InterviewStream replace J-Connect

By Alex Dragone
Senior Staff Writer

The Career Center has introduced two new platforms to the Johns Hopkins Community: Handshake and InterviewStream. The center no longer uses Johns Hopkins Connect, known as J-Connect.

“We wanted to provide our students access to user-friendly technology that would support their career readiness,” Trudy Van Zee, director of the Career Center, wrote in an email to The News-Letter. “We had received many comments from students who were not satisfied with the J-Connect platform.”

The new software, Handshake, is a career service management platform marketed toward college and university career centers.

“It is built like social networking technology, allowing students to quickly and smartly connect with career resources, employers, and events,” Van Zee wrote. “You can access it 24/7 for career planning resources, send your resume for professional critique, practice interviewing using InterviewStream, apply to internships and jobs, and sign up for on-campus interviews and events.”

Unlike J-Connect, Handshake is not limited to University students and alumni. Employers can register their businesses on Handshake, allowing students and alumni, up to five years after graduation, to access a far-wider pool of potential jobs. The platform has other advantages as well.

“Unlike J-Connect, it works on any device, including your mobile devices,” wrote Van Zee. “It also incorporates newsfeeds and allows you to follow companies and other organizations for their updates. There is a career planning section that walks students through the key preparation steps and encourages proactive planning and tracking of their activities. And, with your approval, employers can find your profile by searching on their desired skills.”

Another feature of Handshake is its analytics, which will allow the Career Center to make a detailed report on the students, alumni and employers who use its services.

“It has robust reporting capabilities and by the end of the semester, we will be able to report on all student Career Center engagement,” Van Zee wrote.

The Career Center has also adopted InterviewStream. On InterviewStream people can have mock interviews with actors in pre-recorded interviews. Questions can be customized based on several different factors.

“It differs from Skype in that it is a tool for you to hone your skills, not formally interview with an employer,” Van Zee wrote. “We are in the process of identifying alumni who are interested in reviewing InterviewStream videos and giving you feedback.”

Like Handshake, InterviewStream is available on mobile platforms and is accessible 24/7.

The Career Center has introduced new “Rapid Response Appointments,” 10-minute appointments offered every weekday that aid in career competitiveness. The website states that seniors and juniors can make appointments with the Career Center on Handshake, with sophomores and freshmen having access “later in the fall.” Van Zee wrote that all students will be able to schedule appointments with the Career Center in October.

Van Zee commented that she is excited for the Career Center’s future.

“We are excited about a full lineup of workshops and events to support your career readiness including personal branding, networking, and industry education — hosted by alumni, employers, and parents,” Van Zee said.

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