Illustration by Charlotte Chen
Washington University has implemented two new career-centered softwares, Handshake and VMockfor students to use this fall.
Handshake provides students with listings for internships and jobs, company-hosted information sessions, and other career opportunities. VMock, on the other hand, is an AI software that gives feedback on resumes based on data collected from reputable employers and professionals.
Both platforms are designed to be used by students of all disciplines, but VMock is currently used exclusively by students of the Olin School of Business. According to Madison Muschinske, industry and corporate event specialist at the Weston Career Center, the University plans for Handshake to be widely used by students across the schools.
“Handshake is the University’s primary job posting platform,” Muschinske said. She detailed that students can use the website to find internships, job postings, and on-campus employment; sign up for career center events; and connect with employers.
Muschinske explained that while the school previously relied on Careerlink, another career-focused software, they changed to Handshake as it provides more opportunities for students.
For instance, Handshake already has 2,500 employers recruiting WashU students through the platform, and this number is expected to increase.
“We make sure there’s no red flags as far as scams or phishing or anything like that,” Muschinske said. “We’re targeting companies that students are generally interested in, and we look for opportunities with companies that tend to hire our students.”
Muschinske said it’s important that students engage with Handshake.
“As far as Handshake goes, I strongly encourage students to set up their account and take some time to really explore,” she said. “There are tons and tons of opportunities and events and ways to discover new companies within the system. If used correctly, it can really help in their career journey.”
BSBA career coach Danny Kim said that VMock will help students create a top-tier resume.
“It will beautifully and magically transform the resume into the golden standard that we like to use for applications,” he said. “When you upload that resume, it will change the formatting and consistency of it, but it will also give you specific feedback.”
Kim said while VMock is only for Olin students now, there’s a possibility of other schools using it in the future.
The feedback specifically addresses how to make resumes more action oriented, specific, and easier to follow. Sentences throughout the resume are highlighted in green, yellow, or red, indicating how the AI views it.
Kim said MBA students have been using VMock for quite some time now, while undergraduates at Olin were still using an application called Optimal Resume. However, after both students and staff reported feedback that Optimal Resume was difficult to use, Olin made the switch to VMock.
“VMock has enhanced capabilities and is a better resource for students, so after evaluation, we chose to use VMock as one of the key tools students can access,” Kim said.
The career coaching team at Olin is introducing VMock to students who take MGT 201, generally sophomores, but it is open to all students of the business school.
According to Kim, VMock is designed to help students create a resume that is more appealing to companies, with the added bonus of not necessarily having to meet with a career coach.
“It has reduced the number of resume reviews we need to do with our students, which makes more space for students who want to talk about things like creating a target company list or learning how to interview,” he said. “It’s shifted a lot of the load of the career coaches so that they can serve students who want to talk about other things that are more pressing.”
For more information about how to navigate Handshake and VMock, contact the Career Center or Olin’s Weston Career Center.