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USM Student Attains Success with Help from Career Services

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 15:13pm | By: Arlicia Jordan

Job hunting has become easier and less stressful for students at The University of Southern Mississippi because of a new resource provided by Career Services.

Launched this summer, Handshake is an online recruitment tool for current students and alumni that helps connect qualified candidates with employers looking to fill open positions and internship opportunities. Through this new software system, employers can create accounts to post jobs for students to view.

Southern Miss Gulf Park student and senior accounting major David Jones of Biloxi discovered his current internship with Coast Electric Power Association by browsing the many opportunities found on Handshake, which included paid and unpaid internships, full- and part-time employment, and work-study and on-campus positions.

“I was very impressed by how fast I had created a profile and could search for positions. The site is truly easy to use and works flawlessly,” said Jones. “I could locate, apply and upload accompanying documentation to top-pick positions rather quickly. I particularly like the ‘Favorite' feature, which allows me to keep track of certain posts for later review or follow-up.”

In addition to job search engines like Handshake, Career Services also offers a plethora of other resources such as career counseling, résumé building, cover letter writing and practice interviews.

Utilizing these bonus services, Jones reached out to Assistant Director of Career Services Jona Burton for a 30-minute prep session, which he said provided him with several key steps to make his interview a success. Because of his session with Burton, Jones said he had never been more prepared for a job interview.

“Career Services seeks to connect students with resources and opportunities to support their success. However, we also provide opportunities for students to develop their sense of self and their confidence—ingredients we know employers specifically seek out in candidates,” said Burton. “We are excited to help students develop a strong sense of their strengths and what they bring to the table so that they can effectively communicate this to potential employers and position themselves as distinct, qualified and memorable candidates.”

To learn more about resources provided by Career Services, visit or call 601.266.4153 (Hattiesburg) or 228.214.3330 (Gulf Park).