UTD phases out Comet Careers for new platform

Handshake aims to improve links between students and employers. Photo courtesy of Career Center.

The website formerly known as Comet Careers has been revamped and is now called Handshake, a new career services platform that provides the ability to book Career Center appointments, view personalized job listings and register for career fairs.

Clint McClain, the Career Center’s technology and marketing coordinator, said Handshake is similar to the former Comet Careers platform but is more user-friendly and easier to navigate for both employers and students. All students have access to Handshake with their NetID and password and can create a profile that includes course listings, work experience and external social media networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Students have the option to make their profile public or private depending on their needs.

“It’s like a one-stop shop for all their career services needs and it’s a really intuitive platform that makes it a lot easier for them,” McClain said.

Students can now schedule appointments and consultations with career counselors through Handshake instead of having to call the Career Center front desk or arrange the appointment through both email and Comet Careers. Listed jobs are now catered to students according to their major, school and location preference rather than displaying a list of all the current jobs offered at once.

McClain said the staff at the Career Center received multiple complaints about Comet Careers from students such as slow internship application processing and job offers that were irrelevant to students. He said this was likely due to the jobs mostly being catered towards students in larger schools such as the School of Engineering and Computer Science or the School of Management.

“That was probably the biggest downfall. We saw a lot of students that either didn’t know about the Career Center or just wouldn’t come to the Career Center because they felt we didn’t have anything to offer them,” McClain said. “But as I mention with more employers coming to the system because it’s easier, we’re seeing that there’s more types of jobs in there focusing on these other majors.”

Additionally, Handshake enables employers to post new job offers across multiple schools instead of posting a new job offer individually in each school, which made employee recruitment efforts time consuming and costly. McClain said the ease Handshake provides employers in posting jobs is causing a large influx of employers to begin using the system.

The system became available to employers on April 7 and later to students on May 9 to resolve any issues with the program while most students were off for the summer. The student employment modules of Handshake will be available to students on Aug. 1. Career Center Coordinator for Student Employment Cameron Woods said staff training is going well because of how user-friendly and self-explanatory the system is.

“I think people are intimidated a little bit when we say new system, but then they see it, they work with it, we demo it, the feedback is overwhelmingly positive,” Woods said.

McClain said he recommends students who don’t know about the Career Center to visit its website and learn more about obtaining access to Handshake and more information about what the center offers.

“The career journey starts as soon as you get into college. We can help you figure out what your skills are and what your interests are, and we’ll help you pick out a major,” McClain said. “Once you get into your sophomore and junior year, you start looking for internships, and senior year you start looking for full-time jobs. We want to be part of your entire journey.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *