COVID Support FAQS
The UNC Chapel Hill Painter University Career Services office in Hanes Hall are currently closed; how do I connect with Career Center and access services?
The University Career Services (UCS) staff are available to connect with students online each weekday during the 8:30am - 5pm time period. Students can book appointments through their Handshake account and our staff are available via email and by phone during work hours. We will respond within 24 hours.
What about drop-in career advising? Are those services still being provided by the University Career Services during the time period that campus has shifted to online classes and student support services?
Yes, the UCS will be providing drop-in career advising services every weekday during the 1pm - 4pm time period. Students can schedule an appointment to access these services via Zoom during these time periods.
What is Handshake?
Handshake is UNC’s Career Services online career management platform. All UNC students have Handshake accounts. If you’ve never accessed your account before, log in to the Handshake website (link below) with your Onyen log-in information, and activate your account.
What can I do with my Handshake account?
Handshake is your connection point to career services resources and support. Here are a few of the resources accessible through Handshake:
- Schedule online appointments with career advisors.
- Access thousands of job postings and apply directly through Handshake. These job postings include internships, co-ops, part-time jobs, and full-time career opportunities.
- participate in online career events, ranging from virtual career fairs to interviews and employer information sessions.
Should I continue searching for a job or internship considering all the impacts that COVID-19 is having on businesses?
We are not able to predict exactly what impact COVID-19 will have on each industry in the future, therefore, we highly encourage you to continue in your search now. Many employers are also unsure of the changes to upcoming hiring practices, but what job seekers can expect is the following:
- Delays: Employers are currently experiencing delays in recruiting and hiring processes. If you have not heard from an employer or are awaiting next steps, be mindful of these transitions. You can contact the employer to check on the status of a submitted application if no update has been provided.
- Shift to virtual recruiting: Due to travel restrictions and social distancing, most employers will be conducting virtual interviews for the foreseeable future.
- University Career Services is keeping a close eye on changes within the labor market and communicating with our employer partners to understand the full extent to which recruiting may be impacted. We are committed to ongoing communication efforts with all students regarding our resources and support.
Will career counseling still be available for me this summer?
University Career Services is available to support you throughout the summer months. Until further notice, all career counseling appointments will be available virtually. Please access Handshake in order to schedule a Zoom or phone appointment.
How can I network with employers and UNC alumni while social distancing?
There is a wide array of efforts that you can consider in order to engage with individuals virtually during this time of social distancing. Explore new ways in which you can expand your professional network through LinkedIn, follow up with contacts whom you connected with in the past, and prepare informational interviews with those whom can help you learn more about career pathways and company information.
I have a virtual interview coming up, how do I prepare?
We are happy to assist you in preparing for your virtual interview. Please access Handshake to schedule a mock interview with a career counselor. For independent interview practice, you can also access Big Interview, a virtual platform that combines training and practice to help improve your interview technique and build your confidence.
I just received a job offer and was going to negotiate my salary. Can I still do that considering the current economy?
Job offer negotiation is a highly personalized process that should be approached with specific consideration to the organization, job function, and industry. We encourage you to seek immediate assistance from University Career Services to discuss negotiating a job offer by emailing email@example.com for a response within 24 hours, and schedule a virtual appointment through Handshake.
I accepted a job already, but how do I know if I still have it?
Congratulations on your job offer! If considerable time has passed since your last communication with the hiring manager, check in with them to acknowledge the changing landscape within organizations at this time. Inquire about how the company, the nature of their work, and your specific role could be impacted. Be prepared to offer solutions and remind them of your unique skills that can serve as a continued value add during these times.
My job start date has been delayed, what should I do?
Consider connecting with your employer to discuss potential opportunities for non-traditional work, special projects, and other virtual opportunities to get engaged prior to your new start date. If this is not possible, consider using your independent time to engage in virtual professional development through platforms such as LinkedIn Learning.
How long after graduation will I have access to UCS services?
If you are a May or August 2020 graduating student, you will have access to career counseling and all UCS virtual resources, including Handshake, for one year after graduation.
Employment and Hardships
Since UNC has moved classes and student support online, what is happening with career fairs and other events where employers visit campus to meet students and conduct recruitment?
Since many companies have pulled back from campus recruitment due to COVID-19 precautions, and since most students have left campus, we’re placing more emphasis on online/virtual events. Students are encouraged to pre-register for any events that require it.
I accepted an internship offer earlier this school year, and now the employer has let me know that they have to rescind/cancel the internship in response to COVID-19. I was relying on that summer internship or credit. What do I do?
During the current circumstances it is hard to know which organizations will continue to remain open. We recommend communicating with us via firstname.lastname@example.org about your internship so we can help and ask about micro-internships with your current site. Additionally, if you had plans to complete an internship for academic credit, please contact your academic advisor as soon as possible to discuss the situation.
I accepted a full-time job offer earlier this school year, and now the employer has let me know that they have to rescind/cancel the job offer in response to COVID-19. I’m graduating in May. What do I do?
First contact UCS immediately at our email email@example.com for help and a response within 24 hours. Second, we know how incredibly disappointing this must be. The job market outlook right now is very uncertain, since most employers are still analyzing and adapting to the impacts of COVID-19. We normally offer support to all new graduates up to six months after graduating and have decided to extend that now for those impacted by COVID-19 to one year. While there are certainly cutbacks and layoffs in some sectors of the economy, there are still thousands of employers who are actively hiring. UCS staff are available to answer questions and meet with students online to help you navigate these situations and formulate a job search strategy.
Career Planning Self-Help
There are a multitude of career planning activities that you can engage in on your own during this time of social distancing. As you take time to expand your professional network through LinkedIn, seek information regarding changes in the labor market, complete a self-assessment tool, continue in your internship or job search, or sharpen your interviewing skills, please take advantage of our virtual career resources that support all of these endeavors.