We provide you with a broad range of tools to assist you in all stages of your career development. We also invite you to visit our office to discuss your career plans.
Our career guide is a great resource of career information. View an electronic copy by clicking on the picture or link or stop by the office to pick-up a hard copy.
Utilize Handshake to request a career counseling appointment, begin searching for jobs and internships, and to learn about upcoming career events. There is no fee for UMKC students and alumni.
- Students, use your UMKC SSO and password to login.
- Alumni, call 816-235-1636 to request an account.
- Once you have logged in,you must complete your profile and agree to Handshake’s Terms of Service
A major is a subject or field of study chosen by the student to represent his or her principal interest. Many students find it advantageous to identify a career interest first and then determine the major that best helps them reach that goal. The resources below are available to assist students in choosing an academic major.Learn more
This resource provides an outline of common career areas, typical employers, and strategies designed to maximize career opportunities for various majors. In addition, we recommend exploring information and websites from multiple sources to learn about a wide range of major and career opportunities.
UMKC’s Major Maps are detailed, undergraduate four-year course outlines that inform students on the classes they should take and when to take them. Graduate students should visit their program’s individual school for program outlines.
As you review this resource, pay special attention to courses notes as Critical Courses. While degree requirements can be satisfied with a lower grade, students are encouraged to achieve the minimum recommended grade in critical courses in order to build a solid foundation for further study.
An informational interview is simply talking to professionals who have jobs that interest you and can assist you in choosing a major.
Primary Objectives of an Informational Interview
- Investigate a specific career field
- Gain insight into a career field
- Obtain advice on where you might fit in
- Learn the jargon and important issues in the field
- Broaden your network of contacts for the future
Conducting the Informational Interview
- Learn as much as you can about the organization and similar organizations.
- Write down the questions you wish to ask.
- Dress professionally.
- Restate your purpose and the reason you are talking with this professional.
- Be prepared to initiate the conversation, since you are the interviewer.
- Adhere to the original time request (usually 20-30 minutes).
- Ask for referrals to other individuals in the field or in related organizations.
- Let the individual you are interviewing bring up the discussion of job vacancies.
- Send a thank-you note and keep the individual you have interviewed posted on your progress.
- Keep the door open to future contacts with this person. Ask if he or she could refer you to others in the field as well.
- Evaluate the information you received. How does it relate to your plans?
Career development is a lifelong process that can lead to increased satisfaction with one’s occupation. Understanding yourself (interests, personality, values, skills, and goals) allows you to make more informed decisions as you approach different stages of your career. UMKC Career Services assists students and alumni at any stage of their career development. From choosing a major to transitioning to a second career, we are here to help.Learn more
UMKC Career Services provides confidential career counseling for individuals who want to clarify, explore and understand their career-related themes and make better-informed career decisions.
Some of the most common concerns we assist with are:
- Shaping professional/career identity through clarifying majors
- Clarifying career and life goals and then defining steps to accomplish those goals
- Difficulty transitioning to the next level of the client’s academic/professional career
- Family expectations that may differ from the client’s professional goals
- Considering career decisions based on cultural and individual diversity factors
- Interpersonal difficulties on the job or during the job search
- Difficulty finding or keeping a job
Utilize Handshake to request an appointment.
Career Services offers a variety of career assessments to help you explore your interests, skills, values and personality traits. By talking with one of our career counselors, you can determine what assessment will best suit your needs.
- StrengthsQuest- Learn about your talent areas and how to develop and use them in application materials and interviews.
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator- Learn about your unique personality, how to make decisions, and what type of environment suits you best.
- Strong Interest Inventory- Learn about how your interests compare to people who are doing jobs they love.
How much does a career assessment cost? Unless noted as “free”, each assessment ranges in price from $10 to $25 for UMKC students and alumni. Please request an appointment using Handshake or contact us for more information.
Job Search Tools
We are available to assist you with any stage of your job/internship search process or graduate/professional school process. Please review our sections below for helpful tips and resources and request a one-on-one appointment to address your specific questions and concerns.
Job searching for positions with the federal government may look a little bit different. Learn more about applying for federal jobs here.Learn more
Job/Internship Search Process
- Analyze yourself as the product by identifying your values, interests, skills, personality traits experiences, goals, strengths and weaknesses.
- Explore career options with industries and organizations through company research, information interviews and a review of professional organizations.
- Target and organize your job search by developing job goals, organizing a timeline and utilizing a monthly planner. Anticipate that your search may take six to nine months from beginning to end.
- Prepare job search materials. Resumes, cover letters and portfolio information (if applicable) should all be developed to target your intended career goal. Creating a LinkedIn profile and managing your online presence is also important.
- Build and practice your presentation skills through mock interviews and on-campus recruitment events.
- Develop and conduct a job search campaign using multiple strategies including networking to access the “hidden job market”.
- Interview, negotiate, and secure an offer. Manage this critical stage by following through with sending thank you cards, negotiating win-win outcomes, signing a formal acceptance, and conducting yourself in an ethical and professional manner.
Your cover letter can determine whether or not you get invited to an interview. The goal of the cover letter is to catch the reader’s attention and make them want to learn more about you. Visit our Cover Letter page for more information about developing your cover letter.
You will need to carefully craft your resume before applying for a job and may even need to develop different resumes for each position to which you apply. Get started developing your resume and then come in for a review and additional assistance.
Your reference sheet should be saved as a separate document from your resume.
References verify your experience and confirm your credibility. Additionally, employers and graduate/professional schools use references to increase their confidence that your skills, abilities, past job/ school performance and accomplishments make you a good fit for the position and/or program. Give careful consideration to the people you ask to serve as your references. For more information about selecting your references, review the Career Development Guide.
Tips for using LinkedIn:
- Create an informative profile headline
- Pick an appropriate photo
- Show off your education
- Develop a professional summary
- Join groups that relate to your professional goals
- Collect diverse recommendations
- Create a public profile
- Share your work
- Connect with friends, family, professors, and colleagues
- Use LinkedIn to find your career passion, to hunt for jobs/internships, or to research and prepare for interviews
- Check out a sample here
Career Services can assist you with your upcoming interview and help you make a great impression. Review the following interviewing resources and then sign up for a mock interview in Handshake.
- Research yourself: what are your strengths/qualifications?
- Research the job: what are the duties?
- Research the company: what are they known for? What makes them standout?
- Arrive 15 minutes early for your interview.
- Dress appropriately: opt for business professional attire, and don’t show too much skin or wear ill-fitting clothes
- Be prepared for interview questions. Have flexible stories for your experiences. Answer behavior-based questions with specific examples.
- Ask relevant questions at the end of the interview. Be sure to ask about a timeline/next steps in the interview process.
- Send a thank you note to reiterate your interest in the position/organization and highlight your qualifications one last time.
- Technology. Make sure you have a high-speed internet connection. If you are using a laptop, plug in your charger in advance. Close down other programs, so that nothing opens up that might be distracting or possibly embarrassing.
- Environment. Make sure the area is quiet, clean and well-lit. Be sure to turn off your cell phone ringer.
- Attire. This is still an interview, so make sure to dress professionally. Even though the employer cannot see all of you, do not wear pajama bottoms!
- Profile. Make a good first impression by having a professional picture and screen name.
- Camera. Position yourself well. Make sure that your face and shoulders are in the screen shot.
- Eye Contact. Look at the interviewer, not at yourself To reduce the temptation to look at yourself, minimize the part of the window where you can see yourself.
- Body Language. Watch your body language. You want to be sitting up straight. Use non-verbals (e.g., head nodding) to show you are interested in what the interviewer is saying.
- Notes. It is okay to have some notes in front of you as long as they are not noticeable to the interviewer. However, try not to overly rely on them. Have a paper in front of you, in case you need to write anything down to follow-up later.
- Smile, smile, smile. Part of what interviewers are assessing is your interpersonal skills. People want to work with people who seem pleasant☺
- Follow-up. Follow-up as you would with any other interview.
The Restaurant Interview
Some interviews take place in a restaurant over a lunch or a dinner. Here are some tips to help you prepare:
- Research the restaurant ahead of time (if possible) to plan what you’ll order and to be sure they can accommodate food allergies/special needs.
- Order quickly and with as little fuss as possible. Do not make an issue of your food allergies or aversions.
- Do not order the most expensive or least expensive item, or anything messy.
- Conversation will be a mix of casual and business; however, you should maintain your professional presentation at all times.
- Chew with your mouth closed; do not talk while chewing.
Applying to Graduate and Professional School
Personal statements, letters of reference, GRE/GMAT/MCAT/LSAT, first-choice school — if you’re a student, deciding where to go to graduate or professional school can be daunting. Here’s some information to help you sort it all out.Learn more
Evaluate Your Options:
- Review and research relevant graduate schools and assess your motivation for attending graduate/professional school
- Ask professors/advisers for suggestions
Narrow Your Choices:
- Review your qualifications and the schools’ admission criteria.
- Consider personal and professional fit rather than rankings to select your top choices.
- Narrow your choices of schools and programs to approximately three to ten programs.
- Visit your top two or three selections.
Apply to Schools:
- Prepare for the appropriate test [list examples?]
- Strengthen your application through involvement in undergraduate research, internships, co-ops, a study abroad program, student organizations and leadership positions.
- Select references who can speak of your abilities and accomplishments.
- Your personal statement must be perfect. Learn how to develop your personal statement and review a sample at career.umkc.edu/personal-statements
- Send in all materials two to three weeks in advance of the deadline.
Make Your Decision:
If you have been accepted to more than one program…
- Re-evaluate the programs and review your career goals. How does each program fit?
- Discuss career goals with the faculty of the graduate programs to see if their curriculum fits your needs; they will be honest with you.
If you have not been accepted to a program…
- Do not give up hope. There are many reasons for why a student may not be accepted into a graduate/professional school. Learn from the experience to make your second application process a success.
NOTE: Our Fall 2020 career fairs will be VIRTUAL. Many aspects of a virtual career fair will run differently than an in-person fair. We highly encourage all students interested in attending a fair this semester to sign up for our Navigating a Virtual Career Fair virtual workshop on Handshake and click Learn More below for additional information on how to prepare!
Career fairs are excellent opportunities to speak with potential employers to learn more about career options and identify job and internship possibilities . The employers who participate in career fairs have a targeted interest in recruiting UMKC students and alumni, and career fairs are one of the best ways for you to explore your career options.Learn more
Preparing for a Career Fair
- Log into your Handshake account, take a look at the upcoming fairs, and register for the fairs you plan on attending
- Research participating companies before attending the event
- Prepare brief discussion points and questions for the recruiters to demonstrate your interest and knowledge of each company
- Schedule an appointment with UMKC Career Services to have your resume reviewed and discuss any questions about the event
- Dress professionally (i.e., suit, dress shirt, and dress shoes). For assistance finding affordable options, visit the Professional Wardrobe Program (Note: Due to COVID-19, the PWP closet is currently closed. However, please view our Dress for Success video to help you put together right pieces for your professional outfit)
- Bring extra copies of your resume and a pen or pencil to take notes
Preparing for Virtual Career Fairs
- Log into your Handshake account using your SSO and complete your account profile fully
- Schedule an appointment with UMKC Career Services to have your resume reviewed and discuss any questions you have about the fairs
- Upload your updated resume to your Handshake account for employers to view
- Look up the scheduled virtual career fairs in Handshake and register to the fairs you would like to attend (Note: If you skip this step, you will not be able to participate the day of the fair)
- Research the employers that are attending and choose some favorites
- In Handshake, sign up for time slots to talk one-on-one with your favorite employers (Note: Employers will open their schedules in the Handshake as the fairs near. Check back often to snag time slots with your favorite employers for one-on-one or group sessions)
- Prepare an elevator pitch, discussion points, and questions for recruiters to show them who you are as a professional, as well as your interest and knowledge of the company
- Dress professionally! Though this will be in a virtual setting, it is important to feel and look your best when talking to employers. Watch the Dress for Success video on our YouTube channel, UMKC Career Channel
- Sign up on Handshake (under the Events tab) for UMKC Career Services’ virtual workshop, Navigating a Virtual Career Fair, for more information on what to expect and how to best prepare
Communicating with Employers
- Develop a strategy to determine the order of employers you plan to visit
- Greet each employer with a firm handshake and good eye contact
- Tell the company/organization about yourself, ask the representative questions, and leave your resume
- Do not interrupt representatives or fellow job candidates
- Pick up information, including a business card, from each employer you visit
After the Career Fair
- Send a thank-you card or email to each company representative within 48 hours
- Submit any additional information discussed during your meeting
- Continue to research employers of interest
- Connect with the representatives you met via LinkedIn
- Use UMKC Career Services resources for career planning
For more information on what to expect during our UMKC virtual career fairs, CLICK HERE.
Utilizing Career Services in a Professional Manner
In order to serve the maximum number of students, while attracting employer interest in our students and alumni, UMKC Career Services has implemented a no-show, late arrival, and cancellation policy for all employer-related events, on-campus interviews, information sessions, counseling appointments, and workshops. These policies apply to current UMKC students as well as alumni.
No Show, Late Arrival and Cancellation Policies for Students and Alumni
Employers seek candidates who demonstrate professional skills with respect to workplace expectations. Employers are selective when choosing where to recruit, and those who experience consistent no-shows at UMKC are unlikely to recruit UMKC candidates.Learn more
- RSVP’s – Employer-involved events will require interested students to RSVP via Handshake to attend. When you RSVP for an event you are expected to show
- Cancellations Prior To The Event – You have the ability to cancel your RSVP in Handshake up to the RSVP deadline. Any cancellations after the RSVP deadline must be for a valid reason and sent to email@example.com
- Valid Reasons for Cancellation after RSVP Deadline – Illness or unforeseen emergency. Note that inability to manage your time is not a valid reason for cancellation
- Late Arrival – If you anticipate being more than 10 minutes late with a valid reason, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, and a decision will made if you will still be able to participate
- No-Shows and Late Cancellation for Invalid Reason – A no-show or late cancellation for an invalid reason will result in your account being blocked in Handshake (See “What Account Blocking Means” and “Removing a Block”)
On-Campus Interviews, Including Mock Interviews
- Interview Sign-Ups – Once you are selected for an interview, and sign up for your timeslot, you are expected to show
- Interview Cancellations – You have the ability to cancel your interview in Handshake up to the interview signup deadline. Any cancellations after the signup deadline must be for a valid reason and sent to email@example.com
- Valid Reasons for Interview Cancellation after Signup Deadline – Illness and unforeseen emergency, or acceptance (in writing) of another position. Note that inability to manage your time is not a valid reason for cancellation
- Late Arrival – 10 minutes beyond your scheduled interview time is considered a no-show
- No-Shows and Late Cancellation for Invalid Reason – A no-show or late cancellation will result in your account being blocked in Roo Career Network. (See “What Account Blocking Means” and “Removing a Block”) Multiple no-shows may result in permanent loss of your account
Career Counseling Appointments
- Appointments – Availability of appointments is limited. These rules are in place to ensure counselors can utilize this limited time effectively to serve the maximum number of students and alumni
- Cancellations – Cancellations for an appointment must be made at least 24 hours in advance; you have the ability to cancel your appointment in Handshake. If you need to cancel the day of the appointment, you may submit a cancellation request, including a valid reason, through Handshake
- Late Arrival – If you are more than 10 minutes late for an appointment, you will be asked to reschedule. Arriving late twice will result in your account being blocked in Handshake and you will be limited to our walk-in hours for assistance (See “What Account Blocking Means” and “Removing a Block”)
- No-Shows – Students who no-show to a career counseling appointment will receive a warning from Career Services including a copy of the no-show policy. No-showing a second time will result in your account being blocked in Handshake and you will be limited to our walk-in hours for assistance only (See “What Account Blocking Means” and “Removing a Block”)
Career Services Workshops and Events
Not all Career Services events require an RSVP (such a requirement will be indicated in Handshake), but for those events that do, the following applies:
- RSVP’s – When you RSVP for an event you are expected to show
- Cancellations Before the Event – You have the ability to cancel your RSVP in Handshake up to the RSVP deadline. Any cancellations after the RSVP deadline must be submitted in writing for a valid reason to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Valid Reasons for Cancellation after RSVP Deadline – Illness or unforeseen emergency. Note that inability to manage your time is not a valid reason for cancellation
- No-Shows and Late Cancellation for Invalid Reason – Two no-shows or late cancellations for an invalid reason may result in your account being blocked in Handshake (See “What Account Blocking Means” and “Removing a Block”)
What Account Blocking Means
If your account in Handshake is blocked you will lose the ability to:
- Search and apply for positions
- RSVP for events
- Schedule career counseling appointments
- Accept interview invitations and sign up for interview slots
- Access your resume and other documents housed in the system
- Access GoinGlobal, Vault and the other resources for students and alumni
Removing a Block
To have an account reinstated, the student or alumnus is required to meet with a member of the Career Services staff and a letter of apology to an employer may be required.