The job search process used to be easy. Read newspaper classified ads. Circle jobs for which you qualify. Send resumes. Wait.
Thanks to websites, social media, personal branding and behavioral interviews, the present-day job search is significantly more complicated. All of that complexity has recently been put into one neat and tidy “purple package” for members of the University of Findlay family.
Purple Briefcase is a web-based service that gives students everything they need to begin and continue their career searches, connect with employers and alumni, and find full and part-time jobs and internships. According to Katrina Shull, client services specialist in the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD), UF joined Purple Briefcase after reviewing a number of similar applications.
“It seems more user-friendly and really addresses creating a personal brand,” said Shull. She added that students, alumni, faculty and staff would be able to login and create an account beginning Aug. 1.
In addition to being a resource for job seekers, Purple Briefcase provides job posting for employers and access to student profiles and resumes. As if that’s not enough for one “indigo icon,” Purple Briefcase will make it easier for the CCPD staff to manage their office, relationships and
students as well as recording outcomes. As an introductory video to the service states, “Job searches are a lot like juggling and we help you juggle all the aspects of traveling your career path.”
Getting Started – the Purple Way
Shull said that all students would receive an email, with login information at the start of the 2016-17 school year. They can then set up an account and take advantage of all of the tools in their own “briefcase.” The first step is creating a profile, which will drive the rest of the student’s application. Profile templates are divided into “tiles,” which makes creating one that’s professional and eye-catching a fairly simple task.
The heart of the profile is “About Me,” a 150-character description that employers will see when students inquire about posted positions. Shull has contacted more than 3,000 employers about registering with UF’s Purple Briefcase and is getting very positive response.
“Job seekers even get a ‘purple score,’ which tells them how they’re progressing on their career paths,” Shull added. “By using all of the tools provided, a student can earn a high purple score and increase his or her chances of landing a full-time job or an internship.”
Plethora of Purple Products
A variety of short, informative videos are available through the My Channels link on Purple Briefcase. With intriguing titles like, “Mastering Small Talk,” “Tattoos Taboo?” and “How to Tie a Tie,” the library of videos reaches students with simple, but essential, messages. There is also a career chat and a service called “Video Interview,” that lets job hunters practice interviewing in the privacy of their homes or dorm rooms.
Purple Briefcase replaces Oiler Connection, an online internship and career placement service developed for UF in 2012. Shull feels the new product is more robust, easier to use and overall more appealing to young job seekers. Purple Briefcase syncs with Microsoft Outlook, the University’s email platform, and allows students to make appointments with CCPD staff easily. Replacing Oiler Connection will also result in a cost savings to the University.
Because of skills needed and the complexity of job searches, students are encouraged to open a Purple Briefcase account and visit the Center for Career and Professional Development in their freshman year. It can take months or even a year to line up a great internship and the sooner the process is started the better. In addition, the University is combining its college-specific job fairs this year into a weeklong event, Sept. 12-15. Showing up with a (virtual) purple briefcase, could be just the edge students need!