Transitional Programs

Specialized Resources

The Office of Transitional Programs offers many difference specialized resources focused on career success. 

Click on the tabs below to learn more about specialized resources focused on career development. 

Alumni

All alumni and students have access to services provided by Career Development:

  • Applying for a promotion at work? We can critique your resume, curriculum vitae, cover letter, and other application materials.
  • Need to brush up on your interviewing skills? Schedule a mock interview with a staff member via telephone, Skype, or face-to-face.
  • Thinking of switching careers or companies? Learn career exploration strategies, job searching techniques, LinkedIn, or take a career assessment through Career Development.
  • Interested in viewing available positions at hundreds of companies? Create a “student/alumni” account on Handshake. If you want to hire WIU students/alumni, then create an “employer” account to post open jobs at your company.
  • You are invited to attend our career and internship fairs  (for FREE) as a job seeker or as a hiring employer. Employers who send an alumni member get a $25 discount off of the employer registration fee.
  • Alumni also have access to the Career Closet, the professional clothing closet housed at the Macomb campus Career Development Office.

Call our office at (309) 298-1838 to schedule a face-to-face or telephone appointment. We are open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and are located in Memorial Hall Lower Level.  Please allow our office  five days in advance  of a job posting deadline/interview to assist you.

Additional Alumni Services

For more alumni services through Western Illinois University, visit the Alumni Association website at  http://www.wiu.edu/alumni/

 

 
Students With Disabilities Resources

Being a student with a disability can add an extra layer of challenge during the job search process. There are many resources available to assist you with finding a job after graduation.

The first thing to understand is the law and your rights, due to the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the ADA National Network,

 

The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. (https://adata.org/learn-about-ada)

Title I of the American’s with Disabilities Act was created to help people with disabilities access the same employment opportunities and benefits available to people without disabilities. This is regulated and enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and employers with 15 or more employees must comply.

 

Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants or employees. A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable an applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions. (https://adata.org/learn-about-ada)

Questions & Answers
Question: Do I have to disclose my disability before or during a job interview?
Answer: No, you do not have to disclose your disability.
It is against the law for an employer to ask you in an application or in an interview if you have a disability. Employers can ask the following question to you, "Can you perform these duties with or without reasonable accommodations?" If you are able to perform those duties with or without reasonable accommodations, then the answer is simply, "Yes!" You do not have to reveal the accommodations you need to fulfill the job until you are already hired and needing to inform the employer of those accommodations.
Before an interview, you may want to disclose certain disabilities and necessary accommodations. For example, if you use a wheelchair for mobility, the company would be interested in knowing this to ensure that the interview room is wheelchair accessible. Revealing this information might save some embarrassment on both your end and the employer's end, if they are not prepared to accommodate you. It would benefit you to ask an employer before an interview, "What does an interview look like at your organization?" Knowing this information would help you determine if you need to reveal any disabilities and accommodations.
Sometimes on a job application, you may see voluntary questions (not required) about disabilities, military status, demographics, etc. These questions are not shared with the search committee or hiring person. These responses are used for the human resource department or the equal opportunity and access office at that company for reporting purposes. Many organizations keep track of the percentage of applicants and employees that have disabilities. But these questions on the application are voluntary, you do not have to answer them.
Question: Are there online resources to help me with the job search and to answer my concerns about work accommodations and state laws?
Answer: Yes, the Job Accommodations Network (JAN) is a very helpful resource (https://askjan.org/)
The Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR) section of the website, allows you to search for and explore accommodation options.
You can connect with JAN at (800)526-7234 (Voice) or (877)781-9403 (TTY). There is an opportunity to talk to a state accommodations counselor to learn more about working in that particular state.
Other Online Resources from the Job Accommodations Network:

Hire Disability Solutions
Provides comprehensive career services to facilitate employment for people with disabilities, veterans, their family members, and others who face challenges in their lives.

ABILITY Jobs

Since 1995, ABILITY Jobs has helped 100's of thousands of job seekers with disabilities in their employment search. With the first stand-alone resume bank, employers can actively seek talented people with disabilities looking for work.

Additional Resources

Illinois DHS Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Help people with disabilities find and keep jobs

USBLN Rising Leaders Mentoring Program

Provides a six month, one-to-one mentoring opportunity for college students and recent graduates with disabilities by matching them with professionals with whom they share common career interests

National Federation of the Blind

Access local and nationwide networks of blind people who can provide information and support about all aspects of living, working, learning, and thriving as a blind person

The Washington Seminar

Offers internships and academic seminars in Washington, D.C. for academic credit

AHEAD

A premiere professional association committed to full participation of persons with disabilities in postsecondary education

Disability.gov

A list of helpful web resources provided by the U.S. Department of Labor

ODEP (Office of Disability Employment Policy)

Manages a number of efforts designed to advance disability employment

AAPD (American Association of People with Disabilities)

AAPD is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities

 

Connecting Employers to Students and Alumni

Handshake is an online recruiting system designed to connect employers with potential recruits from the WIU student and alumni populations. There is no cost to register to students or employers. Handshake  allows employers to post current job and internship postings directly to the system. It also provides the opportunity for students and alumni to build a comprehensive profile with resume, cover letter and a photo. Employers can connect via Handshake with potential students and alumni they feel would be a good fit for their company. In addition, Handshake will be the format for all virtual career fairs and various other virtual events. For more information visit the Handshake website.

The Career Development Office hosts 2 all major career and internship fairs each year. One in the fall and one in the spring. To learn more about the fairs, click here. In addition, many departments on campus host major specific fairs. 

Career Development would be happy to host your company on campus. We can provide tableing space or put you in contact with faculty members who might be interested in having a visiting lecture. In addition, we can provide private screening/interview space for recruiting purposes. Please email: careers@wiu.edu with any questions.



International Students

Getting Started on the Job and/or Internship Search

1. Contact International Admissions, to determine eligibility for  CPT (curricular practical training for internships) or OPT (Optional Practical Training). Telephone: (309) 298-1806 or Email:  International-Ed@wiu.edu

2. Research internship opportunities and set up an appointment to speak with your internship coordinator in your major department.

3. Visit the Career Development Office for assistance on your resume, curriculum vitae, cover letter, and the application process.

4.   After you accept the offer for your internship, you will have to fill out the CPT form and get it approved. Your employer and your internship dates will be recorded on your I-20.

 

Faculty and Staff

Overview

The Career Development Office highly values classroom partnerships. We can offer our assistance to your class in a variety of ways. Please email: careers@wiu.edu to speak more to a staff member about tailored options for a partnership. Our office provides various resources for students who are seeking full-time positions as well as internships. Our services and resources are available to students at all levels in their educational pursuits from first year students to graduate students. Individualized services that we provide include job searching skills, employer research, interviewing skills development, resume/cover letter writing and graduate school essay reviews. In addition, we offer a variety of outreach programs that your class may benefit from. We can speak at student organizations or lecture during class time. Please go to Request an Outreach Program and complete the form to host a program.

In order to better serve students, we request that you contact the office before requiring a classroom of students to schedule appointments. This is to ensure adequate staffing.

In-Class Visits

To assist faculty/staff in helping their student’s fine tune their job search and work skills, our staff would welcome the opportunity to visit your classroom to discuss topics such as resume building, interviewing skills, and job/ internship searching strategies. In visiting your classroom, we can tailor the presentation of your choice to be just a few minutes or for the entire class session. We are available for presenting at evening classes as well. We can even fill the void to cover class time in your absence if preferred. Please contact us directly with your request or complete this on line  request for presentation.

In the past after our office has conducted an in class resume workshop presentation, faculty have made it a requirement that their students meet individually with one of our staff members. To assist in tracking which students complete this assignment, the Career Development staff is happy to provide you with a resume confirmation sheet or email confirming the students followed through with this appointment and any recommended changes for their documents.

Resume & Cover Letter Reviews

Making a resume and cover letter review appointment a part of your curriculum is helpful for a variety of reasons. It assists students with putting together those job application materials and assures they are marketing themselves as the best possible candidate. We offer both resume building appointments (starting from scratch) and review sessions where we are offering suggestions and edits to their already prepared doucments. We can also work directly with faculty members in a particular field of study to ensure our methods match those in which you are teaching in your course. We also offer outreach programming available for in-class, in lecture style or workshop style.

Mock Interviewing

Mock interviews are an excellent way for students to get the experience they need to sell their skills and knowledge effectively to prospective employers. Our staff can present on interviewing skills and/or provide individual appointments for students to come in and practice these interviewing skills. An interview confirmation sheet can be provided by our office to verify the student’s attendance and performance at this appointment. 

On-Campus Career Fairs

Career Development also hosts on-campus career fairs each semester. We encourage staff and faculty to impress upon students the benefits of attending these fairs from freshman to senior year. This is an excellent way for students to keep abreast of the skills and knowledge employers are looking for. Registered companies can be viewed in advance though Handshake to help students better prepare for the experience. At the career fair, a separate sign in sheet for your class or organization can be made available upon request.

Handshake

Handshake is an on-line system where students can create an account and upload their resumes into their provile, which can viewed by potential employers. Students can also use this system to view and apply for jobs and internships that are posted. This system is free of charge, uses thier ecom username and password and allows students to access thousands of employers and jobs.

 

Veteran and Active Duty

  • Thank you for your past and/or current service to this country! As a veteran or service-member, there are multiple resources available to you for career development assistance.

    Joining a mentoring program can be beneficial to your career and personal development. American Corporate Partners  is a FREE mentoring program that pairs veterans, service members, or their spouses (post 9/11), with a corporate mentor. The time commitment is only one hour per month!

    Join the LinkedIn Group,  WIU Veterans & Service Members ConnectionsThis group was created to facilitate networking opportunities between current students and alumni of Western Illinois University who identify as veterans and service-members.

    As a veteran or service member, there are laws to protect you during the employment process, including Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). More detailed information can be found at this link:  https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/ada_veterans_employers.cfm

    Please see this link for detailed information on the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act:  https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/factsheets/Veterans_Rights_JRF_QA_508c.pdf

    Online Resources

    Hire Heroes USA
    Provides free transition workshops, personalized career coaching, and employment preparation counseling to U.S. military members, veterans, and their spouses

    Illinois Joining Forces
    Resources related to education, housing, employment, healthcare, benefits, and more

    USA Jobs
    The place to explore careers and apply for jobs within the federal government

Fraternity and Sorority Life

It is always recommended to include your Fraternity and Sorority Life involvement on your resume. You have likely gained valuable experience in recruitment, fundraising, leadership, communication, teamwork and MUCH more. The importance of the skills you have gained from this experience can often separate you from other candidates applying for the same jobs. Showcasing your teambuilding skills is another excellent idea.

Using Fraternity and Sorority Life to stand out from other candidates is key. Highlight the ethical and value based experience that a sorority or fraternity offers through the chance to work on a team. In addition, it can provide a unique set of networking opportunities when you list it on your resume.

Think specifically about what skills (instead of which tasks you completed) that have allowed for personal growth. For example: did attending multiple weekly meetings help you to improve your time management skills? Were you provided with opportunities to speak in small groups, large groups? Did your public speaking skills improve? How about your written and verbal communication overall? Expand on your leadership abilities, event planning, teamwork, organizational and time management abilities.

Think about the skills you developed instead of the tasks you performed!