Originally published by Trojan360. Written by Emily Quintanilla ‘24
Before I started working at the Career Center in my sophomore year, I assumed USC’s career services were limited to their in-person advising appointments and online job boards. If you’re unfamiliar with the general or school-based career centers, you might be unaware of just how many free resources USC offers to help you prepare for a successful career.
From prepping for dreaded interviews to getting a new headshot to leveling up your skills, here are just a few of the in-person and online resources that are available to current students free of charge.
For Resume Review: VMock
VMock is an online platform that offers students 24/7 assistance with their resumes and career plans. VMock is best known for its Smart Resume feature which gives you immediate, AI generated feedback on your resume. My favorite part of this feature is the detailed, line-by-line suggestions to improve the language, format, and overall effectiveness of my resume.
This resource is super helpful for last-minute resume critiques (you can access the platform anytime), or for students who seek more detailed feedback on their resumes. If you’re not in a rush, or just prefer meeting with somebody face-to-face, the USC Career Center hosts in-person, drop-in advising Monday – Friday from 1 – 3:30 p.m exclusively for resume, CV, and cover letter review.
Current students are eligible for up to 10 resume uploads on VMock per school year. Check out VMock here.
For Professional Headshots: IRIS Booth
Haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile picture in a while? The USC Career Center’s got you covered! This fall, the Career Center launched its new Headshots to Handshakes program which “provides the Trojan community the opportunity to update and sharpen their networking profile and skills.” As part of the program, students can take free professional headshots via the Career Center’s IRIS Booth.
Students can take professional headshots at the Career Center (STU-110) every Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Learn more about the Headshots to Handshakes program here.
For Interview Preparation: Big Interview
Similar to VMock, Big Interview is an AI-driven resource that students can access any time of day. Big Interview has tons of videos and lessons to prepare students for job interviews. In addition, the platform’s Mock Interview Tool is a great resource to practice your communication and presentation skills. You can record yourself answering possible interview questions including questions specific to your industry, which is particularly helpful for those all too awkward online interviews.
Instructions for logging into Big Interview can be found here.
For Networking and Mentorship: Trojan Network
Trojan Network is a networking and mentorship platform used by the USC community (think: a version of LinkedIn that is exclusive to USC students and alumni). Now that you’re a part of the Trojan family, you can use the platform to connect with recent graduates, alumni, and/or other students in countless industries, roles, and locations.
If you’re a student who is interested in exploring different career paths, seeking college-related advice, or just looking to expand your professional network, Trojan Network makes it super easy to connect with alumni and ask them questions. In my opinion, the most helpful part of the Trojan Network is its easy-to-use message templates that can help start conversations with potential connections!
Sign up for the Trojan Network here.
For Professional Development: LinkedIn Learning
Did you know that USC students, faculty, and staff have access to LinkedIn Learning for free? LinkedIn Learning is an online learning platform that allows users to develop skills related to career or personal learning goals. As students, you can access thousands of courses in three categories: business, creative, and technology. Courses range from “Writing a Cover Letter” to “Learning Photoshop.” You can even earn certificates through LinkedIn Learning and add them to your LinkedIn profile!
Learn how to access LinkedIn Learning here.