Proactive Purposeful Work Activities


We talk a lot about exploring your concept of self, understanding your identity, your values and your strengths. We know that over the next several years, your experiences will help you explore, test out different areas of work and study, and discover your likes, your dislikes, what you’re good at, and not so good at. Some of this you already know about yourself, and some of this will change many times over your lifetime. We also know that if you engage in work that you are interested in and that uses your strengths and skills every day, you will find meaning and purpose in that work. Doing a self-assessment to understand your transferable skills is a first step in that exploration, and will begin to give you the tools to align who you are with what you do. Understanding your transferable skills and strengths won’t point you to one specific career you “should” pursue, but it will give you a good perspective about yourself to explore many types of work (academic, volunteer, and career) that interest you.

ACTIVITY ONE: Complete SkillScan
(new students have already completed through Remote Orientation Activities)

  1. First, log in to Handshake with your Bates username and password. Click on the Career Center link in the upper right corner. Select “Resources” in the center of the page. Or, click here. 
  2. Second, click on “SkillScan”, and create an account with your Bates email address. 
  3. Third, take the assessment, moving quickly through your answers; don’t think too long on each skill, but go with your first thought. 

ACTIVITY TWO: Reflect on your top Skill Categories

  1. After completing the assessment, go to your report and click on the Personal Skill Chart to see your top Skill Categories.
  2. Write a brief response, reflecting on the questions: “Are you surprised by your ‘top 4’ or ‘lowest 2’ skill categories? Why or why not? Are the scores on your skill categories how a friend or family member would describe you?” 
  3. Navigate to the next section of your report Skill Set Portfolio. Skill Sets describe your specific strengths within your Categories. Take notes of these specific strengths.

ACTIVITY THREE: Reflect on your Skill Set Themes

  1. Consider your Skill Set Themes and write a brief reflection on roles you have had in your life that have given you the most satisfaction.
  2. Which skills in your Themes did these favorite roles or activities require?
  3. How might you continue to use those skills in new activities or pursuits at Bates?” 


Handshake is the central database for on-campus jobs, internships, and post-graduation jobs. It is also where we list all upcoming Purposeful Work events and house many helpful resources.

ACTIVITY ONE: Update your Career Interests

  1. Navigate to the upper right-hand corner of the screen and click on your initials or photo
  2. Select the Career Interests option
  3. Select any and all areas that interest you. Even if you are not sure what you are interested in yet, we suggest completing this section. Choose all that might interest. Purposeful Work will send you curated messages about events and opportunities based on your selections.

ACTIVITY TWO: Complete or Update your Profile

Employers that recruit college students for jobs and internships may search Handshake for potential applicants. Check your Settings & Privacy selections to see who you can view your profile. Especially if your profile is visible to employers, you’ll want to keep your profile updated with your latest experiences.

ACTIVITY THREE: Upload your Resume

If you don’t have a resume in Handshake yet, upload your resume to the Documents section (under your initials or photo). You’ll be ready to quick-apply to any opportunity posted in Handshake.

If you already have a resume on Handshake, consider drafting and uploading a new version that incorporates your summer experiences and any new details about your academics or volunteer work. Manage old versions by deleting documents or adjusting the visibility appropriately. At the Center for Purposeful Work, we are happy to review and give guidance on your resume! You can email it to 

ACTIVITY FOUR: Search for Opportunities

Experiment with searching Handshake. Try using our favorite search functions:

  1. Geography – pick a city and state to focus your search in one location
  2. Industry (under All Filters) – narrow the search based on the industry
  3. Function (under All Filters) – focus search even further by selecting a specific function of job
  4. Type of Opportunity – select full-time job, internship, part-time or on-campus

Notice how each search criteria changes the results on the far left side of the screen. As you experiment with combinations of search functions, take note of the filters that are most helpful to you.


Visit the Resources area in Handshake. Navigate to the Career Center menu in the upper right hand corner and click on Resources. Explore the Resources Library.

ACTIVITY ONE: From the Handshake Resource Library, select Vault Campus, and discover what it is like to live a day in the life of any profession.

  1. Navigate to the Vault website via the link and create a new account, if you haven’t already
  2. Explore the Industry Guides section and identify one industry that interests you.
  3. Read the guide to find answers to the following questions:
    • What are the entry-level job titles in that industry?
    • What skills and experiences are required for that work?
    • What is the typical hiring timeframe for that industry?

ACTIVITY TWO: From the Handshake Resource Library, select Going Global, discover what it is like to work in another country. Examples:

  1. Learn about Office Protocols in Malaysia
  2. Interview Advice for Austria
  3. Other practical information about living and working abroad

ACTIVITY THREE: Learn about other helpful resources offered by the Center for Purposeful Work.

  1. Watch our presentation about Resources on YouTube
  2. Identify other resources that are available that you didn’t know about.


The Bates alumni network is one of the strongest in the nation and is at your fingertips as a resource to help you find success during college, and explore work and life after Bates! There’s no better way for Batesies to engage with the college we all love than to connect with current students and help answer questions you have about work and career. To reach out to Bates alumni eager to mentor and connect with you, here are the two most powerful online tools we suggest:

ACTIVITY ONE: Learn about Bates Bridge

  1. Watch our Bates Bridge Webinar on YouTube 
  2. Set up your profile on BatesBridge
  3. Find three interesting alumni that you’d like to connect with
  4. Reach out and schedule a 30 minute meeting

ACTIVITY TWO: Connect on LinkedIn

  1. Watch our LinkedIn Webinar on YouTube 
  2. Create or update your LinkedIn Profile
  3. Join the Bates College Alumni & Friends group
  4. Explore the Alumni search tool for alumni based on where they work, what they do and what they majored in


ACTIVITY ONE: Review our Resume Guide including the sample resumes.

ACTIVITY TWO: Watch the Tune Up Your Resume Webinar on You Tube

ACTIVITY THREE: Using the examples in the guide and advice from the webinar, draft a new resume or update your existing one

ACTIVITY FOUR: Send your resume draft to for review and comment!


Are you considering graduate or professional school after you graduate (even several years after Bates)? We’ve got guidance for you at the Center for Purposeful Work! (and your favorite faculty members likely do, too)

ACTIVITY ONE: Watch Grad School 101 Webinar on YouTube

ACTIVITY TWO: Check out our Fall 2020 Grad School Workshop and Alumni Panel Series here.

ACTIVITY THREE: Set up an appointment with an advisor to strategize. Email us at