Students network new job opportunities through career servicesPhoto by Photo by Casey Ambrosio | The Daily TargumAt University Career Services, students can find help bridging connections between their academic experiences and desired career paths — creating new relationships with alumni, employers and graduate schools.
University Career Services provides students with tips and tools to make the task of job networking a little less daunting.
LinkedIn, a business-oriented networking site that connects job seekers to potential employers, helps facilitate the traditional job search process and kick-starts student exploration.
“The more students can connect with either employers or alumni who are working at different companies, the better shot they have of finding out directly from an individual person what that company might value,” said Andrew Seguel, a career education specialist at Career Services.
By searching for individuals who work at specific companies, students can tailor their applications using inside information gathered throughout the website, he said. After they build a relationship with someone from within the company, there is a higher likelihood that the individual will vouch for them — creating new job opportunities.
If students want to make lasting connections, they first need to establish a solid profile — one that is tailored to a specific goal, he said. Their profile should communicate career goals and include relevant work skills.
“If you want an overarching tip, don’t just write about what you’ve done, write about it with a lens looking at (a) specific target goal you have,” Seguel said.
In order to cultivate a good profile, students must understand that their online presence matters, he said. They should make sure their profiles are stocked with good work examples.
“You want to make sure there’s good stuff for them to find by showcasing your achievements, having a nice crisp professional picture. The brand you showcase needs to be high quality,” Seguel said. “They can make sure that your application is pulled from the pile, so to speak, and seen much more readily."
Students can use LinkedIn to stay in touch with contacts that they meet in person and follow up with later on during career fairs and other business events, he said.
Career Services is offering a tour for first-year students for the upcoming career internship fair before it opens, said Melissa Blake, associate director for Strategic Communications & Marketing.
“It can be intimidating to even go to our career fair and network with employers who happen to be alumni,” she said. “Andrew (Seguel) and his colleagues are giving an inside tour … it's like coaching new students about how to talk to people and have that face to face interaction, because it can be intimidating.”
In preparation for the career fair — taking place from Jan. 30 to Jan. 31 — Career Services will host a two-part LinkedIn workshop for students to strengthen their profiles and online presences.
Each workshop is an active learning experience, giving students the opportunity to practice what they learn in person, Seguel said.
For those who cannot attend these workshops, a wide array of online resources are available for students, including CareerKnight and the newly released Student-Alumni Career Connect System — which allows students to video chat with alumni in various fields.
“(Student-Alumni Career Connect System) is basically like a homegrown version of LinkedIn where we have alumni from Rutgers who have opted into this system,” Seguel said.
He wants to ensure that the Rutgers community knows that these resources are at its disposal. The role of Career Services is to help students navigate over the hurdles of the job-search process, he said.
“We want to help students feel more comfortable in that in-person setting. Our whole goal is to support students,” Blake said. “This is why we are here — (to) help them achieve their career goal.”