Thursday, June 24, 2010

Finding a job: Advice from Dolphin Alumni

With the newest JU alumni becoming official just a few weeks ago, one question most of them are asking is, “what will my next step be?”

While some will be headed to graduate schools or time off, most will be entering a difficult job market that is still in a recovery phase.
Because this process can be a highly stressful situation, it is easy to feel like you are in it alone. The Dolphin Network is here to tell you that you aren’t.

There are a range of resources available to all JU students and alumni that can help find that first or next job. The Career Services Office has a number of programs that can help in everything from job listings to interview techniques.
In addition, the Alumni Office is also hoping to play a part in helping the members of the JU family. With access to graduates scattered throughout the country and globe that are making a difference in a number of industries, there is a world of practical, substantive advice that we can help provide.

Recently, we reached out to two alumni that are recruiters for their organizations in order to offer an idea of how their companies view the hiring process. The question we asked was:

Discuss how you and your company view and use social media channels as a tool in the hiring process. Is it considered a credible resource for finding and researching potential recruits? Which sites do you utilize the most? What tips would you offer to those trying to differentiate themselves using these sites.

Lauren Calhoun, (Class of 2005), is a recruiter for Incepture:
Social media sites such as, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are most useful in initiating a conversation with a potential candidate or company. You cannot complete the entire recruiting lifecycle through one of these outlets, but all are excellent tools for the process.

The most common and useful social media site used by my company and myself is LinkedIn. LinkedIn provides an outlet for people to talk about their professional proficiencies, experience and goals and reach out to those with similar backgrounds. It is also a useful site for researching companies of interest and getting an idea of the type of people they employ and what they do. I encourage candidates to use LinkedIn before interviews to research not only the company but also their interviewers. You would be surprised what you can learn-- trust me, they are researching you!

LinkedIn provides many tools to help you differentiate yourself, including the opportunity for fellow co-workers to recommend you. These are like living references and are extremely valuable when someone who has never met you is trying to learn about your professional skill and character. Also, making efforts to maintain and add credible connections will increase your profile status and ultimately make you more relevant as people conduct searches. Just like on Google, where the most popular sites get preference in search results, the same thing happens with your LinkedIn profile. Another tip is to make sure that you put a picture up for your profile (a professional one of course). This is helpful for several reasons; the most important one being that everyone likes to put a face with a name. It helps to personalize your resume and makes you real and relatable. However, I would not encourage that you put a picture on your actual resume.

Social media has its place in finding a new position but nothing can replace a good, old-fashioned, face-to-face meeting and a solidly built resume.

Tiffany Outlaw (MBA Class of 2009) has been a human resources professional for eight years and is currently a Senior Human Resources Recruiter for St. Vincent’s Medical Center:

St. Vincent's HealthCare is currently moving towards being more active in social media and looking for more ways to utilize social media channels for recruiting opportunities. However, our website ( is currently the top resource for finding candidates.

One of the most popular websites used by our organization is LinkedIn. St. Vincent’s have several leadership professionals that have accounts with LinkedIn and it is a great way to increase networking opportunities.

In this trying economy, I would highly recommend students becoming more actively involved in internship opportunities at least 1-2 years prior to graduation. This will contribute to experience and allow students to be more competitive and marketable when searching for career opportunities after graduation. Also this is another great way to improve networking opportunities, such as joining local business or leadership organizations or any organization that pertains to students’ majors

Please visit the Dolphin Network blog in the future as we address the issues of the day. If you have questions you would like to see answered by JU alumni, please forward them to

To contact the JU Career Services Office, call 904-256-7054 or click here
To contact the JU Alumni Office, call 904-256-7201 or click here

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