Thursday, February 19, 2015

How Do I Connect With RIT Employers?

As an RIT alum, you may be wondering if you can still connect with our recruiting companies.  The good news is - you definitely can, AND they want you to!  Companies who successfully recruit co-ops, interns, and new graduates value the skills and experiences of RIT alumni, and look to us when they have experienced hire opportunities.  Here are some ways you can connect.

  • Use RIT Job Zone.  You have continued access to our online job listing system (see the main Alumni page of our website to login or register for an account).  This allows you to view current job postings, search our employer database for company contact information, and gain access to additional resources, including CareerSearch, a comprehensive database of companies sorted by industry and geographic location.
  • Upload your resume into the Alumni Resume Book.  You'll find this option in the Documents tab of Job Zone.  Our employer partners have access to this resume book and use it to reach out to alumni who fit their current needs.
  • Attend the Career Fairs.  If you're in the Rochester area, you're able to attend any of our general or major specific fairs.  The Spring Career Fair is Wednesday March 4 from 10-4 in the Gordon Field House; bring your alumni ID to enter.  All attending company information is on Job Zone.  Also coming up this spring is Creative Industry Day, on March 19th, and the Hospitality and Service Management Fair, on April 7th.
  • Attend company information and networking events.   Many companies who are on campus to recruit provide these sessions to informally meet with students and alumni, and share information about their company and available opportunities.  All information is posted on Job Zone under the Events tab.
  • Join our LinkedIn group - RIT Career Services.  This gives you the opportunity to network with employer members, and many companies post positions at the experienced level on the group.
  • Meet with your Career Services Coordinator in our office - in person, by email or by phone, who has additional company connections and resources specific to your field of interest.  If you're not sure who your Coordinator is, call our office at 475-2301 to get connected.
Let us assist in your job search efforts; we're here to help you achieve continued career success!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Holiday Strategies for Your Job Search

Temping though it may be, don’t stop your job search efforts just because we've moved into the holiday season.  There are still jobs available; in fact, companies may want to fill positions before the end of their fiscal year, or may want to interview for positions that will become available after the first of the year, in their new fiscal year.  This time of the year also provides unique opportunities to make new contacts.

Here are some ways to stay active over the next couple of months:

Review your search strategy.  This is a good time to evaluate your search efforts, to determine what's been working and what hasn't.  You want to focus your time and energy on activities that move you closer to your goals, and let go of things that haven't been working.  Also review your marketing materials - resume, portfolio, LinkedIn profile, to see if any updates are needed.

Polish your presence.  The holidays are also a good time to get a makeover - hair, wardrobe - to be sure you're presenting a professional, up to date image.

Follow up on any pending positions to which you've applied, or for which you've interviewed.  Reconnect with the recruiter or hiring manager to let them know you’re still interested in the position, and to see where they are in the hiring process.

Contact the third party recruiter (headhunter) you’re working with (or find one in your field), to update them on your status, and see if there are any new positions they've received for which you may be a good match.  Remember that recruiters work for their company clients, not for you, so it's up to you to keep yourself front of mind.

Keep checking job sites for your field, RIT Job Zone, and company sites for postings.  Companies may receive fewer applications as people’s minds are elsewhere, so be diligent in checking for new opportunities.

Work part-time.  The holidays often opportunities to pick up some part-time employment.  In addition to the extra money, you'll also meet coworkers and customers who may provide tips or connections for  your job search.

Volunteer.  Look for opportunities to participate in charity or community service projects.  This allows you to give back, to utilize your skills or develop new ones, and connect with other volunteers, who may know of opportunities in your field.

Step up your networking activities.  Reach out to your contacts with a holiday greeting, and a brief update on your status.  This includes your LinkedIn contacts, and the holidays may be a good time to find additional alumni contacts with whom you can reconnect.

Attend community, association, and organization holiday parties and get togethers; make it your goal to meet new people with whom you can develop a networking relationship in the new year. Ask questions and absorb information you can use later.  Don’t forget family and neighborhood parties; every get together is an opportunity to develop new contacts.  Keep things light – don’t overwhelm people with your problems or job issues; keep a few business cards handy; and always think about how you can help other people you meet.

Keeping your job search active now will put you that much further ahead when the new year begins and help you maintain a positive attitude.  Enjoy your holidays, and remember, the Career Services Office is always here to assist with your job search efforts!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Back to Basics: Tips For Career Success, Emily Ellis, MBA '07

Whether you are gainfully employed or actively seeking employment, there are a few universal tips that will be helpful in putting yourself on the path to success. While the individual details may vary, we can all agree that we are in pursuit of at least one universal goal: to be successful. To be successful in our current careers, in finding a new role, in the pursuit of a completely new career path, or just in finding general, personal fulfillment. Here are a few universal tips that you can apply to pursuing your goals, regardless of what stage you are in.

1.       Know who you are. This seems simple, but have you done an honest self-assessment yet? Write down your strengths, weaknesses, personal and professional values, likes and dislikes, etc. into a document in which you will be the sole reader, allowing you to be completely open and honest. Include your vision for where you see yourself going professionally in the next 5-10 years. What types of roles are you looking to pursue? Do you have the skills for those roles, or are there gaps that you need to address? What kind of growth opportunities do you need to feel successful? What type of work environment do you prefer? When you are done answering these types of questions, you should have a lengthy document that gives you a better picture of what you are looking for. This is the start of your Professional Development Plan. Your path should align with who you are and what’s important to you.

2.      Brand yourself. Know who you are and what you have to offer an employer. You’ve done your self-assessment and, hopefully, have a good handle on the types of roles you want to pursue (whether they be new roles or growth opportunities within your existing company). Craft your resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profile, and any other materials, to reflect your strongest skills and abilities, along with your professional values. You need to succinctly deliver the message to employers about who you are and what you have to offer. This is your brand. Once it’s developed you need to maintain it and continue to promote it. Maintain your credibility by not losing sight of your goals and values.

3.      Keep an open mind. It’s good to have a plan in place and know who you are, but you need to remain flexible. We live in a very dynamic world with ever-changing factors that impact our lives and decisions every day. Your Professional Development Plan is meant to be a living document that you modify and adapt as you gain new information. Consider all possibilities before ruling them out.

4.      Stay positive.  No one wants to work with or hire a negative person. Attitude really can be everything. Have you heard the saying “People won’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel”? It’s true. If you are a negative person, you exude it and it can be very apparent the minute you walk through the door. Stay optimistic and be friendly! You are always making an impression on people. Make it a good one.

5.      Take responsibility. Own your role and the outcomes of your actions. Having trouble finding a job? Get turned down for a promotion you were hoping for? Missed a project deadline? Don’t blame others. Every experience is a learning opportunity. What could you have done differently, in retrospect? How can you improve going, forward? Sure others may have been involved in the outcome, but do you have control over them and their actions? You are responsible for your own success. No one is going to define it for you or lead you to it.

6.      Make friends. Get to know people. Find out how you can help them by utilizing your unique knowledge, skills and abilities. The positive attitude mentioned above can really help you with this! Networking is important. You hear it all the time, but it really is invaluable. It can be your key to getting noticed for advancement in your career. Knowing the right people who can speak to your talents and abilities favorably can be the extra leg up you need. Everyone knows something that you don’t. Learn something new from them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and utilize your network in different ways. Create your own personal board of directors to help guide you and act as a sounding board as you make career decisions. Utilize your network to identify contacts that can give you a heads up about upcoming positions opening up at a company you are really interested in working for. Have someone review your resume. We can all help each other in some way. Don’t be afraid to reach out and initiate a connection. Promote your progress!

There is no doubt that the job market can be tough, and it is always easier to look for paths to success while you are still employed. However, I think all of us lose site of the basics at times. We get tired and frustrated of pursuing goals that seem like they may never come to fruition. Don’t be afraid to step back and modify your plan and strategies. Seek outside assistance if you can’t seem to get out of a rut on your own. Maybe you are missing something because you are too close to the situation. Regardless, don’t lose sight of these simple tips for success.

Emily Ellis, MBA '07, is a Higher Education and Career Services professional.  We welcome guest posts on any topic related to career and job search success.  Email Kris at if you'd like to contribute a post.