Alisande "Alie" Ivie is the college's first ENV Career Specialist. Below, she shares advice on what students can still do to make themselves job- and career-ready in the current economic climate. Check her April 23 interview with Archinect, in which she talks about ENV and career advising during the pandemic.
When looking for employment opportunities, most job seekers apply online, which is the most commonly used job searching strategy. However, I also encourage job seekers to use their network to find employment opportunities as well. Recent studies have shown that 80% of jobs are found through networking. Like the old, timeless saying goes..."it's not what you know, but who you know!".
In a sense, this is true. It definitely helps to know someone that may possibly refer you or connect you to others. I highly recommend for students to navigate throughout their networks and connect with others in their field, which will simultaneously build their networking skills and create new career opportunities.
When unclear on who to network with, consider your existing connections. Reach out to family, friends, professionals, and professors to make them aware that you are searching for new opportunities. As you are making calls to family and old friends, the process may feel tedious and pointless at times. However, you absolutely never know who your family, friends, or colleagues may be connected to, and they can possibly lead you in the right direction.
Networking is an incredibly powerful tool that most job seekers do not consider using. There are tools and platforms to help students grow their network. For example, Linkedin, where you can connect with professionals in the field of your choice, as well as alumni. Once you establish these connections, I urge you to introduce yourself in an email or message stating your skills, experience, education, and career goals. Then ask for their insights, rather than asking for a job outright. Networking goes beyond establishing new connections. The reason networking is so powerful is because these connections are a valuable resource. Having a direct referral from a connection helps you bypass the lengthy list of applicants and puts you at the top of the list for hiring managers to consider. As you continue to navigate the job market, do not forget to let your network be your guide.