Advice to Isenberg Students: Be Resourceful in Your Job Search Strategies

May 20, 2013

"Our aim at Isenberg is to offer our students the best possible tool kit of job search resources and preparation," emphasizes Melissa Salva, Director of Recruiting Operations at the School's Chase Career Center. "We're happy when our students find jobs and internships through our own eRecruiting posts and our career services blog, RecrutingEdge. We're just as pleased when they independently use resources like Glassdoor and LinkedIn. Our bottom line is to maximize our students' personal initiative and success in the job market," she emphasizes.


That dovetails, Salva continues, with the individual drive and resilience that give Isenberg students a competitive edge in the marketplace. To help them make the most of those assets, Isenberg equips them with a structured program of job search and career -related tools from day one, beginning with its mandatory Freshman Transitions course. That's when every Isenberg student opens a personal LinkedIn account.


Melissa Smith \'13Melissa Smith \'13"The Freshman Transitions course was the first time I'd heard of LinkedIn," recalls Melissa Smith, a 2013 Isenberg marketing graduate who used the platform to land her first job after graduation- as an Ecommerce Marketing Assistant with MedPort LLC in Providence. Smith will work with the company's Fit & Fresh business, a product line of durable plastic containers with removable ice packs. At MedPort, Smith will work with Anne Coyne, a 2005 Isenberg MBA graduate, who is the company's Director of eCommerce.


Following Freshman Transitions, Smith's LinkedIn account remained relatively inactive until the summer of 2012, when she deployed it to research potential clients as a Business Development Intern with Compete, Inc., a Boston area firm that specializes in digitally based marketing intelligence. She had acquired the Compete internship not through LinkedIn but through Isenberg graduate Brian Tino '11, a new contact in her growing Isenberg network.


Reaching beyond Campus Job Search Platforms. "The internship helped me to appreciate LinkedIn's value in identifying and maximizing personal networks, both for business intelligence and  job market research," Smith remarks.  With that realization, the platform became prominent in her arsenal of job search resources. (As did strategic conversations during her senior year with Salva and Kim Figueroa, Isenberg's director of internships and co-ops. [A strong LinkedIn advocate, Salva has offered LinkedIn workshops at Isenberg since the spring semester of 2012.])


According to Coyne, the MedPort position attracted 150 applicants, most of them from colleges in Rhode Island, several from UMass Amherst, and a couple from Boston. The lion's share of applications arrived via college e-recruiting platforms and 20 to 30 came through Coyne counted only a handful of applications via LinkedIn. She had also posted the job on Isenberg's e-recruiting site, which Smith bypassed because she had discovered the LinkedIn post first.  Unlike Smith, many of the applicants, notes Coyne, failed to include cover letters; only a few sent follow-up letters or inquiries.


It's to an applicant's advantage, Coyne continues, to expand job searches beyond their campus recruiting sites. Don't take the easy way out, she advised. "Be thorough", she notes, "by searching for opportunities in the Web's nooks and crannies."  LinkedIn, she adds, has the "advantage of letting you see who posted the position; how you may be connected to that person." Salva agrees that students should go the added mile in their job searches. "That, in fact," she says, "plays right into the strengths of Isenberg students-their exceptional drive and their unwillingness to settle for business as usual."