Secrets to Online Job Searching with Nina James

by Joshlyn Booth
Shield Staff

Branding Your Name

Job seekers should always make sure you’re putting yourself out there in the right way, a regional account director said Wednesday.

“When you think about job search, you think about the website, and you think about the brand called ‘you,’ ” said Nina James, regional account director for Bridge, a corporate learning engagement platform.

James' Presentation

James presented her secrets to online job searching in a library conference room at Rochester College April 8. She spoke to a Public Relations Campaigns and Strategies class consisting of five students and one faculty member.

James’ intent was to help students learn how to properly brand or market themselves for online jobs.

“This is the second time we’ve been able to have Nina speak in this class, and I’m grateful that she takes the time to help the students at RC,” Rochester College professor Julianna Blankenship said. “Knowing the best ways to search for jobs online is key to students landing great jobs.”

How to Market Yourself

James began talking with students about how they’re a brand in the online world. “You’re a brand, so you’re marketing yourself,” James said. “You’re newer in the job market, so you’re still establishing your own personal brand.”

James said the way for students to brand themselves is by opening up accounts with the top five online job websites: CareerBuilder, Monster, Indeed, Simply Hired and LinkedIn. From there, students will need to set up accounts with the websites and upload a resume for each.

James told students not to include a picture of themselves on their resumes. “I recommend that you don’t do that,” James said. She said students should want the employer to focus on their skills, experiences, and what they’ve done in college.

“You don’t want them to be focused on your picture. You want them to go right into what you can do for them,” James said.

James also told students to “always bring several copies of your resume.” She recommends students bring five to 10 copies of their resume to an interview. James said it looks horrible if someone asks for a copy and you don’t have one with you.

Blankenship commented by telling students to go to Kinko’s and purchase portfolios. James agreed with Blankenship because students could use the portfolios to store all copies of their resumes.

When conducting job searches, James told students to research company websites. “Always go to company websites. Always go to their career sites,” James said.

She mentioned that 89 percent of companies do not post their jobs on any other site other than their career site. “You miss out on really good opportunities that might be out there,” James said.

Within her presentation, she stopped to ask students about how many of them are currently on LinkedIn. This generated a brief moment of laughter from the students since they say they personally hate LinkedIn.

Importance of LinkedIn

A student commented, saying how he sees LinkedIn as a site catered to an older generation. James agreed that LinkedIn is for an older generation but then told the students this: “No matter if you like it or not, you have to be on it,” James said.

Here’s how she said students could use LinkedIn: Use LinkedIn for its data and to connect with recruiting managers. “You never know who could find you,” James said.

She told the students to do a search on LinkedIn with the name of a specific company they’re interested in followed by the words “recruiting manager.” This will connect the students to recruiters seeking employees for their company.

“I think the last time I looked, it was like 72 percent of the people on LinkedIn were all recruiters,” James said. She said people are looking for interns and new grads, so students have to be on it.

Tips for the Future 

Toward the end of her presentation, James said students should aim to work for a company for two to three years. “If you don’t, it looks bad,” James said. She recommends students stay with a job as long as they like and as long as the company treats them well.

Since James’ presentation, one RC student has already applied James’ methods for online job searching.

“I was so grateful for the advice she gave us in class that week,” RC senior Sara Beason said. “I went home and applied to over 50 careers using her approach and I have already received over 15 calls to set up interviews.”