After registering for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, the first session attended was titled, "How to Optimize Your Job Search." Optimizing a Job search is a great way to have a plan for how to tackle finding your initial entry level job after graduating from undergraduate programs. Being that I am set to graduate May 2013, I wished to learn new techniques as well as how to utilize the ones I've already acquired. While sitting in this session, I learned a great deal about social media and how it aids you in your job search. The panelists mentioned starting a LinkedIn account and beginning to network. I had no idea that so many recruiters used LinkedIn as a means of finding potential employees. This was on thing that is not hard to complete but is very essential to the job search process.
Of the panelists, some were recruiters for their companies and shared that entering the industry straight from undergrad is not a bad thing at all. They encouraged any undergraduate students to not be so haunted by the idea that most companies want to have seasoned and experienced engineers. One women stated, "We do not expect you to know everything straight out of undergrad. I don't know anyone who knows everything there is to know in this ever changing field, I know I don't!" She reassured me personally, that when I go to the Career Fair here at the convention to remember that I have academic learning concepts and projects where I learn to utilize what I've learned, but that taking the next step into the industry will only expand upon what I've learned in undergrad at Old Dominion University.
Ultimately, utilizing social media, inclusive of Facebook, LinkedIn, and blogs can assist me in my search for job. My immediate and extended network will also help as well. One of the panelists mentioned how a friend of a friend may know someone who is in the position you wish to be in and how networking can open opportunities simply by being unafraid to ask questions and have conversations about someone we all love so much as Computer Scientists and Engineers.
I am well on my way and feeling much better about my upcoming job search with the tools I've learned of in this session.