“You’ve got the education. Now what? Most students go to college to earn a degree so they can get a good job. But unless there is a position waiting in the family business, chances are you are going to have to look for one. So, where do you begin? Do you know all the career opportunities associated with your major? What if you want some real world experience before you commit to a career path? In an interview, do you know how to ask for a salary? Believe it or not, the answers to these questions and more may be just a campus building away.” This is the introductory paragraph for the College Central Network’s, or CCN’s, Advice page. Since April of 2013, Kaskaskia College has been utilizing the CCN as part of its ongoing effort to help meet the employment needs of students, alumni, community members, and employers.
The CCN allows users to view job postings, to create and send resumes and portfolios, and to learn about employment related topics such as interviewing skills and more.
Wendy Blythe, Kaskaskia College’s Career Services Specialist, uses the CCN as a major tool in her strategies for helping people find employment. “The CCN is a national clearing house for job seekers to seek employment and for employers looking for qualified candidates,” she said. “It contains so much information that is useful for candidates, including links to tutorial videos, other employment databases, career counseling and advice. It puts in one place the tools needed for a successful job search.”
Here is how it works: A job seeker creates an account and registration form. The built in Job Agent will notify the seeker of any jobs posted to KC that match the interests listed in the registration. From the Homepage, one can access job listings and internship opportunities posted to the KC CCN database, or search nationally.
One can also upload or create a resume in a variety of styles using the build a resume tool, or build a portfolio that show off one’s skills. Potential employers can then view these resumes and portfolios in searching for qualified candidates and alert the job seekers of the results.
One problem that plagues many job search sites are postings that are thinly veiled advertisements or that do not lead to real jobs. KC’s CCN does not have that problem, because Wendy Blythe has the capability to approve or reject each potential employer or job listing before it is posted, saving the job seeker from wasting his or her time on dead ends, and ensuring that every job posted is a real employment opportunity.
Kaskaskia College is also using the CCN program to advertise for its student worker positions, beginning this fall semester. Student candidates can see in a glance which positions they may qualify for or meet their needs. Departments employing student workers can choose potential workers from those whose qualifications match before scheduling interviews.
CCN is intuitive and easy to use, and offers resources to answer many of the questions job seekers have, but it is only part of what KC Career Services has to offer. Wendy Blythe will meet with and help job seekers with resumes, interviewing skills, and more. She has also scheduled seminars on using the CCN and other Career Services at the Colleges Education Centers and branch Campus in Vandalia this summer.
The CCN is a great tool for finding a job, especially one that fits your qualifications, but what if you don’t have those needed qualifications and direction in choosing a career path? KC’s Career Services has an answer for that as well, in a tool called Career Cruising.
Career Cruising asks users questions based upon their experiences and interests. The program builds a list for you on what your interests are. Using your answers, it asks more questions, and so on, until it has narrowed down what your interests are. You can see browse specific career fields that meet those interests. “Career Cruising is a great tool for those making a career change or simply beginning to find out what suits them,” said Wendy. “I will create passwords for interested people to log on to this service. Just call.”
All of Kaskaskia College’s Career Services are free of charge to students, alumni, community members, and employers. It is a wonderful service that KC is proud to provide to its communities and students. For more information regarding any of KC’s career services, please contact Wendy Blythe at 618-545-3073 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.