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August 30, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU Career Education Office launches student, alumni online jobs system

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -Slippery Rock University students looking for on-campus jobs, internships or full-time employment after graduation as well as alumni seeking new job opportunities have a new high-tech tool available through the University's Office of Career Education and Development.

"This is a new job search system being used by all 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education," said Renee Coyne, assistant director of SRU's Office of Career Education and Development in Bailey Library.

The system, formally known as "SRU Career Connection," was activated earlier this summer. The system is powered by Arlington, Va.-based Symplicity, one of the largest providers of cloud-based solutions for higher education.

"It is a job posting and career event management system open to students and employers, but has a faculty function that allows them to monitor internships and job openings that might be of interest to their students," Coyne said.

Major advantages of SRU Career Connection are that it can be integrated with LinkedIn, described as the largest professional network with 225 million members in more than 200 countries and territories; offers students updates via Twitter or text, can be easily operated from a mobile device, and offers more storage for documents and portfolio items for students and alumni.

The system, which allows students to use their email address and SRU password to sign in, provides a document library for students to upload multiple resumes or cover letters as well as create an online portfolio appropriate to their job search. The portfolio can include video and documents that potential employers can view as they review job applicants, Coyne said.

"There is even an option for students to create a QR Code which directly links to their online portfolio. A student can include that QR Code on a business card, resume, or job fair nametag for an employer to scan with their smart phone or tablet. The scan gives the potential employer instant access to more detailed information and examples of a students' academic and work history," she said.

"I'm excited for how easy and accessible the system is for students, alumni, employers, and faculty whether it's sitting down on the computer or browsing with their smartphone, this system has a lot to offer everyone. Students can opt to receive text messages reminding them about interview appointments and career events as well as sync the calendar with their own Outlook or smart phone calendar," Coyne said. An additional feature is the ability to program search agents that will screen new positions for students and then email, text, or tweet only relevant job postings to that student.

"The system will also share with students and alumni dates and registration information for on-campus job fairs, career workshops and employer visits as well as off-campus job fairs and career event dates, " she said.

Through SRU Career Connection, students and alumni will have access to jobs posted directly to SRU's site, positions posted by the other 13 PASSHE schools, and nationwide job postings through NACElink. Having access to local, regional, and nationwide job opportunities and career preparation material in one location will be an asset for SRU students and alumni.

Individual departments post most on-campus employment opportunities.

"SRU Career Connection system makes it easy to post a position as well as close a position once it is filled. Offices seeking candidates can post the position as well as application instructions in just a few minutes. One of the options for collecting resumes allows an office to schedule a PDF book of applicants' resumes to be sent to their email when the position closes. And any closed position can be re-posted at any time, even a year later, which will save each office time in the coming years," Coyne said.

As the system expands a "chat" function will be added allowing students to text-chat with Office of Career Education and Development staff regarding such items as cover letters, resumes or last-minute job or interview questions. Coyne said, "This feature will be particularly useful for students completing online degree programs or working full-time while attending school." Another option down the road is to build a mentoring network between employers or SRU alumni and current students. "The system has the capabilities to host and support mentoring, and we are anxious to find out how it could work for the SRU community," Coyne said.

"As the campus community and our employers become more comfortable with the using SRU Career Connection, I think they will agree changing systems was beneficial. Especially since this system will enable our office to work more effectively with students seeking help and assistance as well as connect with students who are not engaging in career development activities earlier," Coyne said.

Coyne said the system could be programmed by the student looking for a job to continually search for a particular type of job, and then send an email alert when a potential match is found.

The system is available at: Other services offered by the Office of Career Education and Development, including tips on developing cover letters and resumes, may be found at:

While the system at SRU is only two months old, there have been nearly 1,000 student log-ons and 93 jobs have been posted. Currently there are almost 1,000 employers registered in the system.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.