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Expert Alert

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U of M experts available to comment on getting that first job out of college and leveraging the art of social networking

May 5, 2011

Graduation day is right around the corner for thousands of college students in Minnesota and across the country. Two University of Minnesota experts who can provide insight on landing that first job out of college and taking advantage of social networking opportunities are:

Paul Timmins, career services director, College of Liberal Arts

Victor Massaglia, career counselor, Law School

Timmins believes the job market for recent college graduates is finally on the upswing. Nonetheless, Timmins says it still is a tough job market. “We stress to our students that they need to start early, plan and work hard.” Timmins says a student’s resume should reflect a variety of skills that will be useful to an employer. “It’s not about what can I do with my major, but what can I do with the unique set of skills I’ve developed in college.”

For a video interview with Timmins on advice for job-seeking college grads, visit

Massaglia says networking – both online and off – plays a key role. According to, 60 to 90 percent of jobs are found informally – mainly through friends, relatives and direct contacts.

“Job seekers should think of their strategy as a people search rather than a job search,” Massaglia says. “Social networking connects you to people you knew, people you know now and, just as important if not more important, people you need to know -- in other words, your future colleagues. These tools provide a quick and convenient way to establish and develop relationships.”  

In addition to connecting you with people, social media can help job seeking students be more marketable by facilitating them to become subject matter experts as well as promote themselves, Massaglia says. “Utilizing social media tools is a terrific way to not only learn about a particular topic, but can also help you brand your expertise."

Massaglia says the key social networking do’s and don’ts are:

- Don't be afraid to participate.  

- Go 'out there' and explore and find the tools that will help you achieve your career development goals. Click the 'about' links, watch YouTube instructional videos and don't forget to ask your friends and colleagues what tools they use.

- Don't be fake

- You want to be hired for who you truly are, so don't be afraid to express your professional self when utilizing social media.

- Don't ignore how you're being perceived in the electronic space

- Be aware of the security settings

- Frequently assess your online persona, which includes googling your name

To interview Timmins or Massaglia, contact Jeff Falk at (612) 626-1720 or; or Kelly O’Brien at (612) 624-4109 or

Expert Alert is a service provided by the University News Service. Delivered regularly, Expert Alert is designed to connect university experts to today's breaking news and current events. For an archive and other useful media services, visit Views expressed by experts do not represent the views of the University of Minnesota.

Tags: College of Liberal Arts, Law School

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videoJob-seeking advice from Paul Timmins 

Job-seeking advice from Paul Timmins