In my previous blog, I discussed about the importance of supplementing the knowledge gain from college with universal basic skills to become effective and efficient in a professional life. In this blog, I will focus on how networking skills will benefit new graduates to maximize their chance of getting their dream jobs.

Career Development scholars apply the iceberg analogy to demonstrate the visibility of potential jobs in current labor market environment.  According to this theory, only 20% of the iceberg is visible to our eye whereas 80% is hidden beneath the water surface. Using this analogy, Carter & Izumo (2014), argued that only a very small portion of potential jobs are visible over advertising while most of them are hidden from the potential labor market.  Therefore, in order to exploit those hidden employment opportunities, job seekers need to develop and utilize their networking skills.

As outlined by the same authors, here are some major hidden job opportunities that deserve consideration:

  • Visiting prospective employers even if they have no open position now is one area to explore. Discussing about unique capacities, job seekers have, may initiate managers to realize some unmet needs they did not even recognize existing before. If managers decided to meet those needs by opening new positions, the first people they will contact will be the job seekers who initiated the new positions.
  • Networking will also help job seekers to discover potential jobs that are not yet announced but possible to be available in the near future. There may be positions that will be available since someone is relocating/ leaving shortly or new project and expansions is starting soon.
  • In many instances, employers are announcing job openings internally anticipating that their own employees may recommend the right people for those openings. Job seekers with very good networking skills may exploit these opportunities.

The most common way of seeking a job after graduating from college is by searching from official job postings. As discussed above, open jobs constitute the smaller portion of potential jobs available in the labor market. Besides, since open jobs are available in many online and print outlets, hundreds and thousands of applicants are competitive for those limited positions.  For new college graduates, it will be tougher to stand out from the crowd and get the job offer because they have very limited previous work experiences. Hence, developing networking skills to exploit the huge hidden job markets is a wise decision from new college graduates.

Source: Carter, C. & G. Izumo, (2014), Career Tool Kit: Skills for Success, Fourth ed. Pearson Education Inc. Boston, MA.

Post written by Dr. Zelalem Chala.

Is your cover letter as strong as your resume? Cover letters are just as important as resumes, but many job applicants don’t put the same level of effort into them as they do with a resume or do not include one at all when applying for a job. A good cover letter can make the difference between getting an interview and not getting a call back.

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Best Colleges

VIU was recently honored as the Top Online Education School in Virginia by Best The ranking assesses affordability, graduation rates, and location.  VIU earned a ranking score of 83.19% and topped all other online programs in Virginia.  You can Study Anywhere, Anytime with VIU Online as we make higher education convenient per your learning needs.  Our students enrolled in online programs come from across the globe in pursuit of higher education with a global perspective.  For more information, visit or call 1-800-51-GoVIU to speak with an Admissions Representative.  At VIU, all are welcome here!


Before the summer fully begins and you actively review employment search engine sites, attend networking events, or, even visit the Career Services Department, take a few minutes to evaluate your résumé and what it says about you to potential employers.

As a previous employer, I have reviewed pages of résumés that were submitted by job seekers seeking to highlight their best qualifications for an advertised position, however, many of the résumés included a long list of job duties and never really caught my eye, or, answered the question, “Why should I hire this candidate?”

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Alumni Portal Screen Shot

Ms. Robyn Taylor, Director of Career Services and Alumni Relations, heads up Virginia International University’s Alumni Relations program that allows graduates to stay connected and engaged with their Alma Mater. VIU Alumni are just part of our extended campus family as they venture to the next phase of their professional journey. The ties are still there after graduation and VIU alumni are offered continuing benefits, such as on-going Career Services support, access to professional conferences, and a tuition discount when enrolling in future degree programs for lifelong learning pursuits.  Our Alumni are true Ambassadors representing VIU’s educational outcomes across the globe and we are so proud to have them in our network as a support system for the university as they advance in their careers.

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