Cover Letter Tip: How to find a name to address letter

By: Lauren Burmester & Stephanie Rozboril

Cover Letter2If you have found a position you are ready to apply for and are working on your cover letter you may have hit that all important line which requires you have someone to address this to. If your sudden scramble stems from the fact that you have no clue, don’t worry, there are several ways to handle this problem and get this letter on its way.

  1. EagleHire: If you found the job in EagleHire chances are the contact information is already included with the job posting
  2. Company Website: Take a look at the company’s website and see if there is an employee directory or a list of executives or managers available
  3. Internet Search: Conduct an internet search by using the name of the company and key words such as: recruiter, hiring manager, human resources, etc. Consider searching for the company on LinkedIn to locate the hiring manager’s name.
  4. Cold Call: Call the company’s Human Resources Department and simply ask for the contact information for the recruiter in charge of the job you are applying to
  5. Career Services Office: Contact your Career Services Advisor to see if they are familiar with the recruitment department for that company
  6. Generic Greeting: If all else fails use a generic greeting such as: Dear Hiring Manager, Dear Human Resources Director, or Dear Sir/Madam. These terms cover all the possibilities far better than “To whom it may concern” which is impersonal.

Taking initiative and finding a name to address your letter to shows the hiring manager that you are very interested in the position and you have put in the time and effort to make it right. This makes for a strong impression, before the letter is even read!

Sample cover letters are available on the Career Services website

Lauren Burmester is the Aviation Program Manager in Career Services.  She has been an employee with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University since 2006 working in Advising and Admissions.  She completed both her Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Studies with concentrations in Aviation Safety, Space Studies, and Business Administration, as well as a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics with a specialization in Safety Systems at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, graduating with distinction.  Lauren’s passion for the Aviation and Aerospace industry is instrumental in assisting students achieve their personal and professional goals.

Stephanie Rozboril is new to the career services office and serves as the engineering program manager and also supports our homeland security, space physics, computer science, and computational mathematics students. She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University since 2012, where she worked in the Alumni Relations Office supporting future and current graduates. Stephanie enjoys working with students to help them achieve their professional goals and become successful in today’s competitive job market.



7 Rules for Your LinkedIn Profile Picture

By Emily Ferraro

Always add a professional photo to your LinkedIn profile

Always add a professional photo to your LinkedIn profile

Having an online brand can all be summed up in one picture.  How can you make sure that your picture sends the right message? Hopefully you’re beginning to think about how your professional brand is represented across different social media platforms. The LinkedIn profile picture is the essence of your professional brand. Here are 7 tips to consider when thinking about your image.

1.) First, Make Sure You Have One!

LinkedIn research shows that a page with a profile picture is seven times as likely to be viewed as a page without one.  When someone is looking over your page, they want to gain a connection just like a personal interaction. Having a  professional picture that follows these tips will immediately give them a stronger impression of who you are rather than a blank photo.

2.) No “Selfies” Please!

The self-portrait photo is the most popular style of professional profile pictures, but if you can help it, don’t take the picture by yourself. People viewing your profile will be able to tell if you took this on your laptop or extended your arm to get your whole face in the frame on your cell phone. LinkedIn is not the place for selfies. This does not mean that you must hire a professional photographer but ask a trusted friend or family member to use a high quality camera or phone to take your photo for you.

3.) Photo For One:

Make sure you are the only person in your photo: exclude any and all friends, family, spouses, and pets from the photo. Your LinkedIn profile picture should be focused on you and only you. Try to refrain from using a cropped image where someone has been cut out of the image. If you are serious about your job search and you can’t find a picture of just you, this is the perfect excuse to create a recent and professional image.

4.) Keep Current:

Use a recent photo of yourself. Your brand should be transparent and consistent. You do not want to be unrecognizable in person compared to your profile picture. If you look different than the picture you have posted online, it’s time to post a new one to reflect who you are in person.

5.) Dress To Impress:

Think about how you would dress for an interview or professional networking opportunity in person and dress that way for your profile picture. Remember your profile image should reflect who you are in person; this will help your brand remain professional and reliable.

6.) Be CLEAR:

­Refrain from using photos that are blurry, pixelated, shadowed, or out of focus. You don’t want to be too far away in the picture that you are unable to be identified. When someone reviews your page or sees your photo, nothing is more distracting than a blurry or low-quality image. You want to make the right first impression, and a clear professional quality image is the best indicator that you take your brand seriously.

7.) Look Forward to Your Future:

Your picture should represent you in the best way possible. Be charismatic and smile while looking forward at the camera. Try not to look too serious or stare blankly into the camera. The picture should be a clear picture of your face from the shoulders up. Refrain from using logo’s and designs in the picture.

Emily Ferraro is new to the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and serves as the Program Manager for undergraduate Aerospace Engineering students. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies as well as her Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction specializing in College Student Affairs at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. Emily enjoys working with students to help them achieve their personal and professional career goals and specializes in topics such as personal branding and resume writing.

Internship Resources

By Sandi Ohman

thCA5BNMPOWhile it is extremely cold right now, even here in Florida, the summer is quickly approaching.  As students contemplate their summer plans, for some, an internship opportunity is high on the list. Many though don’t know how to start the search process for identifying internships.  Below is a list of resources to use to find internship opportunities:

  1. The Career Services Office (CSO) – The CSO at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) advertises internships through the career management system, EagleHire Network.  This is an excellent resource to consider for internship opportunities.  CSO partners with employers to advertise opportunities through EagleHire Network.  These companies are interested in ERAU students, so it is a good place to start the internship search.
  2. Company Websites –  Many large companies have well-established internship programs and choose to advertise internship opportunities on their company websites. Make sure to follow all application requirements and provide requested documents, since this shows the employer the applicant can follow directions.
  3. The Internet – Search engines such as Google,,, are good internet resources to search for internships.  Another resource is CareerShift.  This is an employment research tool for students and alumni to use when researching opportunities.  The Career Services Office has purchased the required membership needed to use CareerShift.  The log-in page can be found embedded in the home page of the student/alumni part of EagleHire Network.  Make sure to follow account creation/log-in instructions located in the CareerShift box.  There are also numerous internet resources listed on the Useful Links page of the Career Services website.
  4. Faculty – Faculty are excellent resources in the internship search.  Many have worked in industry, and they have contacts and companies contact them about open positions.
  5. Network(ing)Quintiessential Careers recently wrote in their blog that networking is one of the best ways to find out about opportunities.  So, let others know of your interest to find an internship in a specific field.  Also, LinkedIn is another networking source.  LinkedIn is a professional social networking internet resource.  Users can search for alumni that work at the company they are interested in, search for internships advertised through LinkedIn, or other contacts in the company.
  6. Career Fair/Recruiting Events – In 2014 the Daytona Beach Career Services Office will be hosting Career Week 360°.  This will be a week full of career-related topics and opportunities.  On Tuesday, March 4 and Wednesday, March 5, there will be an Employer Recruiting Showcase.  This is a smaller event than the Industry/Career Expo, but it is an opportunity for companies to recruit for internships and full-time opportunities.   Another opportunity to meet recruiters is company visits.  There are numerous companies that will come to campus to recruit, interview and hold information sessions.  These are good opportunities to interact with employers and learn about internship opportunities.  Check the EagleHire Network calendar for dates.
  7. Letters of Interest – Letter of Interest/Inquiry can be used to reach out to companies to find out about internship opportunities or programs.
  8. Previous Student Internship Papers – When students participate in an internship for credit, writing a paper about the experience at the end of the term is part of the requirements. Those papers are posted in the Daytona Beach Career Services Blackboard organization.  This is a good way to read what other students experienced on their internship and also find out where other students from different degrees went on an internship.

Students should use the above resources to research and find internship opportunities.  When applying for internships, make sure to customize resumes (and cover letters if requested) to positions, follow application requirements and submit complete quality applications.  This will increase the chances of obtaining an internship and gaining the experience towards a future career.

Sandi Ohman is the Senior Program Manager in the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  She has been with the university for over 9 years and has advised students in most all degree areas while in Career Services.  Sandi brings additional experience having worked in the finance industry for over 6 years in her previous career.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida, and her Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida.

Job Search and Relocation Q&As

By Kristy Amburgey

Q&AAs graduation approaches, there are often questions that may be forming in your mind that can serve as barriers to your job search and job selection.  Via an informal poll with upcoming graduates, here are some of those questions along with corresponding insight on how to address each one.

Do I have enough knowledge base to get a job?

It is no secret that employers like to hire candidates with previous experiences.  As an entry-level candidate, you may wonder how you are going to get experience since the employer may not hire without it.  Hopefully you have worked the past several years while in school to obtain experience, which can include ratings/certifications, internships, research, academic/other projects, full-time/part-time work and more.   You are probably more knowledgeable than you may assume…consider all of the experiences that have led to the development of your knowledge base.  Keep track of your academic, work and professional accomplishments and prepare to market your knowledge base to potential employers in a way that relates to their needs.

Am I ready to be interviewed?

Luckily, this worry is easy to address.  You can get ready for an interview through a variety of means, including preparing and practicing your responses.  Start by reviewing potential interview questions and learn how to answer typical questions, and you can then practice what you learned.  Sample interview questions are available on the Career Services website, and you can also read about answering behavioral-based questions.  Practicing is also an easy step to take; you can do a mock interview with someone who gives honest feedback, and you can use the Career Services proprietary resource, Perfect Interview, once you log in to EagleHire Network.

Do I have the right connections in place? 

Most people recognize that networking is an important step in any job search and professional development process.  The more difficult part of networking is finding the right people with which to connect.  First, recognize that not all connections have to be in the exact field you want to pursue.  Your network can and should be made up of a variety of professional and personal contacts that are built on mutually beneficial relationships as you never know how others are connected.  Second, communicate your goals to your network through conversations, emails, newsletters, mentoring sessions, informational interviews and more.  Third, use resources like LinkedIn to visualize how you are connected to others and how you might leverage your relationships.  LinkedIn is also a great way to stay connected with your network.

How will I meet new people to build my network?

As mentioned above, you may already have a great network in place, but it is so important to constantly work to build additional relationships and strengthen current ones.  You can meet new people in any way possible.  Of course, start with opportunities in your industry or field and ones that put you in contact with professionals who are doing the work you want to do.  Find conferences, professional organizations, industry meet & greets, networking events and alumni events available to you. Next, consider events where you might meet indirect connections to your industry like geographically-based events, companies that contract with your dream company or activities that put you in contact with diverse people.  Finally, always be prepared to start a conversation with anyone in any circumstance.  Even if a person can’t help you professionally, you might find a new friend.

Am I at the right place, professionally and personally?

Your professional and personal satisfaction is important, so you always want to evaluate a job and the location before accepting an opportunity.  Evaluating your job offer and considering relocation to another area takes time to assess.  Before making a move, make sure you know or understand the community, the company, the industry prospects, the opportunities for future growth and the expectations for the position.

Where can I find housing once I move?

As you explore job opportunities, especially ones in geographical locations in which you are not familiar, it can be a tough task to make a move.  To find out about a location and the various housing options, ask!  Ask contacts at the company, ask your network, ask friends and ask random people who you may not know.  Research is another great way to learn about housing options.  If you are able to visit the location and drive around the area (or ask someone to show you around), do it.  Although there is no guarantee that you will be able to determine the best housing fit for you in a few conversations or a visit, you can get better acquainted with the area to make a more educated choice.

What happens when I move? 

Work hard and enjoy it!  Do everything possible to succeed in your professional life…volunteer for projects, meet people, follow basic co-worker etiquette rules, join professional organizations, obtain professional development, find your niche…the list can go on. At the same time, establish yourself in your community…get involved, find groups to join, take time for a hobby or learn something new.   What happens after your move is really up to you!

Are my colleagues making more than I am?

Rule number one: please do not ask your colleagues what they are making.  It is a professional negative to talk about salary amongst your peers.  What you can do, before you even accept a job, is conduct research on what people are making in your geographical location, at your company and in your field.  After that, you should focus on your performance, working to make sure that you are establishing a solid reputation and working towards great evaluations, promotions or raises since your actions are the only things you can control.

Will I be able to pay off my loans?

There are no guarantees in life, so no one can predict your financial future.  You can take charge of your finances, though, by being aware of debt repayment, repayment rules and financial solvency.  Before accepting a position, it is incredibly important to know you can handle all of your expenses, including debt repayment.

Kristy Amburgey is the Associate Director of Career Services – Daytona Beach campus and currently manages marketing and employer relations for the department.  She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for approximately 10 years.

The “Social” Job Search: Using Social Media to Get Ahead

By Emily Ferraro

socialIt’s no secret that maintaining a professional online presence can be one of the first steps to landing a job or internship. With another semester coming to an end, it’s time to take a look at how you use your everyday social media platforms to search for opportunities. Here are five ways you can jumpstart your search:

1.) Assess your current social media accounts. What do your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest and LinkedIn profiles look like? Are you keeping a consistent personal brand that you are proud of? Remember that your privacy settings can help and hurt you in the world of social media recruitment. Do not make your profiles so private that it looks like you are trying to hide, and don’t assume that all privacy settings hide your embarrassing photos and posts. To make sure you’re aware of what others can see, use Google Alerts to track your activity online.

2.) Tailor your tactics: engage on each platform differently. For example, on Twitter you only have 140 characters per tweet, so your ability to engage with others in your network must be brief and creative. Take these tips into consideration:

  • Facebook– Consider your personal brand when posting profile pictures and cover photos. Manage your privacy settings as they are always changing. Use Facebook’s profile options at your discretion, but if you want to connect with others using Facebook’s new Graph Search, you will want to add work places and education sections. Not many people use Facebook for professional purposes; this will help you stand out when you want to make new connections. Remember to “like” and follow industries and groups that are relevant to your career interests. Use Facebook pages and apps for job searches.
  • Twitter– Being professional while perfecting the use of hash tags geared towards your career goals is going to help you to be found in the job search. Start by following ERAU Career Services and use it as a guide for what to post and who to follow. Also follow important leaders in your desired industry. Look for employers/companies tweeting open job posts through sites such as “Tweetmyjobs” and “TwitJobSearch.”
  • LinkedIn– The go-to professional social media platform is the most helpful when it comes to connecting with your professional contacts and keeping in touch. Unlike the other platforms, LinkedIn is used primarily for job searching and professional activity. Your profile has the ability to be an extensive and detailed version of your resume paired with your personal voice and passions through statuses and projects. Follow influencers, groups, and companies to learn more about your industry. Share, comment, and engage with others through their posts and discussions. Use the tools through LinkedIn Higher Education listed below for more help building your profile.
  • Pinterest– When it comes to building professional pins on your Pinterest board, start with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Career Services. Pinterest’s potential for helping you secure a job isn’t as well-known as LinkedIn, but by following career experts on Pinterest you can keep up with the latest hiring trends in addition to seeing the culture of a company through their pins. Follow the companies that you are interested in working for and comment, like, or re-pin their pins; just remember to be professional! This is a site used for sharing ideas and finding commonalities which can be a great way for recruiters to find out more about your interests.
  • For more insight on each individual social media platform, visit The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) for Social Media Guides:

3.) Post content that is relevant to your field/area of study. It is amazing how quickly one post can be liked, seen, shared, retweeted, etc. by people within and outside of your network. Recruiters are following trends and articles within your area of interest. By being a part of the discussion, you can be open to more opportunities and connections. Use Google Alerts to help you track new and developing stories.

4.) The most well-known application for professional online networking is LinkedIn. A newer development from LinkedIn now reaches out to university students through LinkedIn Higher Education. Using this tool can help you from beginning to end when it comes to your job search. Included are guides and tip sheets on topics such as building your profile, creating your brand, and communicating with connections, all of which are geared towards collegiate students.

5.) Consider blogging as an option to build your online professional presence. Start by seeing what fellow bloggers are doing within your area of interest and adopt a style of your own. Although this may not seem like a conventional idea for job searching, it is another opportunity to have your voice and brand be heard. It could also be another way to connect by following leaders from different industries and contributing to the conversation when you have something to add.

Social Media is ever-changing, and there are always new resources and tactics. Try your best to follow the trends while staying true to your brand and professional goals. Use the resources below for more insight and remember to connect with ERAU Career Services on all of our social media platforms!




Social Media Tools:

Emily Ferraro is new to the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and serves as the Program Manager for undergraduate Aerospace Engineering students. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies as well as her Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction specializing in College Student Affairs at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. Emily enjoys working with students to help them achieve their personal and professional career goals and specializes in topics such as personal branding and resume writing.

6 Ways To Use Your School’s Alumni Network To Land A Job

This week, we have a guest post from Val Matta.  Val is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for university career centers that gives students and alumni complete control over their job search. Connect with CareerShift on LinkedIn. 

by Val MattaCareerShift

image002As graduation draws near, college students become stressed about employment. After spending the majority of their lives studying, they suddenly have a new, often unfamiliar task: the post college job search.

But many college students don’t realize the bounty of resources available to them for the job search. Beyond employment agencies and company websites, college alumni networks are a great resource for potential job opportunities and employment ideas.

But just how can college students tap into the power of alumni networks? What are the proper routes to take, and what’s the right etiquette for approaching a potential networking contact? Here are six ways college students can use their college alumni network to land a job:

1. Start early. Don’t wait until the minute you need a job to start tapping into your school’s alumni network. While it’s never too late to get started, you should try to make networking connections throughout your entire college career so you have a good database of personal networking contacts to tap into after graduation.

2. Find contacts. Talk to your career services center to see if they keep a database of alumni willing to talk to students about their professional careers. Many colleges and universities do this. Most schools also have alumni relations offices that can put you in contact with professional alumni in your industry or field, or those that have relationships with employment agencies.

3. Get involved. Joining campus organizations–or even off-campus organizations–can help you to connect with current students and gain access to alumni who have participated in the same groups. Consider student clubs, volunteer groups, community centers, political organizations, student newspapers or blogs, theatre groups, or other organizations that pique your interest. Not only will you gain a great addition to your skill set and resume, but you’ll glean direct access to a large pool of alumni with similar career goals.

4. Tap into social media. In today’s technological landscape, the power of social media — sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn — is unmatched when it comes to connecting professionals across time and place. Brand yourself on your personal social media accounts by ensuring your image remains professional and focused on your industry, but don’t forget to showcase your interests, unique traits, and personality as well. Once you’ve established a professional personal brand on social media, you’ll feel more comfortable reaching out to alumni contacts. Alumni and employment agencies often reach out to students with completed LinkedIn profiles.

5. Start a conversation first. Approaching someone by saying “I need a job” isn’t going to get you anywhere. You’ll just look desperate and, even worse, inconsiderate. Whether you’re talking to alumni contacts via email, phone, or social media, always start a conversation first, and talk job opportunities later. Find a common point of interest with your new networking contact–it’s easy with social media–and go from there. Reply to their tweets, comment on a blog post, or send an email with a news article or online video you think they may like.

6. Set up an informational interview. Informational interviews are a great way to pick the brains of professionals you admire. Informational interviews can often lead to advice, job openings, or introductions to more networking connections. To set up an informational interview, simply ask your networking contact to meet you for lunch or coffee. Bring a copy of your resume and a few questions you want to ask. Keep the conversation short–less than 30 minutes–and follow up afterward via email or phone to thank them for their time.

Tapping into the power of an alumni network doesn’t have to be difficult. If college students are proactive about the networking process, they’ll have no problems establishing themselves in entry-level positions after college.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University‘s alumni system is called eaglesNEST and is a great resource.

Informational Interviewing for Fact-finding and Networking

By: Sandi Ohman

t1larg_info_interview_tsHave you met someone and thought, “Wow, their job seems very interesting.  I wonder how they got there and what they do in their position.”  If so, then an informational interview is a good way to find out about a career path, position, or company.

Informational interviews are facilitated by the person looking for a career, and the person being interviewed is the person in that career path or specific position.  The interviewer will ask the interviewee questions about his or her job, specific education, experience level and skills needed, challenges and interesting aspects of the position, companies to consider and any other questions about this industry/career path/position.  The end of the interview is a good time to ask the professional being interviewed to review a resume for areas of strength and weakness and what should be focused on to be competitive.

Informational interviewing is also an excellent networking tool.  Professionals are not usually as open to forwarding a resume on to a recruiter or hiring manager unless they have some knowledge of the person.  By beginning a networking relationship with industry professionals through informational interviews, they get to know the person’s interest and skills a little better and feel more comfortable recommending, to HR or a hiring manager, a resume for a position in their company.

Questions to get started:

How should you request an informational interview?  Reaching out to the person directly or being introduced by a mutual third party are two good ways.

If you don’t know someone in the industry, how can you find someone to interview?  Consider reaching out through groups in LinkedIn, such as ERAU Career Services group, ERAU Alumni group, or other professional groups in which you are a member.  Visit eaglesNEST to connect with an industry representative or identify a position you are interested in pursuing.  If you are a Daytona Beach or Prescott student or recent graduate, you can work with your Career Services program manager to see if she has any connections related to your industry/career path.  Finally, don’t overlook professors or administrators at your campus.  They are excellent people to start building your professional network with, to interview if they have worked in the industry and to see if they have recommendations for people with which to conduct informational interviews (and contacts too).

For more information on this topic, visit the Career Services Office website for Informational Interviewing.

Sandi Ohman is the Senior Program Manager in the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  She has been with the university for over 9 years and has advised students in most all degree areas while in Career Services.  Sandi brings additional experience having worked in the finance industry for over 6 years in her previous career.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida, and her Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida.

Transitioning from an Intern to a Full-time Position

by Valerie Kielmovitch & Emily Ferraro

newTransitioning into a full-time position can be challenging.  You are no longer a student and you are not just gaining experience in the field anymore.  A full-time job begins your career path and the transition into this new role needs to be met head on.

When transitioning from an internship to a full-time position, use some of these strategies in order to deal with the change in a positive and effective manner.

Find resources – invest in some books or follow RSS/Blogs about others who are going through a similar transition.

Keep a personal journal/blog – being aware of your challenges and successes can help you deal with and reflect on your transition. Think back to when you first entered college and what coping strategies you utilized.

Continue in your routine – while going through this life change, stick to what you know like (i.e. spending time with friends/family, exercising, etc.).

Maintain current support system – recognize your current supporters and those who will continue to support you in the future

Continue to grow your network – life is all about who you know and not necessarily what you know, so ensure you are staying in touch with your professional and personal network. Using LinkedIn is a great way to keep and maintain contacts before, during, and after your experiences.

Be knowledgeable of ERAU’s resources – utilize faculty, advisors, and of course Career Services.

The future is unpredictable and you do not always know what will happen unless you have a crystal ball, so creating coping strategies is crucial to getting you through life’s constant transitions.  Take time to reflect before, during, and after a transition to see how you will face life’s next transition.  Remember that most people change jobs on an average of 11 times throughout their lifetime, so it’s likely that you will have to transition again in the future and these tips can be helpful each time.

Valerie Kielmovitch has been working as a Program Manager in the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University since 2010.  She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Central Florida and Master of Education specializing in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of South Carolina.  Valerie has a diverse background in the field of higher education from residence life to career services.

Emily Ferraro is new to the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and serves as the Program Manager for undergraduate Aerospace Engineering students. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies as well as her Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction specializing in College Student Affairs at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. Emily enjoys working with students to help them achieve their personal and professional career goals and specializes in topics such as personal branding and resume writing.

eaglesNEST: Connect with ERAU Alumni and Start Building Your Network Today

7084d213-f715-474c-a331-ae8c4407ebdcOne of the most powerful tools for any job search and professional growth is networking.  Networking is a lifelong process by which you build strong connections with those around you.  Your connections can put you in contact with the right people to support your job search, career development and personal aspirations.  The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University community is a great place to start networking, and you have a built-in group of connections in your fellow alumni.

Embry-Riddle offers you a way to meet alumni through the eaglesNEST online community. Graduates may network virtually through a directory that allows alumni to search for and connect with former classmates based on geographic location and employment/company.  The directory is available to alumni only via a password-protected portal. Embry-Riddle graduates must sign into their eaglesNEST account in order to view the directory.  (Creating an account is easy and free, click here to start.)

One of the most useful ways to leverage the directory is by using the “Advanced Search” method. For example, let’s say you are an aerospace engineer interested in securing a job at Boeing in Seattle, and you would like to get to know alumni who are already employed there. You can use the Advanced Search tool in the directory to search by company name, city and major (and a number of other search terms). Our directory search engine examines the eaglesNEST profiles of our alumni to generate the results. In this instance, nine alumni were identified using these criteria. Alumni with an envelope icon next to their names have an email address tied to their eaglesNEST profiles, so you can send them a note and introduce yourself. Those with a yellow “Post-It” icon next to their names haven’t made their email addresses available; however, you can still send them a message and it will remain in their eaglesNEST inbox until the next time they log into the community.

The eaglesNEST also offers numerous opportunities for alumni to network face-to-face at gatherings hosted across the country and world. Events are often hosted by the Embry-Riddle Alumni Association at tradeshows and air shows, in addition to being organized by alumni chapters, which function similarly to clubs but do not require membership dues. Event information is posted regularly on the eaglesNEST. With more than 20 networks hosting events year-round, you are sure to find an activity near you.

To ensure that you stay informed about events and make yourself available for networking opportunities, keep your contact information current on the eaglesNEST by creating a profile and updating it from time to time, such as when you relocate or accept a new job. This helps the Alumni Association stay in touch and keep you apprised of events happening near you.

As an Embry-Riddle alumnus/a, your potential networking pool is 100,000-plus strong.  Make the most of Embry-Riddle alumni resources such as eaglesNEST and the official alumni LinkedIn group to identify and connect with colleagues who are also Embry-Riddle Eagles.  If you work to build and maintain these relationships over time, lifelong partnerships will result. Happy networking!

Article from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Alumni Relations Department and Career Services

Alumni Career Spotlight: Gino LeDonne

Gino LeDonne

Gino LeDonne, WW 2010

Gino LeDonne grew up in Port Orange, FL and began flying at the age of 14. He was given free lessons from a retired Army pilot who owned a Cessna 172. In exchange for yard maintenance and basic mechanics on the C-172, Gino was given free lessons up to his private pilot certificate. He then began working on his degree at ERAU while taking flying lessons at the Comair Aviation Academy, beginning with his Instrument Rating all the way to Certified Flight Instructor.

Gino began flight instructing and attending the Embry-Riddle Worldwide campus in Orlando at the age of 19. Shortly after he turned 21, Gino was offered a position as First Officer with the now defunct Comair Airlines. He flew as a First Officer on both the Embraer 120 and Canadair Regional Jet. After obtaining the several thousand hours of jet time, Gino upgraded to Captain on the CRJ at the age of 24.

He began to realize that the schedule that came with full-time line flying, in addition to a commute to New York, was not agreeing with his desired quality of life. After much deliberation and finishing his degree in Professional Aeronautics, he decided to focus on a major job search. This search eventually led to his current position as an Airbus A320 Instructor Pilot with JetBlue Airways in Orlando, FL. He has worked for JetBlue since 2010 and currently resides in Daytona Beach, FL.

How did you land your position as an Airbus A320 Instructor Pilot with JetBlue Airways?

I landed my position with JetBlue Airways by creating a profile on the company website and an account with LinkedIn. Approximately 3 months after creating a LinkedIn account, I was contacted by a JetBlue Airways recruiter and invited to apply for the position of Airbus A320 Instructor Pilot. I applied for the job and asked for a few recommendation letters; with a bit of luck I was interviewed within three weeks. A week later, I was offered the job via phone contact and email.

What does your role as a Airbus A320 Instructor Pilot entail?

My role of A320 Instructor Pilot entails training new and recurrent pilots to the standards of the company/FAA. We are required to teach ground school classes, as well as simulator events. A full time instructor may also fly line trips 2 days per month, so it is really the best of both worlds.

What three traits or skills have made you most successful in your career?

Three skills that have made me successful in my career would be: attention to detail, a humble attitude, and persistence. These three traits have allowed me to prevail, regardless of any setback that may have occurred along the way.

Do you have any advice for pilots looking to make a career change?

My advice to pilots looking for a career change would be to branch out and use every available resource. I received wonderful guidance via ERAU Career Services. I also was determined to get outside of my “comfort zone” to gain experience with such things as resume building, interviewing, and communicating with non-aviation employers. Ultimately, I was lucky enough to stay within my career field and obtain employment more conducive to my desired lifestyle.

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