Connecting Hokies and jobs

A web site launched by Pamplin alumnus Jason Messer (FIN ’00) has given job-seeking alumni and students and Hokie-seeking employers an additional means to connect with one another.

Front page of VTalumni.com
Jobs portal serves students, alumni, and employers

Site builds on recruiting know-how

“VTalumni.com has been growing every month, with new resumés, jobs, and visitors,” says Messer, who launched the site in 2009. Messer himself is a senior recruiter at Trademark Recruiting, a private, Tampa-based executive placement firm. “Every resumé is posted by an alumnus or student; every job listed is by someone looking to hire a Virginia Tech graduate or student.”

Free to employers and alumni

The site is free to all users, who must register to post items. “You don’t have to be an alumnus to post job openings to our site,” he says, “but you do need to be one to post a resumé.” (When he comes across the infrequent resumé from a non-alumnus, he removes it but also contacts its poster to explain the site’s focus and offer any needed career advice.)

Giving back to the VT community

Messer created VTalumni.com from scratch with the help of his software engineer brother Todd, with whom he ran a successful web design firm while working full-time as a recruiter. He came up with the idea for the site, he says, as a way to merge his interests in web design and recruiting and to give back to his alma mater.

“I developed the concept and managed the project, while Todd handled all the coding and developers. We built the custom site, together with a small team of developers, in about eight months, coding every night while managing our day jobs.”

Concept could be expanded commercially

The brothers bankrolled the project themselves, with the goal, Messer says, of one day selling “the platform to other parties looking for a universal, self-maintainable and customizable job portal.”

Front page of VTalumni.com
Messer at the Business Horizons jobs fair

Though VTalumni.com is self-maintained by design — job posters, for example, can easily delete their announcements by clicking on a “Filled!” button on their screens — Messer spends 4-10 hours a week on site-related work, including promoting it to hiring managers and researching ways to improve it. He recently added features that allow employers easier access through RSS feeds from their sites. “If you are an employer, recruiter, or organization with your own job board and would like to provide us with an RSS feed, please email me: jason.messer@vtalumni.com.”

Site includes career, interview, and resumé advice

He also offers career advice through the site’s blog, a newsletter, and tweets. “My goal is to educate users on job opportunities across the country and help them with every aspect of their career, including resumé writing tips and interview advice.”

Personal touch leads to positive feedback

He has received appreciative feedback from VTalumni.com users, including those who landed jobs or found employees through it. His professional advice is also frequently sought. “Time permitting, I review their resumés and offer suggestions, such as how to prepare for interviews and negotiate a job offer.”

In one case, Messer went even further, sending the resumé to potential employers and helping the job seeker to negotiate a “top-end” offer. “It was a huge success,” he recalls.

Visit VTalumni.com or follow the site on Facebook and Twitter.



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