When an online dating commercial flashed across his television screen one day, the vice chancellor for student affairs at Davenport’s Palmer College of Chiropractic got an idea.
If a website can help people connect and find love, Kevin Cunningham wondered, why couldn’t Palmer create one to help its graduates find their employment soul mates?
That was the inspiration for the launch of Palmer’s newest online tool, called CareerNetwork, which matches students and alumni with potential chiropractic employers all over the country.
Available through the Palmer Center for Business Development, the free site allows employers to submit job openings, post a practice or equipment for sale and post the organization’s profile. They also can review student and alumni profiles, track student views and review applications.
Meanwhile, students and alumni can view job openings, get help with resume building, find practices and equipment for sale and even go through a mock interview program.
Since August, more than 800 job opportunities have been posted on the site, which allows those looking for job matches to upload profiles that detail their preferences for job locations, candidate qualifications and even video resumes.
Meant exclusively for Palmer alumni hailing from its sites in Davenport, California and Florida, the website now has more than 1,300 registered employers who are looking for associate doctors and nearly 4,500 job seekers, Cunningham said.
As of a month ago, the site had seen 17,000 total log-ins since its launch, Palmer spokesman Darren Garrett added.
Cunningham knows of only 10 confirmed job matches that were created by the site so far, but he thinks many more have been made but not reported back to the college.
“We have gotten some very, very positive feedback,” he said.
Site development was led by Penny Hoker, Palmer’s career center coordinator, who set out to find an online platform to modify into the new CareerNetwork.
“Here’s the cool thing about this: A student will go in, and when they register, they profile themselves, saying what region of the country, what size of city or town they want to practice in,” Cunningham said. “And then it gets into specific chiropractic techniques and what type of practice they would like to have. It really starts to focus what their intended interests are.”
The same happens for potential employers, who are prompted to provide similar details and preferences, he said.
The online tool then notifies the parties by email when a potential match has been made, Cunningham said.
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“The next step is for one of them to send that doctor information about themselves, in the form of an e-portfolio, a resume or a video resume, which is one of the things I really like now with the technology,” he said. “The doctor can get a sense of who that individual is, and they can set up an interview through Skype or in person.”
The college also helps students create those online resumes, providing a teleprompter component so the students can load in information they want to say and then read it on video, he added.
Another program allows Palmer students to type in the ZIP code of where they would like to live or work, and it ranks that area for being a good, moderate or poor location to open up a chiropractic office.
“It all ends with meaningful employment,” Cunningham said.
One Florida chiropractor, Steven Cane, said he posted information about his office’s vacancy on several websites, including Palmer’s CareerNetwork. That was the site that helped him find 26-year-old Ryan Dick, a Palmer graduate from Ohio, whom he hired in December.
“I got several leads,” Cane said, calling Palmer’s website “a great tool.”
“I think it’s pretty unique,” added Dick. “You define what you’re looking for, so you can fine-tune it for what you really want.”