Advisor Notes


UVA Alumni Career Services has partnered with CareerShift to offer a tool for finding and applying to jobs and for finding contacts.

CareerShift’s tools and applications provide a unique opportunity for you to manage your job search. Only CareerShift provides an easy-to-use approach to crack the “hidden job market” and manage the job hunt all in one place. With CareerShift, you can:

  • Search, store and record job listings at all publically posted websites, company websites, and newspapers.
  • Get inside contact information immediately, including email addresses, for millions of companies and alumni, then save and manage your lists.
  • Upload/ copy and paste multiple targeted resumes and cover letters.
  • Create unlimited e-mail campaigns with your saved contacts, resumes and cover letters.
  • Campaigns are automatically saved and recorded. In MY CALENDAR, you can keep notes, and set reminders for follow-ups.
  • Access your confidential CareerShift account from anywhere, anytime, 24/7.

UVA Alumni Career Services has provided access through UVAlumniJOBS. To get started, visit and log in.  Look for the “Jump To CareerShift” link on the right of your home screen, and click.

Sign up and register using your email address.  Answer any required questions. You will then be able to use your CareerShift account. Questions can be directed to or call Toll free 888-232-0632.


Tackle Your Job Search Like a Pro!

The prospect of a job search can be daunting, particularly if you’re preparing for your first post-graduation job, or if it’s been a while since your last search.

Whether you’re new or returning to the job market, or just ready to level up in your career, it can be hard to take the first step. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, these tips can make the process of finding your new job much more manageable and efficient.

Break it Down

Viewing your job search as one huge, complicated project can be intimidating. Instead, try breaking it down into a series of subprojects to make the larger process more manageable. Examples could include determining your target, researching companies, finding available jobs, networking, resume, and interviewing. Your subprojects might have a series of steps as well.


Approach your job search as a job! Determine what you want to accomplish each week and develop a schedule that ensures you’ll complete your to-do list.  The schedule should be one you can meet while still allowing time for your other priorities.  Consider starting out with a lighter schedule and adding to it as you make progress.

Use your favorite organization method: calendar, spreadsheet, project management apps, etc., and dedicate regular blocks of time to your subprojects.  Using tools that already work for you will help you stay on track and make you more comfortable with the process.


Treat your schedule and job search to-do list as a professional commitment. Make a weekly meeting with yourself to assess your progress. If you prefer an accountability partner, check in regularly with your ACS advisor, a friend or a family member.

Use Your Skills

Put your professional skills to use in your job search! If you are highly analytical, track and compare job requirements and companies of interest. Skilled writers may focus on creating compelling application materials. Those with numerous professional contacts may be highly effective networkers.  Whatever your strength, use it to your advantage in your search!

Celebrate Success

A journey of a thousand steps includes many milestones, so be sure to celebrate your accomplishments along the way! Whether you’ve landed an interview at your #1 choice employer, received kudos for your convincing cover letter, or arranged a meeting with a plum networking contact, these incremental successes boost confidence and help propel you toward your ultimate goal.

If you need help with your job search, get in touch with us, and check out the resources on our website!


Resources for Recent Grads

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!  Some of you may still be exploring career paths or looking for your first job. Alumni Career Services has created a menu of resources to help you achieve your goals:


The Alumni Career Services website is your central hub, organized by both life stage and topic.  Check out content curated specifically for New Grads and Rising Professionals.

Take advantage of our many job search and “next step” resources, including grad school planning resources, resume and cover letter tips, alumni-specific networking resources, career events and webinars, a list of targeted job boards, and more.


Find and apply for jobs and create a personalized job search in UVAlumniJOBS.  With more than 3000 employer contacts in the system, UVAlumniJOBS offers targeted job postings specifically for UVA alumni of all experience levels.

While you are logged in, you can also practice for an upcoming interview using the mock interview tool, schedule a career advising session, or find more jobs and contacts through CareerShift.

Career Advising Appointments

We offer individual career advising appointments by phone and Skype, as well as in person, so we can meet with you even if you are no longer in Charlottesville. Use advising appointments for help with your job search strategy, resume and cover letter construction, graduate/professional school planning and essay writing, interview prep, mock interviews, and more.

Online advising chats are also available during scheduled times.


Alumni Career Services hosts 2 online networking chats each month during the academic year, with opportunities to chat with fellow alumni by industry.

We offer many more networking resources and coaching to help you find contacts and communicate with confidence.


Presented by UVA alumni experts, Friday Forum Webinars provide information to enhance your professional, career, and personal success. Register online to join these interactive presentations: all you need is your computer or mobile device and an Internet connection.

Questions/More Information

For more information on these and other resources, check out our website, or contact us at  We look forward to working with you!

Preferences, Qualifications, and Opportunities

Job candidates often have definite ideas about what they are seeking in their next role: a specific salary range or geographic location, part-time or remote work, or a better work/life balance.

Clear preferences help candidates find the best fit; however, there’s a fine balance between preferences, qualifications, and available opportunities. Envisioning each of these areas as a circle in a Venn diagram, a change in one of these areas can affect job search outcomes.  Job seekers should focus on that “sweet spot” where the three circles converge: the right balance of preferences, qualifications and opportunities.


Preferences should be realistic given the job requirements, the local market, and the candidate’s experience and qualifications. Candidates should carefully research industry norms, the local market, and their target employers to learn the salary range, other benefits/perks, and the corporate culture of target companies. This research helps them develop realistic preferences and criteria for identifying suitable roles and negotiating offers.


Candidates also need to know the expected qualifications for their field and assess how their qualification measure against a job’s requirements, as well as the competition. Exceeding basic qualifications or having a specialized skillset places candidates in a better bargaining position. Falling below the baseline qualifications mark can prolong a job search. Candidates who have fewer qualifications may need to be more flexible with their preferences to find available opportunities.


When there are fewer opportunities, competition for existing roles increases. This often leads to a more highly qualified applicant pool. Candidates may need to exceed the qualifications they comfortably met elsewhere or be more flexible with their preferences.  When there are more opportunities, they can be choosier.

If candidates are aware of this balance, they can recalibrate and be ready to adjust as needed to reach the best possible outcome.


Summer Career Refresh

Summer is here! As you refresh your spirit with a well-deserved vacation, it’s also the perfect time to refresh your career.

Whether you are considering a new job, graduate school and/or professional development, or simply starting the next fiscal year on a high note, you can proactively take stock of your goals and progress to put your best foot forward in achieving your goals.

Job search

  • Companies often hire at the start of the new fiscal year, so you may find more opportunities available around July 1.
  • Natural attrition also picks up over the summer as people move on; particularly jobs related to education (for employees and their spouses/partners).

Graduate School/Professional Development

  • Do you plan to apply to graduate or professional school? Earn a certificate? Apply for a new job or promotion? Make a career transition? Research what you need to do, create a plan and get organized. Check out our newly redesigned website for help in charting your path!
  • Many grad school application processes are in high gear over the summer. Line up recommendations, take entrance exams (or prepare for them; Alumni Association members receive a discount from Kaplan test prep) and start writing your personal statement. ACS can help with personal statement and essay reviews

Shine in Place

  • Summer is a great time to assess your accomplishments from last year and plan for the coming year. Assess your positive impact on the organization using quantifiable results and discuss them with your manager. These results could become part of your annual performance evaluation and could help shape your goals for the coming year. Make it a habit to track your results going forward.
  • If you are seeking a promotion, explore internal career paths to determine your options. Finding a mentor is another proactive step you can take toward career growth.
  • Covering for colleagues during their vacations could enable you to pick up some additional skills, or deepen existing ones. This can be particularly helpful when you are early in your career and preparing for your next move.
  • Consider joining a professional association or attending a conference in your field. These activities can help you grow as a leader, develop subject matter expertise, and expand your professional network. Many professional conferences take place over the summer, so check schedules for this year or next.

Whatever your career goals, be strategic and make the most of your summer! ACS is here to help.

LinkedIn Changes and Features

If you’re a LinkedIn user, you’ve probably noticed that LinkedIn recently introduced a new user interface, along with some other changes in functionality. These changes were designed to create “a LinkedIn experience that is more intuitive, faster and creates more value for you.”

If you aren’t already using LinkedIn, you are missing out on a number of features that can streamline your job search. Here are four we’ve found to be particularly useful!

Alumni Tool

A feature we use every day! The alumni tool makes it easy to find fellow alumni by: location, company, type of work, major, skills, and LinkedIn connection level. Search for Apply filters accordingly, using the search box if needed. Scroll down to see alumni.


Job Alerts

This turns your regular job posting search into a saved alert. Click “Jobs” and run your search. Click the “Create search alert” button at the right of the page. That’s it!

Location Preference

You can determine the location you wish to search in if different from your current location. Click “Jobs” and indicate the appropriate location (see image below). This field can become part of your job alert.

location and saved alert

Letting Recruiters Know You’re Open to Opportunities

Increase your chances of being approached by recruiters. Click “Me,” then “Settings & Privacy,” then “Privacy,” and then “Job Seeking,” at the left. Click “Let recruiters know you’re open to opportunities,” read the fine print and change setting to “yes.”


These features can help you expand your alumni network, streamline your job search, and will hopefully result in attention from recruiters.

If you need help setting up or refreshing your LinkedIn profile, check out our webinar How to Create a Standout LinkedIn Profile that Gets Results, or schedule an advising appointment!

Job Search Help From Family

We occasionally receive calls from family members on behalf of alumni who need career assistance. They reach out to gather information in an effort to help, looking for information that’s practical and specific.

In response, we’ve developed 3 ways that you as family members of alumni can help alumni proactively manage their careers and set themselves up for future success!

  • Information

One of the most practical ways you can help is by sharing information: job or internship leads that might be of interest, professional associations, job fairs, websites, other career events, and of course, Alumni Career Services!

When sharing information, be sure to share the sources as well, so alumni can follow up.

  • Network

Providing names of contacts in their field or company of interest can make a significant and meaningful impact in their search. Up to 85% of jobs are filled through referrals.1 Sharing contacts with alumni helps expand their networks and increases the likelihood of their meeting the person best positioned to help.

Family members often have deep networks with contacts alumni might not otherwise reach. Sharing names along with a bit of context makes it easy for alumni to follow up.

Personal recommendations and introductions are even more valuable; a quick email from you to your contact, introducing your family member, can start a meaningful interaction/conversation.

  • Encouragement

By far, the most important way you can help is by being supportive of their choices and offering encouragement.  Encourage them to explore their interests and take charge of their careers: reach out to people they don’t know, take assessments, attend job/career events, contact people who work in jobs or for companies they are interested in, develop a professional online presence and be self-reliant.

For more ideas, check out our webinar, “When People Make You Tired: Networking for Introverts!”, and be sure to visit our curated list of industry-specific job boards!

[1] Adler, L. (2016, Feb 29). New survey reveals 85% of all jobs are filled via networking. LinkedIn.

Tracking your accomplishments: 3 benefits and 6 strategies

One of the points we stressed in our recent webinar, Career Trends and Resolutions for the New Year, was the importance of keeping your resume up to date and keeping track of your accomplishments as you go.

We offer three benefits of tracking your accomplishments, along with six strategies you can implement right away.


More Money

If you keep track of accomplishments as you go, you’ll have hard data making your case for you when it’s time to negotiate a salary increase or promotion. Having a proven track record may also help you negotiate a higher starting salary if you are job searching.

Act Quickly

You’ll also be ready to act quickly when an opportunity arises. Quickly add those recent accomplishments to your resume and it’s ready to go in minutes; giving you a head start on the competition!


If you don’t track your accomplishments as they happen, it’s very easy to forget them, despite best intentions. In your haste to update your resume quickly for an opportunity you may overlook important examples or details.

Keeping track of your accomplishments is actually very easy and requires minimal time as you go. Find the strategy/strategies that work best for you!


Progress Reports

Good news; if you submit regular progress reports to your boss (weekly, monthly, and annual) you are already tracking your accomplishments! All you need to do is add the accomplishments to your resume.


A megaresume works as an inventory of your experience and accomplishments. Store everything there, and copy/paste what you need to produce tailored resumes.

STAR Stories

Write a brief story about the accomplishment, touching on the Situation, Task, Action and Result; or STAR. A 1-2 line version can go on your resume as a bullet point. STAR stories can also be used as responses to behavioral interview questions (those that start with “Tell me about a time when…”).

Quantifable Accomplishments

Quantify your accomplishments using numbers/data that are meaningful to your boss or a hiring manager. Even better if you use metrics in a STAR story!


If you prefer to keep notes as you go, make notes to yourself in an organized manner (paper or app) as accomplishments occur and collect them; periodically transferring them to your (mega) resume. Check out this list of free notetaking apps that may help!


Keep a file (paper and/or electronic) of notes you’ve been given thanking you for a job well done. These notes are examples of “qualitative” accomplishments and can be used to bolster your resume. (Not to mention it’s nice to read through them from time to time!)

There are multiple ways to keep track of your accomplishments. The important thing is to find a method or combination of methods that works for you, so you’ll be ready to act, and your accomplishments will shine through!

What exactly are MOOCs anyway?

The subject of MOOCs has come up several times recently, both in our conversations with clients and in Friday Forum Webinar discussions about professional development opportunities. We thought it might be helpful to clarify what MOOCs are and share how they might fit into your career management strategy.

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are online classes that reach thousands of students around the world. They offer an affordable means of learning specialized content, with hundreds of academic and technology-based subjects to choose from.  Single courses may be offered at no or nominal cost, with specializations, certifications and nanodegrees and even flexible online degrees offered for additional fees that are still significantly below traditional college tuition costs.  MOOCs also provide an opportunity to test the waters if you are considering another degree.

As Juliana Marques notes in A Short History of MOOCs and Distance Learning (MOOC News & Reviews, April 17, 2013), the first official MOOC was launched in 2008.  The number of MOOCs quickly climbed from 100 to 800 between 2012 and 2013.  By late 2015, over 3800 MOOCs were being offered (Ellen Wexler, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2015, October 19).

One of the top MOOC providers is Coursera, which was founded in 2012 by two Stanford Computer Science professors. Coursera currently offers hundreds of courses in 10 categories, including 25 MOOCs taught by UVa faculty members.  Sixty three other U.S. schools partner with Coursera (including Yale University, Princeton University, Stanford University, and Brown University) as do universities in 28 other countries.

Udemy is a provider that offers over 42,000 academic and technical courses, with over 14 million students.  Another is Udacity, which focuses more on skill-based content, with numerous certifications and nanodegrees available as well as individual courses.

In summary, whether you are pursuing online learning for professional or personal reasons, MOOCs offer an affordable and convenient solution to consider as part of your overall career management and professional development strategy.

Check out our webinar, Jumpstart Your Career: Strategic eLearning for Any Career Phase, for more information on eLearning.


Marques, J. “A short history of MOOCs and distance learning.” (2013, April 17). MOOC News & Reviews.

Wexler, E. “MOOCs are still rising, at least in numbers.” (2015, October 19). The Chronicle of Higher Education.



January—and wintertime in general—can make many of us feel like we could use some extra support. The weight of handling personal issues or needs may affect someone’s ability to focus on a job search or career strategy. It’s important to get the support you need in those areas of your life, so you can have the time (and energy) to focus on your job search.

We are sharing some national (and a few Virginia) resources that may be helpful to those needing support in these areas.



Free Online Training

General/Find Local Resources by Need throughout the U.S.

Job Loss

Mental Health



Holiday Networking

holiday photo

The holidays are here! With festive holiday gatherings comes a terrific opportunity to polish your networking skills. Sharing holiday cheer with others will often organically develop into leads, or offers of help.  Here are some networking tips to keep in mind as you celebrate.

Ask people about themselves

If you’re nervous or timid about meeting new people, the best way to start is by asking questions. What do they do? What do they enjoy about their work?  How are they affiliated with the party hosts?  Not only do most people love to share stories about themselves, this is also an easy way to slip into networking mode (and hopefully learn something interesting / make a great new connection).

Tell them about yourself

Tell people what you do, and let them know if you are looking or open to new opportunities. People love to help; even more so at the holidays. They are likely to share names or leads that may be helpful, or follow up with you later.

Offer to help

Any time you are in a position to offer help or a referral, do so without expecting anything in return. This contributes to your “networking bank of goodwill”; you become that nice person who took the time to help. Later, if you need to call upon your network, people are even more likely to help if you’ve already established yourself as someone who helped or supported them.

Follow through and connect

After the event, make sure to follow through on any offers of help you made, and follow up with anyone who offered to help you. A LinkedIn connection request is perfect for this; use a brief personal note: “It was great meeting you at the dinner Friday night. Thanks for putting me in touch with Bob Smith; we’ve already had a chat. I’d love to keep in touch!”

With these tips in mind, holiday gatherings can easily help grow your contact list!

For more tips on how to network and follow up successfully, see When People Make You Tired: Networking for Introverts and How to be an Unforgettable Job Applicant.

Small Town Job Searches: 4 Ways to Hit the Ground Running!

Job searches in smaller towns require a slightly different approach, as there are not as many employers, and the existing employers are usually smaller. There is a greater emphasis on relationship building and becoming a known entity, as hiring managers prefer to hire candidates they know or who are recommended by someone they trust.

Whether you are seeking a new opportunity, returning to the workforce or have just moved to the area, here are 4 ways to prepare, become a known entity and increase the likelihood of success!


Networking is always an important step in the job search process; even more so in smaller towns where people are more likely to know one another. Reach out to employers or fellow alumni to ask questions or request an informational interview.

Let friends and neighbors know you are looking so they can open their networks and help generate leads for you. Don’t forget the people you come in contact with regularly at your gym, school, place of worship, etc.; they will want to help you!

Brush up your LinkedIn profile and while you are there, research local alumni and employers via the alumni dashboard!


If you haven’t already done so, join the local branch of your professional association and attend meetings. Look for less formal professional networking groups in your area too, many of which can be found on MeetUp.

Contact the nearest UVA Club and make connections with fellow ‘Hoos!  Consider joining other local organizations based on your personal interests, and network with fellow participants.


Volunteering is a great way to make contacts while performing meaningful work. Research opportunities for work or board membership with local non-profits by contacting them directly or using sites like Volunteer Match or Idealist.


Explore the opportunities and resources in your area!  Search the member directory of your Chamber of Commerce website to identify employers.  See what other career resources are available through the public library or the local Career One Stop.

Are you the partner or spouse of a faculty member at a local university? If so, the school may have resources to help.

Alumni Career Services can also help with your strategy; contact us to make an appointment!