Career Planning

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!