What role does career services really play in helping me find a job in the future?

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Anonymous, anonymous

The University of Virginia, Darden School of Business website has this to say on the role career services plays in helping alumni find jobs:

"The Armstrong Center for Alumni Career Services' (ACS) mission is to provide quality career management services to all Darden School alumni throughout their lives. ACS counseling services are free to graduates of all Darden MBA and PhD programs."

They note that:

"ACS is prepared to assist alumni with the entire career change process, including (but not limited to):

  • Formulating career objectives
  • Developing effective marketing materials including the resume
  • Providing resources for accessing the job market"

And they outline what they offer:

  • "Personalized career counseling, starting with self-assessment and covering all aspects of a job search
  • A comprehensive website dedicated to all phases of career planning, including job and resume posting services
  • Network connections including how to connect with fellow Darden alumni
  • Special events, including annual Career Transitions Workshops for alumni who are thinking about or are in the midst of a career change as well as workshops to assist those Returning to the Workforce"

To contact the Armstrong Center for Alumni Career Services to schedule an appointment, go to www.darden.virginia.edu/web/Alumni/Alumni-Career-Services/Contact-Us, call +1-434-924-4876, or email alumnicareerservices@darden.virginia.edu.

Before you speak to a counselor, though, you may want to take a look at their Job Search Toolkit. That page offers a diagram on the job search process with helpful tips and examples. Here's a useful summary of the contents of that site taken from that page:

"Finding the right job takes work. But where do you start? Here we suggest a process to follow: Think of this as a marketing campaign of a wonderful product – YOU! Rather than start by developing a resume, we recommend that you first determine in what market you want to compete – in other words, what you want to do next. Coming up with this objective is often the toughest part of the process. Once you can articulate your objective, take time to research your intended market and develop a marketing plan including a target list. Also do research to determine what the "buyers' needs" are and clarify your relevant attributes and experience. Your marketing materials (resume, story, etc.) can thus be developed to attract the intended employers and frame your background appropriately. Then you will be ready to connect to the channels of the job search. You will use your limited time wisely if you consider the effectiveness of each channel in relation to your unique search. Once you have your foot in the door, it's time to sell in interviews and in the offer and negotiation stages."

They end by saying:

"Begin your search. The road to finding the right job starts with the answer to the question 'What are you looking for?'"

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