Career Network FAQ
- What is the Career Network?
- Who should join the Career Network?
- How do I use the Career Network?
- What are my obligations as a career advisor?
- What can a career advisor do for me?
- What's the best way to contact a career advisor?
- What's the difference between the online alumni directory and the Career Network
- Are there any fees associated with using the Career Network resources?
- I'm not a hiring manager within my organization. Can I still get involved in the Career Network?
- How do I login to the Career Network?
- I'm a new graduate. How can the Career Network help me find a job?
- Can I recommend someone I think would be a good career advisor? How?
The Career Network is designed to provide alumni and students with career resources for today’s world of work – from resume writing tools to networking tips to workshops and webinars.
More than just resources, the Career Network is also a rich network of Willamette alumni and friends who prove the old adage: Sometimes, it’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know. Career connections are essential to everyone’s success, and one of the most valuable resources that alumni have is the connection to other Willamette alumni.
We ask that you respect the confidentiality of the Willamette community and not share their information with non-alumni or solicit them for any other purpose other than to make a career connection.
Remember also that while these connections can be incredibly helpful, the Career Network is not designed to generate job offers directly from alumni. Please avoid presuming that contacts you make will automatically yield jobs. Most importantly, please respect the fact that alumni, in general, are not in the position to make offers.[back to top]
The Career Network is something that almost all alumni, parents and friends of the university can participate in. It is, of course, is a way for job seekers to find a helping hand. However, the utility of the Network is based on the volunteer contributions of our career advisors, and joining in this capacity is absolutely crucial. Becoming a career advisor – even if you’re not in the job market – is a wonderful way to give back.
When you fill out a complete Career Advisor profile, you offer a unique opportunity to other alumni and students to:
- Learn about career paths they might not have considered.
- Understand a liberal arts degree is a beneficial, transferable degree to have.
- Find new professional organizations they can join.
- Make connections when they relocate geographically. Remember how hard it was finding your way around a new town?
- Get valuable career advice when making a career decision.
- Transition successfully from school to the world of work.
Those who have offered their expertise as Career Advisors have done so with the expectation that they are under no obligation to offer jobs or necessarily know of jobs that are available. They are available as connections to help you expand your network, do career research and offer helpful advice or suggestions. The information you’ll find in the Career Network is at the same time more personal and broader than what you’ll find on LinkedIn or other social networking sites (although we encourage you to use these resources too!)
The Career Network can be used at various stages of your career:
- Career transition: You’re in a career transition and you need some new ideas or suggestions about how you could apply your experience and skills. Connect with alumni who are in a similar field, or expand your research and check in with former classmates to see what they’re up to. You might discover some career options you hadn’t considered. But, before you contact someone, do a little research about their company or field so you can ask quality questions.
- Recent graduates: You’re a recent graduate with a vague idea about what you’d like to do. Use the Career Network to connect with experienced alumni for their experience and “insider” knowledge about trends, career paths and other information that can help you narrow your career target.
- Active job search: When you’re in an active job search, the more people you talk to, the better you’ll be positioned to take advantage of the right opportunity at the right time. Post your resume so that employers can find you, too.
- Geographic relocation: Help fellow alumni who have relocated to a new area get oriented and find the resources they need. A warm welcome to a new city might be all that a Bearcat needs.
- Expand your network: The most effective way to ensure that your network will be in place when you need it is to start building it now. To expand your network, think about ways that you might be able to connect others first, and your network will naturally expand as a result. Even if you’re not the hiring manager, use the network to post positions that are available within your organization (and don’t forget that many organizations offer referral bonus if you refer a candidate!).
- Open positions within your organization: Use the Career Network to find qualified candidates by posting the job right here – or search for candidates directly. Internships are always welcome as well.
We appreciate your willingness to give back, so we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for you to be of service. You can set the number of times you’re willing to be contacted, and you have the ability to make your profile inactive at any time. You can specify what types of career-related activities to be involved with, as well as topics you’d be willing to discuss.
How often you’re contacted will depend on how complete your advisor profile is. We know that the more detail you offer, the more we’ll be able to informally and formally connect alumni and students to you. Even if you’re never contacted directly, know that a complete profile provides valuable information for alumni and students. Better than any book or career guide, real world career experiences of others can be an incredible source of guidance.
As we look for volunteers to serve on career panels or help with career programming (e.g. networking skills for students), our career advisors will be the first people we look to for expertise.[back to top]
The ways you might utilize a career advisor depend on your career needs.
You might find that s/he can assist you with:
- Self-assessment: Helping you identify, combine and apply career values, transferable skills, specialized knowledge, career interests, personality preferences to career choices/paths.
- Career/occupational research: Assisting you in gaining accurate information about the careers/jobs that interest you. This might include sharing printed/online resources, networking events, professional organizations, contacts, experiential opportunities, or tradeshows/conferences.
- Networking: Helping you to expand your professional network. Advisors are available for informational interviews and often can provide referrals to colleagues/contacts. Consider going to a networking event or a professional organization with an advisor.
- Experiential learning: Often the best way to make a decision about a career choice is to get some hands-on experience. Career advisors often have insider knowledge about job shadowing, volunteering, internships and part-time job opportunities.
- Application material preparation: Developing an industry or position-specific resume and cover letter, or critiquing writing samples and offering input on your professional portfolio.
Check his/her profile to see if there are any contact suggestions. You might want to email him/her first to introduce yourself and inquire about their availability. Keep in mind that it’s often more convenient for the advisor to have a dialogue either by phone or in person, rather than email correspondence.
Here are some other suggestions:
- Be sure to identify yourself as a WU student or an alumnus/alumna who is exploring career fields. Please keep in mind that career advisors have volunteered to share information, not to interview you for a position or offer you a job.
- Ask for a few minutes of their time to inquire about career information and/or advice. Remember that you are building a network of personal contacts in addition to gathering information.
- Be prepared to ask questions.
- Share a copy of your resume, if appropriate or if asked. Ask for input or suggestions from the career advisor.
- Send a thank-you note.
The online alumni directory contains basic information for all alumni. What makes the Career Network unique is that all of the career advisors who have signed up are volunteering their professional expertise, advice and a willingness to help with your career planning. The online directory can provide biographical data – but the Career Network provides information tailored to specifically for the purpose of managing a successful career search.[back to top]
No. The Career Network is available to students and all WU alumni. Willamette is supporting this important initiative and has invested in new technology, online resources and staffing.[back to top]
Absolutely. We make it quite clear to alumni and students that career advisors aren’t expected to find others jobs. You can get involved simply by creating a career advisor profile and providing details about your career path and your professional experience. You can also encourage others, including parents, to join the Career Network.[back to top]
No special password is necessary. Once you’ve logged into The Compass, you have access to the Career Network.[back to top]
The purpose of the Career Network is to provide invaluable connections and career advice. Career advisors are under no obligation to provide a job or direct job leads. We do know that many jobs result from networking, so we encourage you to focus on building your professional network.[back to top]
We hope you’ll spread the word to other alumni! If there is someone that you’d like to recommend, you can email Stacey Lane, who will follow-up with a personal invitation to join the Career Network.[back to top]