Career Advisor FAQ

  1. What is the Career Advisor Program?
  2. Who do career advisors do?
  3. Who can be a career advisor? How do I sign up?
  4. What can a career advisor help with?
  5. What is the best way to find and contact a career advisor?

1. What is the Career Advisor Program?

The cornerstone of the Career Network, the Career Advisor Program is a rich collection of Willamette alumni, parents and friends who prove the old adage: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Connections are essential to success and one of the most valuable resources alumni have is their connection to other Willamette alumni.

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2. Who do career advisors do?

Career advisors share experiences, offer insights and provide professional connections to current students and other alumni. They are not expected to make job offers or to necessarily know of jobs that are available.

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3. Who can be a career advisor? How do I sign up?

Any Willamette alumnus, parent or friend who has a heart for helping and who is willing to share their expertise, experiences and knowledge. To sign up, log in to The Compass and fill out a Career Advisor profile under the Career Network, or email Colleen Sump at csump@willamette.edu.

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4. What can a career advisor help with?

  1. Hands-On Experience: Often times, the best way to make a decision about a career path is to get some hands-on experience. Many career advisors have insider knowledge about job shadowing, volunteering, internships and mentorships.
  2. 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 to a different industry.
  3. Entering the Workforce After College: You’re a recent graduate with a vague idea about what you’d like to do. A career advisor can give you insider knowledge about trends and career paths that can help you narrow your career target.
  4. 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.
  5. Geographic Relocation: You have relocated and need to find a job. A career advisor in your new city may be able to provide some advice about the job market in your new location, as well as provide networking ideas.
  6. Career/Occupational Research: You want some accurate information about the careers that interest you, including networking events, professional organizations, contacts, experiential opportunities and trade shows/conferences.
  7. Application Material Preparation: You are preparing an industry or position-specific application and would like someone to review you resume, letter, writing samples or portfolio.

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5. What is the best way to find and contact a career advisor?

Log into The Compass and click on Search for career advisors. When filling in the fields, keep in mind that a broad search will result in a greater number of options. You do not have to fill in all the fields! Once you find someone you would like to contact, email him or her first to introduce yourself and ask about their availability. It is often more convenient for the advisor to talk on the phone or meet in person than to exchange emails.

Here are some other suggestions:

  • Identify yourself as a Willamette University student or alumnus/alumna who is exploring careers, and that you found his or her name through the Career Advisor Program.
  • Ask for a few minutes of their time to ask about career information and/or get advice. Remember that you are building a network of personal contacts in addition to gathering information.
  • Be prepared with intelligent questions.
  • Be prepared to share your resume if asked.
  • Send a thank you note and ask for a follow up call or meeting if that would be helpful to you.

We hope you will spread the word about the Career Advisor program to other alumni and parents. We could always use more advisors. And if you are someone who has utilized the services of a career advisor, we hope that you will consider becoming a career advisor yourself.

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