Job Search Toolkit

Alumni - Job Search Toolkit - Connecting


Once you have all of your Marketing Materials prepared, you are ready to approach the market. Technology has impacted and continues to evolve the way organizations source talent. Recruiters have embraced the widely available searchable databases of professionals (like LinkedIn) where they can pull candidates rather than push a job listing. Perhaps the most important impact of LinkedIn and other social networks is that hiring managers, themselves, now have easy access to their professional networks – allowing them to source candidates without the help of a recruiter.

Job seekers need to adjust to these developments to become "visible" and reach targeted companies and decision makers. On the following pages we provide information and resources to help you access them using the channels below, with Networking being the most important.

  • Networking

    Most job openings, especially at senior levels, are sourced through networking. Networking maximizes your exposure and helps you to gather information that can lead to job opportunities. Networking is about building supportive, symbiotic relationships. Only when you have built up trust and credibility with a contact can you begin to rely on that person for job leads or a direct referral. When you set up a networking conversation, have an agenda with clear goals, such as:

    • Establish a relationship and build credibility
    • Offer a clear message of what you are looking for and why. Your story!
    • Collect information about openings or potential openings and how talent is sourced
    • Get introductions to additional relevant contacts
    • Set up an opportunity for continued dialogue

    Pro tips:

    • Write thank you notes and keep network partners up to date on your progress. They can keep assisting you if you stay visible and keep them informed.
    • Keep a record of contacts, phone conversations, thoughts, interview debriefs etc. Networking isn't "linear" and there can be long gaps between interactions; these notes become invaluable for refreshing your memory.

    Recommended reading:

  • Darden and UVA Alumni Directories

    The Darden and UVA alumni directories can serve as powerful networking and job search tools.

    The Darden Alumni Directory enables you to search for fellow alumni by a combination of fields including: graduation year, geographic location, current and/or past employer, industry, job function and job title. For this resource to continue to be useful, it is important that you keep your own profile current.

    The University of Virginia’s Wahoo Connect alumni directory enables you to search alumni of the greater UVA population. You may also join one of UVA's professional networks through Wahoo Connect.

  • LinkedIn

    LinkedIn has become the most important networking tool for professionals and is the number one resource for both recruiters and job seekers. LinkedIn is how you find contacts and how you get found.

    For finding Darden contacts, LinkedIn’s alumni feature is a tremendous filter tool for all Darden alumni.

    LinkedIn groups for alumni:

    Developing your profile? Here's a handy article for Search Engine Optimization tips.

    Have questions about your profile? Need help utilizing the extensive search features? Schedule an appointment with a coach.

  • Executive Search

    Executive search professionals are hired by organizations to fill critical jobs. Search firms are involved in approximately 8-10% of management hires.

    Typically, executive search consultants focus narrowly within an industry and particular function, and are engaged only for the most senior, or mission-critical positions. The fees for the search, paid by the hiring organization, can range up to 35% of the annual compensation of the position being filled. Executive recruiters fall into two broad categories: retained and contingent.

    Executive search should not be confused with an employment agency, or placement firm, and those that find positions for job seekers are all but obsolete today. Legitimate search firms are always paid by their clients and never by the candidate or job applicant.

    Additional Resources:

    Questions to Ask Recruiters

    Executive Search Review compiles lists of top executive search firms

    Demystifying Executive Search, from the Career Corner Blog

    BlueSteps Paying members can maintain a lifetime career profile and resume visible to the AESC retained executive recruiters; members also gain access to the AESC directory of thousands of Executive Search Consultants. Darden has partnered with BlueSteps to offer our alumni an exclusive discount of 30% off a lifetime membership as well as a waiver of the annual fee for Premium Services. Contact Darden Alumni Career Services for the Darden Alumni code to use.

  • Affinity Resources

    Career management and job search resources are available for various affinity groups. These resources are not only excellent for networking, but also often offer workshops, webinars and job boards.