The Job Hunt Starts Here
New home, new website for Career Development| From Investing in a new BU | By Amy Laskowski
Eleanor Cartelli (left) and Kimberly DelGizzo of BU’s Center for Career Development. BU alumni are entitled to the University’s career resources, offered by the center, the Boston University Alumni Association, and the career offices at individual schools and colleges. Photos by Vernon Doucette
Anna Zafiriadis’ résumé is stacked with professional benchmarks, including years spent in marketing and jobs in Greece. But when Zafiriadis (SMG’94) decided she wanted a career change, she didn’t know quite where to start. So she walked into BU’s Center for Career Development to see what kind of advice was available.
“For someone like me, who hadn’t hunted for a job for a long time, they really helped,” Zafiriadis says. “I wasn’t looking to start over—I’m 40. But I wanted to springboard off of my marketing background, maybe go into event management. If you’ve been out of the market for a while, you forget how to do the résumé, how to interview, how to use LinkedIn. They helped me with the whole package.”
With the economy creeping along and unemployment stalled around 8 percent, it’s easy for job seekers, those either unemployed or underemployed, to lose sight of possibilities.
But as a BU alum, Zafiriadis is entitled to the University’s career resources, offered by the Center for Career Development (CCD), the Boston University Alumni Association (BUAA), and the career offices at individual schools and colleges.
BU can help, says Eleanor Cartelli, CCD associate director for marketing and communications. While alumni—especially young alums—may feel that they are in a moribund labor market, “there are many jobs out there,” she says, “and we can help them with the job search process.”
One good thing, she says, is that most alumni know what they’re after, and equally important, not after.
“That is really great information to have,” Cartelli says, “because people who have a better sense of who they are and what they want to do can quickly weed out jobs that are not a good fit.”
To begin, for a nominal fee the CCD can meet with alumni and provide career counseling, a one-on-one career testing package, and access to Interfolio, an online credentials service that stores and organizes confidential documents like résumés, academic transcripts, and letters of recommendation.
“The career counselor I’m working with has been great,” says Jeremy Gagne (CAS’06, SMG’06, GSM’12), who is using the career office at the Graduate School of Management’s Feld Career Center. “She’s been setting up mock interviews and helping me realize what companies search for in hires. She’s also shown me how a lot of companies I’m applying to have a BU connection. It’s a lot easier to get your foot in the door that way.”
For DelGizzo and Cartelli, the new Center for Student Services provides them with a highly visible location, which will help them engage students.
Twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring, the CCD hosts a career expo that brings more than 100 nonprofit, for-profit, and international employers to campus. In April 2012, the center ran “Brand U” week, open to alumni and students, teaching how to create a personal brand, organize and write résumés and cover letters, interview, and network.
“This state-of-the-art facility provides us with wonderful space,” says CCD director Kimberly DelGizzo. “We are now in a highly visible location, which will help us engage students in a range of activities, including alumni panels and career chats.”
Alums who can’t make the trip to Boston, or who prefer to communicate online rather than face-to-face, can get started using the BU CareerLink, a massive website for BU alumni and students that has access to job and internship positions, sign-ups for on-campus events, and the ability to upload multiple résumés and cover letters.
The site offers access to more than 1,500 available jobs, from finance to medical research.
On the CCD’s new website, launched in July, alums can watch three instructional videos on how to craft an elevator pitch, how to network, or how to interview for a job. They can scroll to a graphic that shows a business casual outfit, and then to one with a more professional look. An interactive section highlights the anatomy of a cover letter, résumé, and CV.
The BUAA has its own set of online tools, including CareerBeam, a comprehensive, free virtual career center for alumni, says Kirsten Lundeen, Development & Alumni Relations associate director of alumni networks and career programs. More than 2,800 alumni and students use the service, which offers self-assessments, résumé and cover letter builders, and research tools spanning 300 industries and 35 million companies. And the Career Advisory Network (accessed through the BU Alumni Association website and operated and maintained by the BUAA) allows both alumni and students to contact more than 5,600 Terriers who have volunteered to advise.
Other career opportunities often emerge at the many alumni networking events around the world, ranging from educational panels to résumé workshops. Last year, the BUAA hosted more than 900 events worldwide with more than 52,000 attendees.
“We have smart, savvy graduates,” Lundeen says. “I meet employers who say their BU employees are some of their best.”