Alumni Career Management Step-by-Step Guide

If you're looking for a similar job in another geographic location or company, or you're seeking to make a career change into another industry, this proven "step-by-step" Career Search Process is your personal guide to help you achieve your goals.

Step 1: Gain Clarity & Focus

Before you can make a successful career move, it’s vital to define the role you want. Narrow your search to one or two job titles in one or two industries or sectors, so you can clearly articulate your goal in conversations with networking connections and hiring managers.

The Ross Alumni Career Coach can guide you on a meaningful self- reflection journey that will illuminate your path forward. Set up an appointment at rossalumnicareers@umich.edu.


Assessment Tools

CareerLeader

The CareerLeader assessment identifies your pattern of core interests and matches it to top business careers. It also assesses motivators, culture fit, and skills. You probably completed this assessment while a student at Ross, but if it’s been five years or more since graduation, you may want to take a fresh look.

Sign up for the CareerLeader

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

The MBTI illuminates your personality preferences and highlights careers that are most popular among others who share your preferences. To access this assessment, send your request to The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

The CliftonStrengths Assessment

CliftonStrengths identifies your top 5 (out of 34) strengths and helps you to see how those strengths enable you to bring unique value to an organization. To access this assessment, send your request to rossalumnicareers@umich.edu.

Zone Time Spreadsheet

Zone times are those projects or roles when you were at your best, feeling challenged, and enjoying the work you were doing.

Career Search Focus & Elevator Story

Use this tool to narrow your job search focus and develop your elevator pitch for maximum impact.


Learn More

Recommended Books

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life, by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans 

Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type, by Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron, and Kelly Tieger

What Color Is Your Parachute? Your Guide to a Lifetime of Meaningful Work and Career Success, by Richard Nelson Bolles

Step 2: Refresh Your Brand

With a clear job search target, your next step is to update your personal marketing materials: your resume, your LinkedIn profile, and your one- to two-minute “commercial.” 


Update Your Resume

In the first five years post-graduation, we suggest BBAs, MBAs, and One Year Masters alumni continue to use the one-page Ross Impact resume.

A two-page resume, useful for more experienced alumni, features a professional headline and summary that helps to convey your brand identity. 

For an expert outside opinion on your resume, schedule a review with the Ross Alumni Career Coach at rossalumnicareers@umich.edu.

Resume Resources

Writing Your Summary in Five Steps

Choose a template that reflects your style: 

Garamond Resume Template 

Franklin Gothic Resume Template 


Revise Your LinkedIn Profile 

Smart Ways to Use LinkedIn

Brand Discovery Exercise

5 Templates That Will Make Writing Your LinkedIn Summary a Breeze

The Perfect LinkedIn Profile According to Harvard Career Experts


Hone Your 30-second Elevator Story and Craft Your Commercial  

Elevator Story (see p. 2)

One- to -Two-Minute Commercial 


Additional Resources

Cultivated Culture Free Downloadable Resume Templates

Jobscan.io – An app that allows you to compare your resume to a job posting and see how it stacks up

Resumes Transformed (Southeast Michigan writing service)

The Resume Group.com 

Quintessential Careers 

Ross Alumni Resume Database – Post your resume here to catch the eye of recruiters looking for Ross alumni.


Learn More

Recommended books

Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand, by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson

Step 3: Launch Your Search & Start Networking

With clear goals, a compelling elevator story, and refreshed marketing materials, you can launch your search and begin networking with focus and confidence. Periodically check in with the Ross Alumni Career Coach (rossalumnicareers@umich.edu) to get support throughout your journey.


Resources

Guidelines for Research & Networking 

The 2-Hour Job Search Template - Use this template in conjunction with the methodology promoted in the book The 2-Hour Job Search by Steve Dalton

Targeted Search Summary  –- This tool can be used to prepare you for networking and then shared with warm connections during meetings to help them to help you.

Kresge Alumni Career Databases - Databases such as D&B Hoovers allow you to generate a list of companies based on a set of search criteria, and then drill down into each one to gather intelligence. Set up an appointment with a Ross Kresge Librarian to get additional guidance on using these databases effectively.

Networking with Ross Alums and Other Wolverines

Ross Alumni Directory

Ross Alumni Clubs

University of Michigan Alumni Association

Alumnifire.com  – A free website, created by a Ross alum, connects alumni for networking, job shadowing, employment opportunities, and internships. 


Recommended books

The 2-Hour Job Search: Using Technology to Get the Right Job Faster, by Steve Dalton

Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, by Adam Grant 

Never Eat Alone and Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, by Keith Ferrazzi 

Achieving Success Through Social Capital: Tapping Hidden Resources in Your Personal and Business Networks, by Wayne E. Baker  

The Networking Survival Guide, by Diane Darling

Step 4: Research Job Postings & Recruiters

Unless you’ve already got a networking connection at the company, rarely does applying to a job posting alone get you hired. Some experts put the odds at no better than 5 percent. Likewise, the chance that a particular executive search consultant has a posting that’s right for you is slim to none. Nevertheless, job postings provide valuable information about who is hiring and what they are looking for. Search consultants — also known as headhunters or recruiters — can be excellent resources for information and networking.


Resources

Guidelines on Job Postings and Executive Recruiters  

Michigan Ross Alumni Jobs 

Indeed.com

Simplyhired.com

Forbes Weighs In on Top Executive Search Firms

Online Directory of Executive Recruiters 

 


Additional Resources

ExecThread.com  

Independent Consulting Opportunities

ProFinder, a LinkedIn service  

Third Bridge.com, London-based with eight offices on three continents, matching consultants with businesses    

Sites Targeting Women/Remote/Flexible Work

We Work Remotely.com

Flexjobs.com

The Second Shift.com

Forte Foundation Job Postings and Online Resume Book

IvyExec.com

iRelaunch.com

Function/ Industry Focus

CPGJobs.com places qualified people in sales, marketing, marketing research, and related disciplines in the consumer packaged goods industry.

Entrepreneurial

StartupNation.com

LLCs  – check your state government website

Finance

eFinancialCareers.com– Financial job marketplace

International Resources

Eurojobs.com

Overseasjobs.com

Monster – International job site

Latpro.comLatin America’s Professional Network

MBA-Exchange.com

Exec-appointments.com – Find a C-suite position 

Are we missing a helpful resource? Let us know via email: rossalumnicareers@umich.edu

Step 5: Prepare to Interview & Negotiate

Interviewing Guidelines

Your hard work has paid off and you have landed an interview. Schedule a mock fit interview with the Ross Alumni Career Coach (rossalumnicareers@umich.edu). Below are some resources to help you  prepare. 

10 Most Common Interview Questions

One- to Two-Minute Commercial

Tell Your Stories Using the STAR Approach

Common Behavioral Interview Questions

Questions You Can Ask in an Interview

Case Interview Resources:

ManagementConsulted.com 

CaseInterview.com 

Kresge Library Vault Database Look for consulting guides


Negotiating the Offer

Companies expect you to negotiate  Never accept an offer on the spot. Instead, use the resources below to negotiate the best offer. The Ross Alumni Career Coach can serve as a non biased outsider to help sanity-check your offer (rossalumnicareers@umich.edu).

The Negotiations Process

Analyzing a Job Offer

glassdoor.com — Find jobs and see company salaries, reviews, and interviews — all posted anonymously by employees

TransparentCareer - MBA salary benchmarking tool


Recommended books 

Get Paid What You’re Worth: The Expert Negotiator’s Guide to Salary and Compensation By Robin L. Pinkley and Gregory B. Northcraft

Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and Gender Divide By Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

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