University of Vermont



Especially for Faculty & Staff

Students and alumni often turn to trusted faculty and staff when they have concerns or questions about their future plans.  We are available to complement your advice.

Welcome and Overview

Career Services staff members are interested in building relationships with faculty in support of your teaching goals.  After all, students who are engaged learn more, contribute more to the university, and are better prepared for their transition from college to the world of work.

We assist students who want to:

  • Explore values, interests & skills and develop career goals
  • Gain experience through internships, volunteering, or summer or part-time employment
  • Learn effective job search strategies
  • Develop excellent job search skills (e.g. resume and correspondence, interview practice, etc.)
  • Meet with employers

Services Include:

  • Individual Appointments and Drop-In Hours
  • Career Fairs
  • Workshops (such as Resume Writing, Interviewing Skills, Networking)
  • Catamount Job Link - Job and Internship Database
  • Networking Events
  • Alumni Career Connection
  • On-Campus Recruiter Visits
  • Career Library
  • Graduate School Information

Students attending a workshopEvents and Workshops

We provide many services to support students’ career development, and could use your help in promoting our services.  Please consider telling students about our events by making announcements in class, sending an email, or posting information to a listserv. View our Calendar of Events.

Request a Workshop

We can come to your class or department to lead a wide variety of workshops.  Please keep in mind that these workshops can be adapted specifically to a major. Please complete our Workshop Request Form if one of our workshops fits into your course objectives or offers students an enrichment rather than a cancelled class when you attend professional meetings. Below is a list of common workshop topics.

  • How to Choose a Major
  • Benefits of a Liberal Arts Education to your Career
  • Career Services Overview
  • Interviewing Tips
  • 7 Steps in Writing a Resume
  • Internships 101
  • Job Search Strategies
  • 7 Steps to Effective Networking
  • Self-Exploration – Interests, Skills and Values

In addition to workshops we happily work with faculty to put together a panel discussion to meet the needs of your students. Whether it is a panel of individuals working in a specific career field, or a panel of alumni from your academic department, we will work to create a great event.

How to Use Catamount Job Link - Internship and Job Database

What is Catamount Job Link? It's our online job and internship database where students and alumni can find open positions, both in and out of Vermont. UVM Career Services enters hundreds of jobs monthly. Additional job and industry information can be found on our Job Resources by Category page.

How do students and alumni use Catamount Job Link? Register through the Catamount Job Link login page. If you would like a guest account, please email Career.Services@uvm.edu

What about part-time, summer jobs, and internships? We list these opportunities on Catamount Job Link. Students can find a variety of internships: service learning, academic, career exploration and Work-Study/internship possibilities.  See our Internships page for more information.

As experts in your field, you are key resources.  As colleagues inform you of open positions, please forward them to us so we can inform the student body of potential opportunities.  We will put these jobs and internships directly into our database.  Additionally, if you would like to receive information on jobs that may be of interest to your students, please let us know. 

Referrals

In your role as advisor, mentor, instructor and resource, you are asked to provide recommendations or referrals for students and graduates.  Whether these requests relate to graduate school or employment, legal and career professionals (NACEweb.org) recommend you keep in mind a few key points. 

  1. Obtain written permission/request from the student or graduate you are recommending
  2. Address only your first hand experience with the student; base personal opinions on fact
  3. Avoid personal matters
  4. Regard email as no different from formal communication

Providing Recommendations

It is important to note that providing recommendations for graduate school and employment can be very different. Whether the referral is written or spoken, or related to graduate school or employment, it is perfectly acceptable for you to decline a request if you have serious doubts about the student or are unavailable to respond to requests.

Graduate School

Graduate and professional school applicants often provide specific forms asking you to rank students’ skills and may request some text addressing strengths and weaknesses or growth areas.

Employment

Recently, employment recommendation letters are less evaluative and more laudatory.  Letters that include information about weaknesses might have serious negative impact on the applicant.  We suggest that you agree to act as a reference only when you can write or speak positively about the student or alum.

More commonly, employers prefer reference-check conversations over written communication. If a student asks you to serve as a reference, you will most likely be contacted by the student’s potential employer via phone or email.  You should be prepared to comment on the student just as you would when writing a formal recommendation letter.

As a reference you will most likely be given specific questions related to your knowledge of the student’s skills and abilities, and could be asked to speak to the candidate’s attributes/abilities in the following areas.

  • Maturity/Accountability/Judgment
  • Originality/Resourcefulness
  • Intelligence/Intellectual ability
  • Motivation/Initiative
  • Ability to work collaboratively
  • People skills, including working with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills, including writing
  • Analytical skills
  • Technology/computer skills
  • Extracurricular activities, achievements, volunteerism
  • Knowledge of and experience in the field/job of interest.

Be sure to provide context for the skills and abilities.  For example, if you had teams of students working doing research and providing a consultant’s report and presentation, explain how the activity challenges students and how this particular student excelled. If you supervised the student’s independent research, give an example of good outcomes and what skills the student used well.

If you would like to learn more about a student’s or alum’s career goals or passions, meet with the student prior to agreeing to serve as a letter writer, or ask them for a resume and materials related to the job. 

General Guidelines: Written
  • Your letter should be a statement of support for the student.  You should always be truthful, positive and specific. 
  • When you serve as a reference, you may want the student to provide a written request to speak on their behalf, a copy of their resume and detailed information about the job, internship or graduate school to/for which they are applying.   As much as possible, you want to relate the students’ strengths and abilities to the demands of the job/internship/graduate school.   
  • Proofread the letter carefully. 
  • Avoid disclosing personal information about the student that is not relevant to the hiring/admission process (e.g. age, marital status, health, ability, religious affiliation, gender expression, citizenship status, sexual orientation, etc.)
  • UVM Career Services works with Interfolio, an online credential file service which allows students to open reference files.  To learn more about submitting a secure letter of recommendation to Interfolio, visit Interfolio for Faculty. Interfolio accepts both electronic and written letters on behalf of students.
Content Suggestions for Letters

In general, the length of your letter should not exceed one page. Certain fields such as higher education, human services, and the arts can be exceptions to this suggestion.

Beginning: Present the student by name and indicate that you are pleased to be providing a recommendation for this student. Clearly identify the context in which you know the student and for how long you have known them. 

Middle (Main content area): Assess the candidate’s abilities and skills (e.g. report writing, creative design, systems engineering, facilitating challenging discussions) using examples.  Their more general strengths and attributes (e.g. dedicated, personable, ethical, inquisitive) are also good topics.  Adding comparative statements such as “She is one of the most skilled writers I have ever taught” can be helpful. Focus on your first-hand experience of the student. 

End: Reaffirm your recommendation of the student. 

If you have questions or would like to consult with a career professional, email Career.Services@uvm.edu or call 802-656-3450.

Questions about serving as a reference

How do I say “no” to a student I have doubts about? 

A statement such as “I’m not sure that I’m the best person to speak to your strengths,” might be a good way to start that conversation. If they persist, you could suggest that the student or alum speak to another professor who might be able to write more strongly on their behalf.

A former student just called and asked for the names of our top seniors; she wants to recruit them to work for her organization.  How should I respond?

While helping students get jobs is wonderful, providing information about “top” students opens you and the university to potential legal risk.  To avoid violations of The Federal Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or employment law, it is best to refer the employer to Career Services, encourage the individual students you think would be great to apply, and then endorse them to the employer. 

Last modified August 28 2012 02:24 PM