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Career Advisor, CCA

Date: July, 2011
Reports to (Job Title): Director or Assistant Director, Centre for Career Action (Alumni Career Advisor jointly reports to Snr. Alumni Officer, Partnerships)
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles):
Location: Waterloo

Primary Purpose

Key Accountabilities:

Career Advisors provide career guidance and support to educate and motivate students (undergraduate and graduate, co-op and regular), alumni and staff to develop career goals and to take action to achieve those goals. Each advisor on the team has one or more areas of particular advising knowledge and skill (e.g., career indecision or change, further education, self-marketing, co-op process navigation), and may work with one or more student populations (e.g., undergraduate students, graduate students, students who wish to go to professional or graduate school), alumni or staff.

Provide consistent and measurable career (and co-op) education/advisement for all students (co-op, regular) at all levels (undergraduate, graduate), alumni and staff

  • Conduct individual advisement sessions (in-person, by phone or online) and facilitate regular and customized workshops (on and off-campus and via teleconferencing), planning and executing events, creating online and printed resources
  • Provide assistance with any aspect of the career development process including: self-assessment, researching occupations, making career decisions, marketing themselves, and being successful on the job
  • Provide on-campus, face-to-face support to students who are having difficulty with co-op employment strategies or processes
  • Ensure advisement for pre-first work term co-op students

Provide support to Student Advisors across all teams

  • Provide assistance to students/Student Advisors on a case-by-case basis
  • Coach Student Advisors on career advising issues
  • Work with co-op students in need of more in depth career advice (referred by Student Advisor)
  • Advise unemployed co-op students individually and in groups (on campus or in field)

Engage in activities that support the Centre for Career Action as a leading edge centre of excellence and expertise in career development and advisement.  These activities include:

  • Contribute to development of tools and training, and provide career advisement expertise for co-op students on work term and for co-op students still seeking employment late in term
  • Maintain awareness of career development issues by reviewing pertinent publications/resources, and seeking out professional development and networking opportunities 
  • Develop online advisement materials and activities
  • Develop and maintain a thorough knowledge of other university and community resources

Act as functional lead for a key program/service offered through the Centre for Career Action. Examples include:

  • Oversee peer advising program including recruiting, training, evaluating and scheduling student peer advisors
  • Maintain, organize and share information about print and online resource collection
  • Promote Centre for Career Action to students using a variety of methods and media (e.g., student orientation programs, training dons/mentors/leaders, in-class promotions)
  • Market alumni career services and events in conjunction with alumni affairs

Position Requirements




MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other


Intermediate Intermediate

Intermediate – online based communications (e.g., email/skype), social media (e.g. facebook)

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

The Career Advisors require strong verbal and written communication skills, and strong interpersonal and advising skills. They need to motivate and educate students, alumni and staff and bring a customer-service focus to the role. Career Advisors are problem-solvers and team players.

Level of Responsibility:

Career Advisors do not supervise others: The job has specialized work with minimal supervision.  Career Advisors provide co-worker support and coaching such as advising others of new trends, coaching for emerging best practices, coaching Student Advisors on career advising, providing co-worker with feedback to ensure consistency in performance.

Career Advisors do not supervise others: The job has specialized work with minimal supervision.  Career Advisors provide co-worker support and coaching such as advising others of new trends, coaching for emerging best practices, coaching Student Advisors on career advising, providing co-worker with feedback to ensure consistency in performance.

Problem solving

Career Advisors solve problems about how to advise individual clients who are experiencing sometimes serious difficulties, and knowing when to refer to others (e.g., counseling services), interpersonal issues such as dealing with other staff members when there is a difference of opinion or approach, or difficulties getting necessary information from another department.  

Financial Accountability

One Career Advisor has a book budget of less than $10,000 in order to maintain the print resources.

Internal and External Contacts


Career Advisors deal with multiple departments on campus: Library, Centre for Extended Learning, Counseling Services, Centre for Teaching Excellence, Housing, Registrar's Office, Human Resources, Office for Organizational and Human Development, Office for Persons with Disabilities, Student Success Office, Alumni Affairs, Staff Association, IST, WatPD, faculty, administrative assistants, and student societies.  For example, collaborate with other department or student group to develop joint programs and develop relationships to encourage referrals


Career Advisors exchange information with other university Career Centres and community partners.

Decision-Making Authority:

Career Advisors make decisions about how best to advise clients, when to refer the client to another person or department, designing or customizing workshops, resources or events, ways to stay on top of advising best practices and technology, and prioritizing regular work with clients, special projects, and deadlines.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

This role requires exertion of physical or sensory effort resulting in moderate fatigue, strain or risk of injury.

Working Environment:

This role involves moderate psychological risk resulting from unavoidable exposure to hazardous, disagreeable or uncomfortable environmental conditions.  The Career Advisor role may include exposure to emotionally disturbing experiences and/or interactions with people who are upset, angry, abusive, aggressive, unstable or unpredictable (e.g.,  occasional emotionally charged issues with students or alumni who require counselling, staff who are facing job loss or other employment challenges), unusual hours or schedules and irregular and/or high volumes and multiple and/or tight deadlines beyond one's control (e.g., January and September are particularly high volume due to student advisement demands, co-op resumes that are due, workshops and grad school application deadlines).  As well, the Career Advisor may experience last minute requests with short delivery deadlines (e.g., request by a professor to conduct a custom workshop for his/her class).