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John LaVelle on Resources for New Evaluation Graduates

My name is John LaVelle.  I am a student at Claremont Graduate University and served as the Research and Jobs Coordinator for the evaluation program for two and a half years.  Today I will be sharing three tips and one resource.

Well, it’s graduation time of year, and congratulations to all the new graduates!  When I was working as the Jobs Coordinator for my school, I would often help our students identify opportunities for them to practice their craft.  What I learned was that there are a lot of organizations looking for individuals with evaluation skills!  But the job search can be intimidating and a bit overwhelming at times; where should a person start looking?!

Hot Tip: The American Evaluation Association’s Job Bank.  This is a wonderful resource that advertises a LOT of evaluation opportunities.  The bank can be instructed to look for opportunities by state, or you can just browse!  As of yesterday there were 90 opportunities in a range of sectors.  http://www.eval.org/programs/careercenter.asp

Hot Tip: Association for Institutional Research.  It seems that evaluation shares some interesting characteristics with Institutional Research, and IR might be a fruitful avenue for some young evaluators to follow. This is a link to the jobs page of the Association for Institutional Research. http://www.airweb.org/?page=2

Hot Tip: USAJobs. This is the official website of the US government!  There are a lot of departments that employ evaluators, from the Department of Justice to the Department of Transportation to the Government Accountability Office to name a few.  A tip in this area is that they may use the term “program analyst” or “specialist” or “assistant.” http://www.usajobs.gov/

Rad Resource: Virginia Tech’s Career Services website.  Most colleges and universities employ career specialists to help students and graduates with cover letters and resumes.  I have to say that the resources offered by Virginia Tech are excellent, and I very much appreciate all the excellent advice on the essential elements for all cover letters.  In addition, they have examples of letters of inquiry, letters of inquiry about internships, and follow-up communication: http://career.vt.edu/job-search/presenting_yourself/cover-letters.html

This contribution is from the aea365 Daily Tips blog, by and for evaluators, from the American Evaluation Association. Please consider contributing – send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org.

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