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Career Development Specialist, PhD Students, Student and Enrolment Services

Job ID: 22018

Updated: January 12, 2021

Location: Main Campus

Position Overview

Student and Enrolment Services is currently seeking a Full-time Temporary Relief Career Development Specialist for approximately 1 year.

The Career Development Specialist, PhD Students reports to the Director, Career Services within Student and Enrolment Services. This role supports career success for PhD and research Masters students through specialized career advising, coaching and mentorship that meet the needs of this student population. The position requires a high degree of initiative and independent decision making and problem solving on complex issues. This position also participates in Career Services employer/industry events (fairs, networking events, panels, etc.) to promote events to students and liaise with employers; some events will require work outside of regular office hours.

This position demands analytical expertise, organizational strength and excellent written and verbal communication skills. A high degree of judgment, team contribution and initiative is required. The quality, ethics, integrity, and accuracy of the information and intervention offered, and materials produced by this position, are critical to the University. Inappropriate or inaccurate statements may seriously affect the image and reputation of individuals, Career Services and of the University as a whole. Complex University issues and challenging interpersonal interactions are managed with composure and diplomacy while maintaining confidentiality.
The key responsibility of the Career Development Specialist, PhD Students will be to provide career planning support and advising to PhD students and students in research Master programs, both international and Canadian,. The Career Development Specialist, PhD Students will establish and manage a strong vision and plan for PhD student career development. The incumbent applies in-depth knowledge and expertise to design, develop and implement career development success strategies for all PhD and research Masters Students. High quality service to students and adherence to best practices in career development advising will be key indicators of success.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

Career Development Coaching 

  • Develops scope and content of information and material on all aspects of career planning, career exploration, career decision-making and looking for work
  • Provides one to one career development coaching for PhD and research Masters students including: career assessment (formal/informal), career exploration, decision making, action planning, transferable skills development, resume/cv development, interview skills evaluation, job search strategies, offer/salary negotiation issues
  • Makes referrals to other support services, on and off campus, when necessary
  • Actively sources new career resource materials (videos, books, web resources etc.) to acquire up-to-date information. 
  • Implements assessment and evaluation protocols, evaluates and analyzes student developmental needs and employer needs and formulates career development/job search training programs

Workshop Facilitation

  • Develops materials for workshops, presentations, and web-based resources, handout materials, setting schedules and topics for career related seminars, workshops and special programming events, in collaboration with Career Services team members and the Faculty of Graduate Studies/My Grad Skills Program
  • Facilitates workshops group career advising/coaching and workshop facilitation for PhD and research Masters students including: career assessment (formal/informal), career exploration, decision making, action planning, transferable skills development, resume/cv development, interview skills evaluation, job search strategies, offer/salary negotiation issues
  • Delivers high quality and engaging virtual workshops for graduate students
  • Responds to outreach requests and delivers custom workshops on request from Faculties or student groups
  • Collects data on usage of PhD career services and administers student evaluations

Program Development 

  • Develops plans to build on current PhD student career services that correspond with best practice research, internal university research, and the evolving needs of the University's student population; makes timely recommendations to the stakeholders on new and innovative programs and services
  • Implements cutting-edge program development to the benefit of all graduate PhD student cohorts (domestic and international, all disciplines)
  • Develops programming specific to research Masters and PhD students with goals of careers in research/academia
  • Works collaboratively with Career Development team to develop programming that is responsive to PhD and Masters student need
  • Remains current on factors that would initiate change, such as post-secondary developments, University policies and procedures, and changes/trends in learning support services and program delivery

Teamwork and Collaboration 

  • As part of the Career Development team within Career Services, takes an active role in the collaborative strategic planning, development and delivery of programs and services to support student and graduate career success
  • Works closely with all graduate teaching faculties, the Graduate Students' Association and other University administrative departments as well as with the My GradSkills program within the Faculty of Graduate Studies
  • Determines recruiter impressions of skills/capabilities of our students versus other universities
  • Researches and connects with Government agencies
  • Liaises with and responds to inquiries and requests from graduate student groups, faculty, departments, institutes and other on-campus groups
  • Contributes information and expertise and keeps up to date on relevant trends and developments with colleagues at other universities, professional organizations and government department and agencies


  • Contributes to an environment where knowledge sharing, support, training tools, coaching and staff development ensure service levels meet or exceed expectations
  • Contributes information and expertise to the team and keeps up to date on relevant current trends and developments with colleagues at other Canadian universities, professional organizations and government department and agencies
  • They will ensure duties are completed with accuracy and efficiency, supporting the strategic plan and objectives of the University. They will set objectives and targets with guidance from the Director, Career Services
  • Represents Career Services on internal and external committees and working groups as required
  • Provides support for career advising for undergraduate students during peak times
  • Continues own professional development, learning and training, maintains standing in professional organizations relevant to the position, and participates in these organizations in a way that will reflect positively on the University

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • A PhD in any discipline and Career Development Professional certification is required
  • Minimum of 5 years' experience providing mentoring and career development services to a similar graduate level culturally diverse client group
  • Minimum of 5 years' experience in a university or post-secondary institutional setting, with an emphasis on understanding best practices in delivery of career-related programming for graduate students
  • Demonstrated competency in career development, informal and formal career assessment, career development theory and career planning strategies preferred; Certification in the Strong Interest Inventory, MBTI and/or Clifton Strengths an asset
  • Demonstrated understanding and strength in developing online materials to support career development preferred
  • Demonstrated understanding of graduate research degrees and related career pathways including academia, and entrepreneurship
  • Demonstrated understanding of best practice in PhD employment and placement
  • Outstanding interpersonal communication skills, including written, oral, one on one and group facilitation
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively within a team environment and contribute to team initiatives
  • Demonstrated collaborative approach, proven in building connections across units/departments
  • Demonstrated ability to undertake effective professional interactions through engaging, respecting, involving, supporting and listening
  • Demonstrated organizational and planning strength with the ability to establish priorities, manage multiple demands and meet deadlines
  • Demonstrated ability to use initiative, creativity and innovation in work practices
  • Experience and demonstrated success in data informed planning, program delivery and assessment
  • Experience and knowledge in the operation of a post-secondary education environment preferred

Application Deadline:  January 26, 2021

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Specialist/Advisor Job Family, Phase III.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website


About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy in line with the foundational goals of Eyes High, committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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