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Job ID: 210114

Director of Career Services (34077)
Northern Illinois University

Date Posted May 1, 2023
Title Director of Career Services (34077)
University Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL, United States
Department Career Services
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Director/Manager
  • Student Affairs


The Director of Career Services at Northern Illinois University provides administrative and organizational leadership for a centralized university career services department with services and programs offered for students and alumni both on the main campus and at regional educational sites.

Career Services provides a front door for services and programs for students receiving degrees through six academic colleges and the graduate school as well as a connecting point for innovative and interdisciplinary internal and external partnerships that advance the career success of NIU students. As NIU’s centralized department for providing services and programs for career success, the Career Services is essential to the mission of NIU by providing holistic career development, engagement between students, employers, and others along with cultivating effective relationships with the academic colleges, departments, and other stakeholders. Two key priority areas are strengthening the partnership with Braven and expanding student participation in the Braven program

Position Summary

The Director will engage internal and external stakeholders with a focus on developing new and innovative partnerships that can be leveraged to facilitate students’ transition into the workforce and to increase opportunities for engagement in hands-on learning. This position will provide strategic leadership for this unit, manage the day-to-day operations including providing budget oversight, strategic planning, and assessment. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Stakeholder and Partner Relations (40%)
    • Know current legal issues related to employment of protected classes and international students and refer students or employers to appropriate authorities on these issues.
    • Manage the campus and employer relation’s function to include consulting with employers regarding labor market, supply, salary levels, and trends in recruiting and selecting employees. Consult with employers on best strategies for establishing and developing effective recruitment programs for both full and part-time employees, co-ops, and internships to include: employers use of campus recruiting, job fairs, posting jobs and internships on job search system, making campus visits to talk to students and faculty, supporting and sponsoring campus events and other career services functions to arrange, continue, and improve employment opportunities for NIU students and graduates.
    • Oversee the staff member(s) responsible for third-party career course and networking vendor (currently Braven) for program implementation and execution. Serve as high-level liaison between the vendor and NIU and support internal staff in their execution of the course and post-course supports and their day-to-day management of the partnership.
    • Lead efforts to increase the breadth and depth of partnerships with employers, agencies and other critical stakeholders that provide opportunities for student employment and professional development.


Leadership (30%)
  • Manage and lead an innovative network of cross-functional, interdisciplinary, and interdivisional teams to expand access to opportunity for NIU students related to Career Counseling & Career Education and increase overall opportunity for connection to Employer partners.
  • Provide leadership for the development and implementation of the Career Services strategic plan to include organizational goals, policies, priorities, and program direction. This includes holding individuals accountable for outcomes that align with strategic planning goals and regular evaluation and continuous improvements.
  • Make budgetary decisions including those related to expenditures, cost savings, budget alignment and budget allocation.
  • Serve on campus-level committees related to the advancement of NIU’s strategic planning and enrollment management goals.
  • Lead efforts to establish sustainable, integrated and productive relationships with all six academic colleges and the Academic Advising Center.
  • Lead efforts to establish stronger connections with community college partners and to bolster partnerships with industry and professional partners locally and across the region.
  • Lead efforts to establish a strong competency and skills based model for career services that is embedded in the academic planning process for all NIU students and allows for dynamic adjustment and intentional planning.
  • Work with employers to identify potential skill and competency gaps and provide regular feedback to curricular deans and departments about opportunities for enhancing curriculum to ensure all students are receiving appropriate and necessary skill development.
  • Increase student engagement with NIU alumni through initiatives with the NIU Alumni Association, NIU Foundation, college partners, and others related to Career Services goals and objectives.
  • Coordinate with advising, Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning, Orientation and First-Year Programs, and the Career Development Office in the Graduate School, to identify a process for embedding individualized plans in advising plans for all NIU students as part of a customized planning approach.
  • Coordinate, in partnership with advising directors, cross training for campus wide academic advisors to provide guidance on management of students’ customized plans.

Internship Development (10%)
  • In direct partnership with academic units, coordinate a mechanism to ensure that all colleges have a for-credit option available to students for documenting their internships at the departmental and/or college level. Where a for-credit option is not reasonable/appropriate, work to ensure students are made aware of co-curricular options for internship reporting. This includes working to coordinate opportunities and experiences that supplement internship programs both on and off-campus.
  • Serves as primary Career Services-specific liaison to the alumni association providing opportunities for alumni to connect to students and facilitating development (externship, job shadows, etc.) and employment opportunities (internships, full-time jobs) with NIU alums.
  • Serves as primary liaison for high visibility internship programs in partnership with academic departments, or appoint a departmental designee as appropriate/needed.

Revenue Generation (10%)
  • In conjunction with appropriate campus partners and through benchmarking and review of best practices, identify and secure external resources and generate revenue for Career Services and NIU through appropriate recruiting event pricing and development of new opportunities for employers and other external partners to engage with the office (and campus) financially.
  • Lead efforts to increase partnerships with industry partners and potential donors that results in increased revenue and scholarships.

Supervision (10%)
  • Provide leadership to and direct the efforts of full-time professional and operating staff employees plus graduate assistants and student workers assigned to Career Services. This responsibility includes the selection, training, development, ongoing supervision, and performance evaluation.
  • Oversee personnel activities of the department, including ensuring compliance with professional and university standards and regulations regarding searches; hiring, supervision, and personnel evaluations; and supporting professional development.

Minimum Required Qualifications (Civil Service)

  • Master’s degree in career counseling, student personnel, leadership, higher education administration, communications or related discipline.
  • A total of three (3) years (36 months) professional experience in student affairs or career services.
  • A total of three (3) years (36 months) supervisory experience with a minimum of four Full-Time Employees

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) (Civil Service)

Classification-Specific Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs):
    1. Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects
    2. Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources
    3. Skill in analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
    4. Skill in scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
    5. Skill in oral and written communication
    6. Ability to adjust actions in relation to others’ actions.
    7. Ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences
    8. Ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense
    9. Ability to develop goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish work.
    10. Ability to work effectively with staff, the public, and outside constituency groups
    11. Ability to effectively plan, delegate, and supervise the work of others.
    12. Ability to utilize various computer software packages, such as Accounting Software, query, etc.
    13. Ability to work independently and exercise judgment in order to be able to analyze and investigate a variety of questions or problems
    14. Ability to analyze and develop guidelines, procedures and systems


Position-Specific Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs):
  • Excellent written and oral communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and employers;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of program assessment measures, and technological innovations and applications for career services.
  • Application of good management, supervision skills and best business practices to work with the total Career Services and handle supporting multiple projects and activities.
  • A broad understanding and knowledge of the job search process/strategies and job market for college graduates.
  • A broad understanding and knowledge of university programs and departments.
  • Strong interpersonal skills. Ability to promote strong customer service.
  • A proven record of collaborating in interdisciplinary teams including faculty, staff, students, and external partners.
  • A demonstrated ability to deal with a fast-changing environment, balance competing demands, and prioritize activities.
  • Knowledge base that includes academic curricular processes
  • Familiarity maintaining and compiling reports.
  • Knowledge of PC and web applications in job search process.

Specialty Factors (Civil Service)


Preferred Qualifications (Civil Service)

  • Minimum 2 years demonstrated knowledge of current career service issues and practices in higher education;
  • Minimum 2 years demonstrated experience working with employers, human resources or customer service
  • Minimum 2 years demonstrated commitment to affirmative action and the values of diversity;

Physical demands/requirements

  • Regular office related duties
  • Sitting for extended periods of time
  • Using computer/electronic equipment for extended periods of time
  • Occasional lifting and moving items weighing up to 25 lbs.

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