In this constricted job market, targeted networking is crucial to success. Organizations are inundated with unsolicited résumés for every job opening. Most employers would rather hire someone referred to them by a known entity than take a chance on an unknown quantity.

As UVA alumni you have access to valuable online tools that could make the critical difference in your job search.

Direct access to each of the resources below, as well as an online module on networking, are available on alumni.virginia.edu/career.

HoosOnline—the online community for UVA Register at hoosonline.virginia.edu. It will take 24 to 48 hours to certify your connection to the University. If you have any difficulty, e-mail hoosonline@virginia.edu.

Two excellent alumni networking tools:

University Career Assistance Network (UCAN). More than 23,000 alumni have volunteered to give career advice. You can search this database by geographic location, industry type and organization name. Most alumni want to be contacted by e-mail. Select “Career Resources,” then “UCAN.”

Network. Select “Network” from the navigation bar and access more than 16,000 alumni who network actively on this site.

Make use of three important career functions:

As with UCAN, you can search the database by geographic location, industry type and organization name.

Search the Job Board for positions open for UVA alumni.

Send a message to alumni participants about the type of position you are seeking.

LinkedIn—an international networking site. Register at LinkedIn.com.

The University of Virginia Alumni group has more than 9,500 alumni members.

The site has other career interest groups related to your career goals.

You can send a message to participants about the type of position you are seeking and post your résumé. Recruiters search this site regularly.

To understand the nuances of the site and to utilize LinkedIn efficiently, take the training Webinar, usually given on Wednesday afternoons. To register, go to LinkedIn.com/training.

Twitter—a social networking site. Register at twitter.com.

Follow “UVAAlumniCareer” on Twitter. The feed includes links to articles of interest to job seekers; schedules for chats, Webinars and other programs presented by Alumni Career Services; and answers to your job-search questions.

For more information about online networking, contact the Alumni Career Services Center at 434-243-9018 or chh7e@virginia.edu.

One month of free career counseling is available to all Alumni Association members. Alumni opting to extend these services will pay $75 per additional month. For more information, contact Liz Sprouse at ecs9u@virginia.edu or 434-243-9017.