As a graduate student, we know you're balancing teaching, research, mentoring, presenting, and writing with other demands of your time.
In addition to scheduling time for your graduate student responsibilities, we also encourage you to carve out time for career exploration and development. TIP: Develop an understanding of the career development timeline for graduate students from your first years through your last.
JOB SEARCH ESSENTIALS
– Identify your strengths and skills and reflect on how you can convey them, along with your technical knowledge, to potential employers.
– Identify career fields and specific employers of interest.
– Understand the hiring timelines for your fields of interest. Employers may recruit as early as 9+ months before you graduate or hire within weeks of graduation.
– Network with peers from both your undergraduate and graduate careers, as well as alumni and recruiters who visit UVA. Attend conferences and other events.
– Gain experience through internships, course or independent projects, or volunteering.
Job and Internship Search Strategies
While some of your applications may include a CV, many postings for non-academic career paths will request a resume.
Your graduate student resume may differ from your undergraduate resume in that:
– It can be longer than one page (but usually a max of two pages is recommended).
– You might include a Profile, Summary, or Qualifcations section at the top. This section is most often used by more experienced candidates who want to introduce and summarize their experience as it relates to the position. Learn how to write a summary and review sample engineering summary statements.
Compared to a CV for an academic job search, for a non-academic search, you may not need to include a long, detailed list of publications and presentations. Instead, consider offering a summary like "Co-authored 4 articles published in professional journals; primary author on 1".
Application Materials for Graduate Students
See more resume advice, along with samples, in the other sections of this page.
For many, interviewing is the most overwhelming elment of the job search process.
You can ease interviewing nerves by:
– Thoughtfully reflecting on your skills and experiences.
– Revisiting the job description to identify the technical skills, transferable skills, and academic and industry knowledge the employer desires in a candidate.
– Connecting the employer's needs to your experiences and finding examples to illustrate the match.
– Practicing answers to common and anticipated interviewing questions out loud.
Learn about various types of interviews and how to prepare
Translating skills from a PhD to a non-academic job
How to hightlight transferable skills
CONSIDERING OFFERS AND MAKING DECISIONS
There are many factors to consider when evaluating a job, including salary, benefits, fit with your lifestyle, and more. As you review the offer, you may find that you're interested in negotiating one or more elements.
Review effective tactics for evaluating an offer and professional ways to approach negotiation conversations. Prepare for managing multiple offers, accepting an offer, and respectfully declining an offer.
Job Offer Evaluation and Negotiation
Making a Decision: Asking for more time, accepting or declining an offer, or withdrawing from the applicant pool