The job search requires careful planning and preparation. Becoming knowledgeable about yourself and the industries/employers to which you are applying, in addition to practice and preparation of job search techniques, is the key to a successful search. Committing yourself to a job search means dedicating time, patience and persistence throughout the process.
Non-Academic Job Search Tips
Academic Job Search Tips
Click here for an Academic Job Search Timeline
Find a Job Search Mentor
- Update your CV, practice your interview skills, collect letters of recommendation, browse job postings, identify conventions/conferences you would like to attend to network, create a system to organize all of your job search information… all before you start actively looking and applying to jobs.
- Many graduate students elect to use a credentials file through the Toppel Career Center to organize their letters of recommendation, CV, cover letters and other job search documents.
- Visit the institution and department website, become familiar with faculty and their research, learn about the student body, read the mission statement of the institution, contact the department directly to obtain information they send to prospective students.
- Conduct research on the institution/job/department not only for the purpose of landing the job but for making an informed career decision. Demonstrating you have done your research conveys your enthusiasm and seriousness about the position to a prospective employer.
- Talk with faculty members, fellow students and other campus administrators about your search. Most likely faculty in your department have served on search committees in the past, and they may be willing to share their experience and advice. Classmates who are also participating in the academic job search may have some tips to share as well. Finally, campus administrators, such as those at the Toppel Career Center, can provide additional information/resources on the topic.
Letters of Recommendation
- Attend major conferences/conventions within your field. Some institutions may even conduct interviews at these meetings.
- Be prepared to share in a succinct manner the type of position you are seeking, the type of institution you would like to work, your background/qualifications and any other additional, relevant information.
- Have extra copies of your CV on hand if you know you are going to be attending an event that provides the opportunity to network.
- Consider having business cards made with your name, contact information, and short description of your research- click HERE for a sample business card.
- Be sure you not only ask but meet with those who you would like to write a letter of recommendation to ensure they are going to write a positive letter that reflects your knowledge and skills and can endorse your candidacy. This is preferably your Chair or faculty members who have worked closely with you, seen you teach, or is familiar with your work.
- Provide a copy of your CV and any other information you may find helpful to someone writing a letter of reference for you.
- Approach recommenders prior to the start of your job search giving them ample time to write a recommendation.