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Job Search

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
  1. Prepare!
    • 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.

  2. Find a Job Search Mentor
    • 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.

  3. Network
    • 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.

  4. Letters of Recommendation
    • 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.

Non-Academic Job Search Tips

  1. Prepare to interact
    • Convert your CV to a resume or create a resume targeted to the job/industry to which you are applying
    • Attend an Interviewing Skills program and sign up for a mock interview with an advisor
    • Research the types of industries and jobs that interest you. Visit professional association websites to gain additional information on the career field of your interest
    • Practice your introductory speech for when networking opportunities arise, which should include information about you and what you are seeking in a career
    • Identify individuals who can assist you with your search and with whom you can network
    • Speak the right language - the academic lingo may work in an academic setting, but outside of academia, be aware that not everyone can relate to that particular language and terminology. Prepare in advance how you would describe your academic work without isolating your audience
    • Know your transferable skills- these are skills developed during your PhD that are transferable to another field/job outside of academia
  2. Find Jobs
    • HireACane - job & internship postings
    • GoingGlobal- access through HireACane- overseas job listings & information
    • Visit the website of the professional association of your particular career path.  They usually include information about the field, related current events, job postings, and conferences/continuing education opportunities.
    • official job site of the United States Federal Government. It's your one-stop source for Federal jobs and employment information.
    • NETWORK! Take advantage of opportunities, informal and formal, that put you in the presence of people who can assist with your search
    • Join a local chapter of a professional organization and/or alumni association for networking opportunities
    • Attend Career Expos and other campus career fairs held during the fall and spring semesters
    • Additional Career Links
  3. Commit to the search
    • Target where you want to apply to and submit your resume accordingly
    • Follow up when given a lead/contact and after an interview
    • Employ several job search tactics, rather than relying on one strategy
Toppel Career Center
Physical Address:
5225 Ponce De Leon Blvd.
Coral Gables, FL 33146
Phone: 305-284-5451
Fax: 305-284-3668
Mailing Address:
PO Box 249175
Coral Gables, FL 33124-5610