Career and Professional Development Timeline for Graduate Students
Early – Take the time in your first year to complete these career and professional development activities
Know Yourself & Explore Options
- Explore your interests, values, and skills
- Identify the skills you need to get the job you want
- Make an appointment with a career consultant to do a self-assessment of your strengths, interests, and personality
- Explore career options through informational interviews and shadowing employers and alumni
- Develop a career plan using myIDP (Science), or ImaginePhD (Humanities and Social Sciences)
- Meet and network with graduate students and faculty in your department
- Attend workshops on networking skills and the job search
- Attend career planning workshops hosted by the Fleishman Center, GCOS, and the GSO
- Update your resume/CV and LinkedIn profile on a regular basis
Middle – Explore career and professional development opportunities
- Take on a leadership role relevant to your interests (i.e. mentorship, graduate student organizations, etc.)
- Expand your skills and experiences though departmental committees or volunteer opportunities
- Create an elevator pitch about your research and experience to use at conferences and at networking events
- Choose volunteer work, a research position, or teaching assistant opportunities to gain experience relevant to your career goals
- Find job and internship opportunities through hireBING by Handshake
- Attend conferences or professional development events in your field
- Build your professional brand and expand your network by creating a LinkedIn profile and connecting with alumni
- Get feedback on your CV at the Fleishman Center during walk-in hours or by scheduling an appointment through hireBING
Near Completion – Prepare for the transition into the workforce by engaging in career and professional development tasks
- Take advantage of career development resources offered through professional organizations (i.e. training, services) and scholarly and professional conferences (i.e. workshops, networking events)
- Familiarize yourself with resources such as ImaginePhD, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and insidehighered.com which provide career advice to students pursuing a diverse range of careers outside of academia
- Attend the Job & Internship Fairs and employer information sessions to connect with recruiters
- Inform network contacts that you’re actively looking for a job and secure references
- Make use of websites, job boards, and hireBING to apply for positions
- Tailor your resume/CV and cover letter to jobs that interest you
- Attend workshops offered by GCOS that offer insight into both the faculty job search as well as diverse career options
The Job Search for Graduate Students
Searching for a job entails much more than simply clicking an “apply” button. By researching each employer and making thoughtful connections between the employer’s needs and what you, as a candidate, have to offer, you will make yourself a much more attractive candidate.
The Fleishman Center can help you develop a successful job or internship search strategy. Our Career Consultants are available to provide feedback on CVs, resumes and cover letters; conduct mock interviews; provide advice on creating a job search plan; and answer any career-related questions.
Master’s-Level Job Search
If you conducted a job search at the conclusion of your undergraduate degree, you will see many similarities in the process at the master’s level. Employers still want to see many of the same things they did from bachelor’s-level candidates: strong academics, relevant skills and experiences, and targeted documents that convey your fit with the position and strong interest in their organization. The differences may lie in how much experience and depth of knowledge is expected from a master’s candidate.
PhD-Level Job Search: AcademicIt’s no secret that faculty-track positions are highly competitive. You will need to put together a comprehensive search campaign, including deciding on where, and to which types of positions, to apply, building your network, securing letters of recommendation, writing a strong CV, and developing an excellent one-hour job talk. Start cultivating your network as early as possible by actively making faculty contacts at Binghamton and other institutions. Attend professional association meetings and professional conferences, and if possible, present at or chair a session. This will build both your CV and your network. Teaching and research will be critical components of your application, so actively seek out teaching and publishing opportunities.
PhD-Level Job Search: Non-Academic
There are several things to think about when considering and embarking upon a non-academic search. First, it is important to take time to reflect on your interests and how the skills you developed in your doctoral program might translate into non-faculty roles. PhDs work in nearly every industry, so it can help to speak with professionals who work outside of academia to learn about their experiences, get advice, and begin building a professional network; the Fleishman Center recommends LinkedIn for identifying potential contacts. It is also important to spend time learning how the non-academic job search is structured, and the differences in expectations, timelines and application documents. The Fleishman Center can help you understand and navigate these differences, through one-on-one appointments, programs and resources.
Job Search for International StudentsThe Fleishman Center has compiled a variety of information and resources to help international students navigate the United States job search process. Learn more about the United States employment process, common cultural barriers faced by international students, immigration and legal processes, and more here.
Online Connections and LinkedIn
Professional networking is a critical tool for career success, and LinkedIn is the premier tool for making connections. Learn more about using LinkedIn for career success.
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