Stages of the Job Search Process

At Beyond the Professoriate, Jennifer Polk invites Rachel Leventhal-Weiner, PhD to the webinar, “Stages of the Job Search Process.” Jennifer Polk, PhD and L. Maren Wood, PhD offer career education and professional development resources to PhDs.

Rachel works as a Data Engagement Specialist at Connecticut Data Collaborative. She specializes in school stratification and uses her unique researching skills to benefit non-profit organizations, communities, and state agencies. In this webinar, Rachel shares the nuances of job searching for PhDs looking to move into industry positions.

Job-Searching is a Journey

Typically, most people approach the job search as a step-by-step process: they check Indeed.com, select some jobs, submit a resume, and wait for a response. However, Rachel cautions against this model of job searching. She reminds us that “the job search process is interactive NOT linear . . . things can pop up, get in the way redirect you.” Factoring in the job search process as an ongoing journey with some unexpected hiccups helps you narrow down what you want and what you need.

What Do You Want?

Have you ever stopped to think about how you want your professional life to look? Rachel states that, “this question is probably one of the hardest pieces of abstract advice. . . but it’s really important to think about.” Addressing this question certainly helps you figure out what satisfies you and meets your needs. You will have a better idea of the kind of job you want, the steps you need to take to get it, and the changes to your lifestyle that come with it.

How Do I Begin My Job Search?

  1. Start Your Resume: As graduate students, most of you are familiar with professional documents and the interview process. Your CV, cover letter, and writing sample probably showcase your academic expertise, but industry-level jobs want to know what skills you can bring to their company. Rachel discusses how to tailor professional documents for a specific job, how to ace your interview, and how to negotiate for what you want.
  2. Make a Job List: While most graduate students understand the necessity of a resume, very few take the time to develop it for industry-level positions. This oversight often harms PhDs in the long run because it makes them appear under-qualified. Rachel advises prospective job seekers to “[get] started before you think you are ready.” Don’t be afraid to begin compiling a list of potential jobs, or of drafting a tentative resume and cover letter.
  3. Look at Job Listings: “Using job postings as springboards,” are excellent starting points for the drafting phase, so “do your homework,” says Rachel. Not only are job listings informative, but so is reading over the company website. Perusing these sites helps you learn the language of the field and establish what questions to ask during the interview process and negotiations, which is useful in ensuring that employers recognize the value of your talents and strengths.
  4. Make Connections: While browsing career websites is important, even more significant are networking and forming inside connections with people in your career of interest. These connections are essential because they lead to insights that otherwise would not be apparent online. For example, sitting and talking with a real person can help you better determine whether or not a position will be ideal for you.

To learn more about requesting in-person meetings, rent the video below. If you’d like more job search tips for PhDs, check out our other blog posts!

Beyond the Professoriate Community Members attend events like this for free each month and access replays free for two weeks. Ready to launch your next great career? Join the Online Career Hub for PhDs.

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