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Resources to Navigate the Job Search as a Graduate Student

For graduate students looking at different career options, ECS can help! We have Career Advisors that are focused on supporting graduate students and have come up with the most common tips and resources.

Consider your path.

As a graduate student there are a lot of different options available, but the most common career decision is between pursuing academia or industry--or considering both! The ECS staff can help with each of these options since your approach will differ. We can help ensure your resume, CV, and cover letter reflect your skills and experience while framing it in an academic or industrial way.

Understand how graduation date impacts job search timeline.

While there can be flexibility in graduation dates (especially for PhD students) it is important to understand when you are going to be looking for a position. The job search can take many months if you are going into industry, and most academic institutions have specific recruiting cycles. Knowing your graduation timeframe will help you make informed decisions for when to start the job search process and what employers to target.

Know OPT benefits and restrictions (for international students).

It is important that international students have a good understanding of how their OPT works. Most employers are not experts on the different visas and statuses for students. If you become the expert, then you will be able to confidently explain the benefits of OPT work eligibility while making the case for how your qualifications match the position's requirements. Review international student resources within CareerEngine’s Resource Library to learn more about market realities and tips for success. You are also encouraged to attend one or more of the Office of International Affairs OPT and CPT workshops.

Attend ECSC.

The Engineering Career Success Conference (ECSC) includes an engineering industry panel, breakout sessions, employer networking, professional headshots, and LinkedIn profile reviews. ECSC will be on Friday, September 21, 2018. Save the date!

View the PhD job search guide in CareerEngine.

In CareerEngine, under Resources in the Resource Library, there is a guide for PhD students. It covers opportunities and strategies to consider in your job search and provides a list of external resources. This guide also walks through the actions students should take at different points in their academic careers.

Meet with an Advisor for an appointment or during walk-ins.

For graduate students, there is no mandatory appointment with ECS. Since each student's job search is unique, we still encourage you to meet with a Career Advisor if you have concerns or questions. Registered students can schedule a 30-minute appointment or use our walk-in hours for quick responses to specific questions.

ECS is here to help graduate students find meaningful employment after graduation. Utilize our job search resources and continue exploring the ECS website to learn more about the programs we offer.

“The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” –Vince Lombardi

About the author

Alex Austin

Alex Austin is a Graduate Administrative Associate with Engineering Career Services.