The final stage of career preparation comes after you have a sense of your pathway, and are close to finishing your degree.
This is the time to prepare documents for your job search and to identify specific opportunities of interest.
The Level 2 Career Development Pathway in PhD Progression has step-by-step guides and resources on the topics listed below. Learn more about PhD Progression and register to earn badges in Level 2 here. Badges available in Level 2 Career Development:
- Informational Interviews
- Job Simulations
- Deconstructing a Job Description
- Identifying and Articulating Transferable Skills
- Writing a CV
- Writing a Resume
- Writing a Cover Letter
- Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement
- Writing a Research Statement
- Writing a Diversity Statement
PDPA also offers a variety of workshops and resources for developing application materials, preparing for interviews, and negotiating job offers. Individual departments and programs frequently have resources for the academic job search specific to your discipline. We recommend that you reach out to your mentors and later-stage doctoral students for additional resources for your discipline. Find additional career preparation resources below.
Preparing Job Documents
1) CV (curriculum vitae): Comprehensive scholarly record, including your research experience, teaching and mentoring experience, publication record, and more. More information here on preparing a CV, and well as examples of CVs. Find additional resources on this helpful page from Cornell University or the UChicago CV Guide.
2)Resume: Resumes are one to two page summaries of your professional experience, education and skills. A resume is used in the United States for most non-academic positions. Rather than a list of accomplishments, resumes should detail what skills and responsibilities you built through your various experiences. Resumes should be tailored to the position that you are applying for. Learn the difference between CVs and Resumes in PDPA’s CV to Resume Workshop, by consulting this helpful page from Cornell University or using University of Michigan Resume & Cover Letter Guide
3) Cover letter: 1-2 page letter, addressed to search committee. Include a brief summary of your academic background, highlights of past and future research, summary of teaching experiences and interests, and your fit with the department and school (Why are you interested in that position? How does your experience match the position description?). View sample cover letters here.
4) Research Statement: A summary of your past research accomplishments, and a proposal for your future research plan as a faculty member. Include both your long-term vision, as well as concrete projects for your research group for the first 3-5 years. Length varies, but typically 3-6 pages. See more advice on writing research statements.
5) Teaching Statement: A statement of your approaches and philosophy regarding teaching and learning, usually 1-2 pages. Include specific examples to illustrate your approaches from your past teaching experience, or propose specific ideas for how you would teach future courses. Include a statement of the broad courses you are qualified to teach, as well as any courses you would like to develop. See more advice on writing teaching statements and the PDPA guide for writing teaching philosophy statements.
6) Diversity Statement: A discussion of your past, present, and future contributions to promoting equity, inclusion, and diversity in your professional career. Typically 1-2 pages. See sample guidelines for writing a diversity statement and the PDPA handout with prompts and resources for writing diversity statements.
Academic Career Searches
The Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) offers a variety of webinar on topics ranging from beginning the job search to negotiating a pay raise.
HigherEd360 (formerly Academics360.com) job listings include a broad range of student advising and academic administration jobs, as well as, faculty positions.
The Professor is In
The Professor is IN provides guidance for all things PhD, including graduate school, job market and careers.
University of Chicago GRAD: Guide to Academic Careers
This UChicago GRAD guide gives a helpful overview of academic careers including job search timelines, and tips for the application process.
Academic Career Readiness Assessment
The Academic Career Readiness Assessment (ACRA) rubric is a tool developed by the Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) with a grant from Burroughs Wellcome Fund. The goal of this tool is to provide graduate students and postdoctoral scholars with the information they need to explore, plan for and apply to faculty positions at different types of institutions, regardless of their understanding of the intricacies of the U.S. education system and independently of the mentoring they receive. The rubric can also be used to inform faculty hiring practices and provide transparency in the faculty hiring process.
NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education – Career Symposium
The Annual NIH Career Symposium aims to highlight the diversity of career choices available to your generation of biomedical researchers. Whether you are a new graduate student, postdoc, or clinical fellow just beginning to consider career options or a senior student/fellow ready to look for a job, the NIH Career Symposium is for you.
Academic Jobs Wiki (Social Sciences & Humanities)
As the “wiki” moniker implies, this site hosts a series of links to crowd-sourced web pages about the posted job ads in dozens of different fields. What is different about the wiki, is that as the application/review cycle progresses, individuals will post updates on the status of the search. For example, an applicant will edit the entry for a given position by noting that on Nov 27th, requests were received for “additional materials” by candidates still in the running or on Dec 5th the committee began to contact candidates for phone screens. If you scroll down a few screens, you will see a series of links to pages that list openings by field for a few dozen disciplines. Some are very broad (e.g., English Literature, History) and some are very specific (Piano and Theology). If you scroll further you will see the link to last year’s listing for the field. There is a separate wiki for Postdocs in the Humanities & Social Sciences.
Non-Academic Career Searches
Non-Academic Job Search Guide from University of California, Irvine
The Non-Academic Job Search Handbook includes an overview of the Job Search process, sample resumes and cover letters for all types of positions at a wide variety of companies and other information about what to expect when you’re job searching.
Intersect Job Simulations
InterSECT is an online platform that allows PhD-level scientists and humanists, regardless of professional stage, to explore future career options. Our goal is to provide true-to-life job simulation exercises that help individuals consider the following questions: What are my professional interests and skills? How do my interests and skills translate to potential careers? What are my career options? Which careers haven’t I considered?
Cornell Career Guide
To help you determine and achieve your goals, Cornell Career Services created a comprehensive Career Guide, for you to use in addition to individual advising, workshops and panels, web resources, handouts, alumni-shadowing programs, job-search services, and more.
Jobs on Toast
Jobs on Toast is an excellent site developed by Chris Humphrey to assist researchers with or in pursuit of a PhD with their career exploration and preparation. The site focuses its resources on transferrable skills, where and how to find jobs that match those skills, and how to present yourself to employers to get those jobs. Humphreys writes regular posts on these topics and highlights a wealth of resources (books, podcasts, websites, articles) to help researchers find professional work outside of academia.
Beyond the Professoriate
Beyond the Professoriate helps grad students and PhDs leverage their education into meaningful careers, whether in academia or beyond. We have resources to support individuals and partner with institutions to help PhDs and grad students land jobs in: Industry, Non-Profit, Higher Education Administration, Faculty, and the Private Sector.
Beyond Academia is a non-profit organization run by UC Berkeley graduate students with the goal of empowering graduate students and postdocs to expand their career options beyond the traditional academic track. It accomplishes this career education through a series of events including an annual conference, workshops, tutorials and panels that connect academics with those who have made a transition to non-academic jobs. The UC Berkeley site Careers Beyond the Academy is also full of helpful resources.
Beyond the Tenure Track
Beyond the Tenure Track creates pathways to opportunity beyond the professoriate for graduate students and PhDs. We accomplish this through leadership skills training, professional identity building, and mentorship connections.
LinkedIn Career Explorer
The path to a new job isn’t always clear. There are jobs that are a great fit but might seem out of reach, and others you may not even know you have the skills for. LinkedIn is now putting the power of LinkedIn data in your hands: uncover potential career paths and see how your skills match to real job titles.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of students around the world graduate with advanced degrees. Many have no idea what to do with them. This is where Roostervane comes in. We’ll help you build a career you love, connecting your knowledge and skills beyond the walls of the academy.