Grad Student Job Search

Students and Employer at Career Fair


Job Search Prep for Grad Students Workshop Series

About the series:

  • It’s preparation for your job search. Participate several semesters before you begin your job search
  • Focus is on non-academic job search
  • Commitment to the series is encouraged, not required. Sessions inform and support each other
  • Open to all UMN grad students with primary focus on industry/non-academic setting
  • Conducted by Maggie Kubak (Career & Internship Services - CCAPS, CDes, CFANS), Carolyn Vue (CEHD), and Mackenzie Sullivan (CLA)


  • September 27, 2021: Self-Assessment and Goal-Setting: What are your strengths, skills, values? Where are you going, and why?
  • October 4, 2021: Job Search Preparation: Employer research, relationship building (networking), & position fit analysis
  • October 18, 2021: Resumes, CVs, and Cover Letters: Target your documents to get the interview
  • November 1, 2021: Interviewing: Practice, to get the offer
  • November 15, 2021: Offer Negotiation and Workplace Culture: Negotiate for yourself, and contribute to a welcoming environment

Location: Zoom

Time: Mondays, 10-11am central time (30 minute presentation, 30 minute Q&A)

Pre-register for the workshops to receive the Zoom link 2 days prior to each session

You may access videos/ppts, readings, and worksheets from the Job Search Preparation for Graduate Students workshops at the series' Canvas site at any time in one of two ways:

  1. Self-enroll in Canvas. Self-enrollment results in the site showing up in your list of Canvas courses. You may unenroll any time.
  2. Access the course directly, but the course will not appear in your course list. You'll need to bookmark/save the link.

Funding Your Studies

Funding includes fellowships, University student jobs, and graduate assistantships.

Job Search Resources

Whether you are looking for academic or non-academic positions, explore the following resources for assistance and information:

Job Search Tips

Start today by building and maintaining relationships with professionals in your field. Build them now, before you need them. Why?  These benefits:

  • References
  • Job leads
  • Introductions to other professionals
  • Meet interesting people!
  • Industry and employer information
  • Mentoring

Meet with professionals in your field. Ask about their professional experiences and tell them about yours.  Ask for their advice about positioning yourself, employers, and job search.  And ask how you can help them!  Then stay in touch.

Identify professional associations and make the most of those in your industry.  Attend and volunteer at conferences and events, connect with members, stay abreast of industry trends.

Research employers who hire individuals with your expertise.  Seek out organizational and industry news.

Start early familiarizing yourself with employers, industry jargon, required qualifications, and expectations by reading job descriptions (search online job boards, organizations you know, professional journals and publications).

Non-academic Job Search

In addition to all the resources above, see:

  • Job and Internship Search Resources
  • Inside Higher Ed, Alternative to Academic Careers (Alt-Ac) advice
  • Versatile PhD (login with your UMN email), Helping graduate students and PhDs envision, prepare for, and excel in non-academic careers
  • SciPhDAddressing concerns of early career scientists ($19.95 for skills assessment of “24 core business competencies that are valued by industry for entry level positions”. This listing does not represent endorsement).
  • Cheeky Scientistthe world’s largest PhD-only job search training platform specifically for helping PhDs transition into industry careers. This listing does not represent endorsement.
  • Check out Handshake, the university's job and internship board.

Academic Job Search

Academic Job Search Worksheet (PDF)

Refer the relevant resources above, and prepare to: