By Elizabeth Labiner
It’s a terrible juxtaposition; the school year just started, but graduate students in the final year of their program are preparing for the job market already. The academic job search starts early, as the lengthy search and hiring process looks ahead to the next academic year. Hiring in government, non-profit, and private sector fields typically has a shorter turnaround, but the application and interview process can still last for weeks or even months. As such, no matter where graduate students see themselves heading after earning their degree, preparation for the job market starts early. Here on campus, there are a number of resources to which graduate students can and should utilize to be not just ready for the job market, but irresistible candidates for hiring committees.
The Graduate Center
The Graduate Center, a unit of the Graduate College, is here to help you take on the job market for any field, in any sector. Their academic and professional development programming includes workshops on CVs and resumes, preparing application materials, and information on finding and pursuing multiple career pathways. Digital resources include articles, videos, and databases. The Grad Center calendar is another great resource for finding professional development events for graduate students hosted by many units across campus.
Postdoctoral Affairs provides career preparation for both academia and non-academic trajectories. Their website links to online resources and databases for the job hunt, whether you’re looking for a postdoc position or a permanent post.
Office of Instruction and Assessment
Hopefully you’re already aware, but the OIA’s “Preparing for Faculty Job Applications” workshop series is going on right now. This series focuses on various elements of the application process, from creating e-portfolios to writing teaching, research, and diversity statements, and culminates in a workshop in which participants will receive individual feedback on their application materials. In addition, OIA offers classes, certifications, and trainings for an array of skills that you’ll want to demonstrably have when you go on the market, particularly if you plan to go into teaching.
Student Engagement and Career Development
While SECD is largely focused on aiding undergraduate students, many of their resources are also applicable to graduate students on the job market. Their resources include how to look for jobs, creating and tailoring resumes and cover letters, networking, and interviewing tips. Life Lab also offers career coaching and hands-on activities. You can also get help utilizing Handshake, UA’s online job and career development platform.
The UA Alumni Association has a number of online resources and events. Their Career Lab presents tips, advice and insights from UA alumni, faculty and advisors for any professional field or career level. They also offer career coaching, webinars, opportunities to meet and be mentored by highly successful alumni, networking events, and career fairs. The Bear Down Network is another platform on which to connect and network with alumni.
Your departmental faculty, particularly your advisor
When you’re rallying your resources, don’t forget about faculty in your department, especially your advisor. Your department can help you know what the norms and best practices are for your particular field, especially when it comes to an academic job search. Don’t hesitate to ask faculty with whom you have a good relationship to look at your application materials, give you a teaching evaluation, and/or do mock interviews.
If you’re on the job market this year, we wish you luck -- and invite you to make use of everything we have to offer! Remember: fortune favors the prepared.