Checklist for the Final Year: The Job Search

Invest in Yourself

  • Review and finalize timeline for completion of degree and update regularly
  • Review your job search goals, revise if needed and update your action plan as needed


Build Your Network

  • Continue relevant suggestions from Years 1-4
  • Let network contacts know you are actively looking for a job and your availability


Job Search Process

  • Prepare parts of your dissertation for publication in journals
  • Update application materials as needed
  • Keep references/recommendation letter writers informed of your progress
  • For academic positions, obtain letters of recommendation
  • Search for and apply to job openings or post-doc openings
  • Research each organization to which you are applying and be sure to tailor your application materials to each position and organization
  • For non-academic jobs, participate in campus career fairs; research employers in advance and bring copy of your resume
  • Pursue interviews at conferences
  • Practice your interviewing skills; conduct a practice interview
  • For academic jobs, revise and practice job talk/research presentation (preferably with mock audiences who give feedback) at least 3 times
  • Learn about negotiating before any possible interviews
  • If you are an international student wanting to work in the United States apply for you OPT far enough in advance that you have your OPT card by your graduation date.

Adapted from UCI Career Center, University of California – Irvine