The USC Career Center is open – in person and online – as always, all of our services and resources are available to you, including advising, job and internship opportunities, programs, workshops, career fairs, and more

Postdoc Students

We have many resources for postdocs. This section is your guide to gaining access.

  • connectSC Access

    Postdocs have access to connectSC resources including Goinglobal, Versatile Ph.D., Career Access Resource Library (CARL), Candid Career, Biocareers, and more. In addition to being able to attend alumni career events, postdocs also receive four, 50-minute career advising appointments for the academic year. connectSC access is available to you for one academic year with the option to renew your account for the subsequent academic year by verifying your postdoc status (see Step 1 below).

    To gain access to connectSC:

    1. Email Dan Carino, Senior Manager of Postdoctoral Affairs, Office of the Provost.
    2. Once your postdoc status is verified, you will receive registration information from the USC Career Center to begin your registration process.
    3. An email confirmation will be emailed to you with the temporary password to finalize your connectSC account.
  • Schedule Appointments
    1. Log in to connectSC and click the “Advising Appointment” tab on the left-hand side of the page. If you have not created your connectSC account, please follow “To gain access to connectSC” steps above.
    2. Click “Request an Advising Appointment” and search for available appointments that meet your needs.
      • If you have selected a virtual appointment, indicate whether you prefer to have your appointment via phone or video chat in the “Notes” section of your request. If you would like a phone appointment, please include your phone number. For video chats, the advisor will email you a Zoom link to your USC email address once the appointment is approved. Learn how to create your Zoom account.
  • Postdoc Job Search

    Through your academic program, you are obtaining skills that are valuable in academic and other professional settings, including verbal and written communication skills, critical thinking, problem-solving, and project management. In conjunction with your degree program, review information below in preparation for your academic or professional job search.

    USC Center for Excellence In Research
    A faculty-initiated center that promotes the advancement of research university-wide. Offers peer-to-peer proposal review services and research advancement workshops on topics such as grant-writing and fellowship applications.

Prepare for Your Job Search

Before you begin submitting applications, there are several important steps you can take to prepare for your job search and maximize your opportunities. Consider the following steps to help you build a foundation for your job search.

  • 1. Assess how your advanced degree fits into your overall career plan.
    • What skills does your graduate degree help you develop?
    • Conduct industry and organizational research to help you identify related skills.
    • To help you get started exploring your career goals, we have the following Career assessment tools available to you through the “Resources”, “Online Resources” tab in connectSC
      • Your Next Step, a career management tool where you can access career assessments, clarify career goals, develop professional resumes, and cover letters, prepare for interviews, develop a network, access jobs, and implement a strategic job search plan.
      • Versatile Ph.D., a forum to help currently enrolled Ph.D. students in the humanities, social science, and STEM disciplines identify and prepare for non-academic careers.
      • Explore ImaginePhD, a free online career exploration, and planning tool for Ph.D. students and postdoctoral scholars in the humanities and social sciences.
  • 2. Build your network.
  • 3. Find a mentor.
    • As you network and meet other professionals, identify mentors who can provide career guidance. Your mentor(s) may help open doors once you embark on your job search. Join the Trojan Network to reach out to alumni working in fields of your interest for career advice.
  • 4. Investigate industry trends and recruiting schedules early in your program.
    • Identify key skills and experiences you need to develop to stay competitive in the job market. Find opportunities to develop these skills as a student.
    • Seek out top employers that you want to work for and participate in recruiting events.
  • 5. Attend professional events and conferences.
    • Beyond the Ph.D.: Ph.D. and Postdoctoral Career Conference (traditionally during the Spring semester): This conference features interdisciplinary keynote panels, industry and academic round table sessions, and career sessions.
    • Career Fairs (Fall/Spring): Meet employers recruiting for full-time positions and internships across a variety of industries.
    • Career workshops: Topics include resume, CV and cover letter writing, interviewing strategies, job search strategies, and negotiation strategies.
    • Ph.D. Pathways: Career Planning and Preparation is an educational series hosted by the USC Graduate school which includes a week of academic job search workshops such as CV/Resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, negotiating job offers, and writing your teaching philosophy/research. Stay current on all events by following the Graduate School on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and blog.
    • School-specific career events: Contact your school-based career services office or academic department to inquire about upcoming events.
    • Professional associations: Check your local and national professional associations’ websites for upcoming events. Search for professional associations related to your discipline on the Career Access Resource Library (CARL).
    • Visit USC The Graduate School: Stay current on all events through the Graduate School’s social media channels: InstagramFacebookTwitter, and blog.
    • Dornsife Ph.D. Academy: The Dornsife Ph.D. Academy provides training in leadership principles, financial management, public speaking, and effective communication while offering students training in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields.

Highlighted Resources

Jump to these highlighted resources for high impact support:

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Getting involved on campus is a great way to have fun while exploring diverse areas of interest, meet people with similar interests, and gain leadership skills. Explore involvement opportunities by searching this list of relevant student organizations.
 

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